Vale the Honourable Stephen Thackray

Vale the Honourable Stephen Thackray

Thursday, 2 April 2020


The Law Society is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of the Honourable Stephen Thackray, former Chief Judge of the Family Court of Western Australia.

His Honour was admitted to practice in 1978, just two years after the newly established Family Court of Western Australia had opened its doors.

After finishing university, and being admitted, Chief Judge Thackray became a member of the Law Society, and remained a valued member of the Society since that time, always showing strong support to the Society.

His Honour went on to become one of the first accredited Family Law Specialists in Western Australia. First appointed as Principal Registrar of the Family Court of Western Australia in 1997, he would later serve in many different judicial offices in this jurisdiction for 22 years, until his retirement in January 2019. Upon his retirement from the judiciary, he worked as a mediator throughout Australia.

Chief Judge Thackray was well known to colleagues for embracing technology and passionately advocating for the importance of the independence of the judiciary.

His leadership qualities were widely respected and what stood out was his compassion and ability to make every colleague and employee feel valued, whatever their position within the organisation.

Chief Judge Thackray made a significant and ongoing contribution to the pro bono work of our profession. This includes his role and engagement with Law Access, and through his own significant fundraising efforts over the years, which contributed enormously to the ongoing growth and success of the organisation.

The Family Court of Western Australia, the WA legal profession and the wider community have benefited considerably from the Honourable Stephen Thackray’s wealth of knowledge and experience. He was an outstanding judge and leader, presiding with wisdom and compassion, and a great friend to many. He will be deeply missed.

– ENDS –

For comment please contact:

Andrew MacNiven
Senior Media and Communications Officer
(08) 9324 8634

William Sloan
President, Family Law Practitioners Association of WA
(08) 6380 3900

The Law Society of Western Australia is the peak professional association for lawyers in the State. The Society is a not-for-profit association dedicated to the representation of its more than 4,000 members. The Society enhances the legal profession through its position as a respected leader and contributor on law reform, access to justice and the rule of law. The Society is widely acknowledged by the legal profession, government and the community as the voice of the legal profession in Western Australia.

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