Margaret Beazley

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Margaret Beazley

39th Governor of New South Wales
Assumed office
2 May 2019 (2019-05-02)
Nominated byGladys Berejiklian
Appointed byElizabeth II
Preceded byDavid Hurley
President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal
In office
1 March 2013 – 27 February 2019
Preceded byJames Allsop
Succeeded byAndrew Bell
Judge of the Federal Court of Australia
In office
1 January 1993 – 28 April 1996
Personal details
Born (1951-07-23) 23 July 1951 (age 68)
Sydney, New South Wales
Spouse(s)Dennis Wilson
ChildrenErin, Lauren and Anthony Sullivan
Alma materUniversity of Sydney

Margaret Joan Beazley, AO, QC (born 23 July 1951) is an Australian jurist who is the 39th and current Governor of New South Wales, serving since 2 May 2019. She was the president of the New South Wales Court of Appeal, the first woman to hold the office, from 2013 until February 2019.[1]

Early life[edit]

Beazley was born in Hurstville, Sydney, one of five children born to Gordon and Lorna Beazley; her father worked as a milkman. She grew up in the suburb of Hurstville, and was educated at Catholic schools – St Declan's Primary School in Penshurst, St Joseph's Girls High School in Kogarah, and Mount Saint Joseph, Milperra.[2] Beazley graduated from the Sydney Law School at The University of Sydney in 1974 in law, with honours.[3][1]


Beazley served her articles of clerkship with Winter & Sharp, and was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1975. She was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1989.[2]

Beazley was a Judicial Member of the Equal Opportunity Tribunal from 1984 to 1988. She was an Acting District Court Judge from 1990 to 1991. From 1991 to 1992, Beazley served as Assistant Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. She was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia from 1993 to 1996, an additional Judge of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory from 1994 to 1997, and a judge of the Industrial Relations Court of Australia from 1994 to 1996.[4]

From 1996 to 2019, she was a Judge of Appeal of the New South Wales Court of Appeal. She was President of the court, the first woman to hold the office, from 2013[5] until February 2019.[6][7]

Beazley has also served on the Australian Executive of Amnesty International (1980).

In January 2019 Beazley accepted the position of 39th Governor of New South Wales,[8] to take over from David Hurley in May.[9] She was sworn in as governor on 2 May 2019.[1][10]

Titles, styles and honours[edit]


Viceregal styles of
Margaret Beazley
Badge of the Governor of New South Wales.svg
Reference styleHer Excellency
Spoken styleYour Excellency

The Governor's style and title in full is: Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley, Officer of the Order of Australia, Queen's Counsel, Governor of the State of New South Wales in the Commonwealth of Australia.

Honours and awards[edit]

In 2006, Beazley was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the judiciary and the law.[3]

Honorary appointments[edit]

Honorary degrees[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Beazley is married to Dennis Wilson. She has three adult children from her first marriage to barrister Alan Sullivan.[14] She and Sullivan were reportedly "the first husband and wife from the private legal profession to become QCs".[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Barlass, Tim (2 May 2019). "New state Governor will hit the ground running". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Margaret Joan Beazley". Australian Women Lawyers. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Sydney Law School alumni named among NSW highest legal counsel". News and events: Sydney Law School. The University of Sydney. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  4. ^ Who's Who in Australia
  5. ^ Alexander, Harriet (20 December 2012). "First female head to run appeal court". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Farewell Ceremony for the Hon Justice Margaret Beazley AO" (PDF). 27 February 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  7. ^ Whitbourn, Michaela (27 February 2019). "Wife, mum, pioneering judge: NSW's next governor farewells court". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  8. ^ Sas, Nick (13 January 2019). "New NSW Governor Margaret Beazley fights back tears as she accepts role". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  9. ^ Berejiklian, Gladys (13 January 2019). "Appointment of The Honourable Justice Margaret Beazley QC AO as Governor" (Press release). Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Vice Regal Program: Thursday, 2 May 2019". Governor of New South Wales. 2 May 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Police Attestation Parade - Class 337". Governor of New South Wales. 3 May 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Understanding the Most Venerable Order of St John" (PDF). Governor of New South Wales. Governor of New South Wales. 12 December 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Honorary Awards: The Hon Justice Margaret Beazley AO". Previous Honorary Award Recipients. The University of Sydney. 23 May 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  14. ^ Matt O'Sullivan (13 January 2019). "'I didn't think I'd be emotional': Margaret Beazley reflects on enormity of role as NSW Governor". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Two wigs have family well covered". The Canberra Times. 5 February 1991.
Government offices
Preceded by
David Hurley
Governor of New South Wales
Legal offices
Preceded by
James Allsop
President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal
Succeeded by
Andrew Bell