Pamela Burton; UWA Publishing, 2010;
512 pp, $49.95 (paperback with illustrations)
Since Dame Roma Mitchell’s appointment to the Supreme Court of South Australia in 1965, women have slowly but surely claimed their rightful place as part of the Australian judiciary. Since 1987, with the exception of a short period between 2003 and 2005, a woman has sat on our highest court — the High Court of Australia.
The first woman to do so was Mary Gaudron.
Pamela Burton’s engaging biography From Moree to Mabo: The Mary Gaudron Story does more than review a judicial career; it reviews a judicial life. This is fitting, as Burton’s work skillfully highlights, because for Mary Gaudron — like so many other women, both then and now — a strict demarcation between the demands of professional life and personal life did not exist.