Edward Woodward (judge)

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Sir Edward Woodward
5th Director-General of Security
In office
9 March 1976 – 4 September 1981
Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser
Preceded by Frank Mahony
Succeeded by Harvey Barnett
Personal details
Born Albert Edward Woodward
(1928-08-06)6 August 1928
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Died 15 April 2010(2010-04-15) (aged 81)
Nationality Australian
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Profession Jurist

Sir Albert Edward Woodward AC, OBE, QC (6 August 1928 – 15 April 2010) was an Australian jurist.

Woodward was born in Ballarat in to Eric Woodward (later as Lieutenant General Sir Eric Woodward, a Governor of New South Wales) and Amy Freame Weller. After completing both his primary and secondary education at Melbourne Grammar School, Woodward continued his studies at the University of Melbourne, where he graduated with a Master of Laws. He was admitted to the Bar in 1951 and was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1965.

During his career, he sat on several boards and 17 Royal Commissions, on four of which he was the Chairman. The most famous of these was the Aboriginal Land Rights Commission in 1973–74. He was President of the Trade Practices Tribunal 1974–76 and a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia 1977–90.

As Director-General of Security between 1976 and 1981, he headed the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

He was a member of Camberwell Grammar School Council between 1972 and 1987 and Chairman in 1987. He was made a Life Governor of the school in 2002.

In 1990 he succeeded Sir Roy Douglas Wright as Chancellor of his alma mater, the University of Melbourne, a post he held until 2001.

He died at 81 years old.[1]


He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1969, for service as Royal Commissioner into the Stevedoring Industry.[2] He was made a Knight Bachelor in 1982 and Companion of the Order of Australia in 2001.

He declined the governorship of Victoria on the grounds that he did not think it was appropriate for an atheist to hold the position.[3][4]


  1. ^ 16 April 2010 12:00AM (16 April 2010). "The Australian, 16 April 2010". Theaustralian.com.au. Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  2. ^ It's an Honour: OBE
  3. ^ "Edward Woodward". History.law.unimelb.edu.au. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-26. 
  4. ^ "7.30 Report - 11/10/2005: Terrorist threat heightened, former spy boss says". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 2011-02-26. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Frank Mahony
Director-General of Security
Succeeded by
Harvey Barnett
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Roy Wright
Chancellor of the University of Melbourne
Succeeded by
Fay Marles