• Lincoln Crowley will be the first Indigenous judge to preside over an Australian superior court. (AAP)Source: AAP
A war memorial dedicated to First Nations servicemen and women has been unveiled in Brisbane as the state welcomes Australia's first Indigenous Supreme Court Judge, Lincoln Crowley QC.
27 May 2022 - 4:39 PM  UPDATED 27 May 2022 - 5:26 PM

Queensland's first war memorial dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and the appointment of the state's first Indigenous Supreme Court judge, has marked the start of National Reconciliation Week.

The unveiling comes on the same day as an announcement that Lincoln Crowley QC has been appointed as Queensland's first Indigenous Supreme Court judge.

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"I'm advised by the Attorney General's office that this may be an Australian first," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk Palaszczuk said.

Mr Crowley is the chair of the Bar Association of Queensland's Indigenous Barristers Committee and has previously been a Crown Prosecutor for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions in Sydney.

He was also a Principal Crown Prosecutor for the Queensland Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on the Sunshine Coast, and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2018.

"It makes our country great, we're all equal, and to see this happen, I can't wipe the smile off my face," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Hopefully it is the sign of many more to come."

Tony McEvoy SC a Wirdi man from Queensland has known Justice Crowley since he was a law clerk.

Mr McEvoy was the first Aboriginal person in Australia appointed as a senior counsel in 2015.

"Relief that finally, we have a First Nations person in a superior court of this country."

"I think that the whole of the Judiciary will benefit from having First Nations people with the life experience of what our experience of this system is, and being able to understand that and truly ensure that it forms part of the decision making process.

"There's a great need for further diversity on the benches of the various courts around Australia. "

Mr McEvoy said Justice Crowley will bring a level of understanding that the Supreme Court of Queensland "currently doesn't have".

"He's an excellent lawyer and a very talented advocate and has great compassion for all people and I think many people saw that in his work for the disability Royal Commission where he led the First Nations work in that court." 

"So it's a great loss to the to the bar, to the legal profession, but it's a great addition to the bench to have Justice Crowley."

War memorial unveiled

The bronze memorial, designed by Wakka Wakka artist John Smith Gumbula and Gold Coast-based sculptor Liam Hardy, features four military personnel and two dancers representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

Ms Palaszczuk said the memorial was long overdue at an unveiling ceremony at Brisbane's Anzac Square.

"You can see by the faces of the veterans how significant this is, not just for our First Nations people but for Queenslanders as a whole," Ms Palaszczuk said.

The ceremony at the Brisbane memorial was attended by about 200 First Nations Elders, Australian Defence Force representatives, veterans and project partners.

The government partnered with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dedicated Memorial Committee Queensland to support the project.