100 years for the Queensland Justices Association
Thank you to Damien Mealey (Registrar and Manager of the Justices of the Peace Branch, Department of Justice and Attorney-General) for the opportunity to publish this article, commemorating 100 years of operation for the Queensland Justices Association (QJA).
What is the QJA?
QJA is the oldest and largest of several Justices of the Peace associations in Queensland. With origins dating back to September 1918, this year represents QJA’s Centennial – 100 years of providing professional assistance and advocacy services to Queensland’s honorary justice community.
Each of QJA’s 6,000+ members takes pride in being an active and committed honorary justice practitioner. In this respect, they value the important role played by QJA in supporting and facilitating their aspirations to be the most accomplished JP or Cdec they can be.
QJA has branches in almost every region of the State. Wherever you reside, there will be a local QJA branch or contact group to encourage and assist all the QJA members in your area. QJA’s objective in establishing the 30+ branches and contact groups is to assemble a team of knowledgeable local practitioners – each an integral part of the QJA family – to guide, sustain and strengthen the network of honorary justices in regional communities.
Supplementing the activities of its regional branch network, QJA provides its members with a quarterly journal, periodic electronic newsletters and access to a comprehensive range of online professional development resources.
All Queensland JPs and Cdecs are eligible to become QJA members.
The QJA Centennial conference
To celebrate its centenary, the QJA is holding an extra-special full-day conference at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday 3 November 2018. Delegates can also choose to participate in a welcome function on the Friday evening and a gala dinner on the Saturday evening.
With the theme of justice across the generations, the business program for this conference will comprise an exciting blend of plenary and break-out sessions, with delegates being offered a menu of 12 diverse, content-rich professional development topics, each featuring very accomplished and highly-regarded presenters.
Attendance at this conference is open to all Queensland JPs and Cdecs. We expect it will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you should not miss.
To register for attendance or to find out more about this significant conference event (or to explore the benefits of QJA membership), visit the QJA website.
Upcoming professional development
The JP Branch’s face-to-face-workshops and online webinars are designed to improve your knowledge and keep your witnessing skills up to date. See the below details for upcoming events in your area.
- South Brisbane 1 November 2018 – Unconscious Bias
- Townsville 8 November 2018 – Unconscious Bias
Register here: workshop calendar
JP’s through the generations
Some professions just run in families. There are the obvious ones – farming, fishing and trades passed down through the generations. It is so common that the ABC aired the series Australian Dynasties chronicling this very phenomenon.
It seems that the role of a JP can also be a calling, evidenced by father and son Anthony and Patrick Mahood.
“I became a Commissioner for Declarations in 1994, and when I told my grandfather he surprised me by saying that he too had been a JP in South Australia,” Tony said.
“Originally I became a Cdec for work, I was employed in the real estate and banking sector, but since my retirement I have been volunteering in the JPs in the Community Program so I thought I would upgrade to JP,” he said.
Having two JPs in the family can come in handy with assisting clients with disabilities, as the Mahoods themselves know too well.
“When a client who is vision impaired comes to us, as a JP I am unable to help them fill out their document and witness it as well,” said Tony.
“But when I’m with my son there is no such problem.”
Patrick has been a JP for a little over a year, seeing the role as something that would complement his studies in business management.
“One thing that my course has brought home is the importance of ethics in all areas,” Patrick said.
“One of the key responsibilities of a JP is the need to act ethically at all times, I just thought it would be a good fit for me.”
On the road
Fulfilling a commitment to better service regional areas in 2018, JP Branch officers have been busy delivering Professional Development sessions and opening signing sites in remote and regional communities.
“It’s important that all JPs and Cdecs recieve professional development, not just those who live in south-east Queensland and major centres,” Brendon Balogh, Community Engagement Officer said.
Just some of the areas that have been visited recently are Stanthorpe, Goondiwindi, St George, Warwick, Toowoomba, Emerald, Mackay, Clermont and Moranbah.
Prior to visiting these areas the local witnessing community were consulted and asked on what topics they would like JP Branch officers to present.
“Each community has issues and needs individual to its area” Brendon said.
“For some it might be issues around witnessing enduring documents, for others it might be land titles or police documents. By asking each community what their issues and priorities are JP Branch is able to build a picture of the needs of each community across the state.”
Be sure to keep an eye on our calendar of upcoming events online.
The JP Branch maintains the register of all Queensland JPs and Cdecs in accordance with Section 13 of the Justices of the Peace and Commissioners for Declaration Act 1991 (the Act).
Section 22 of the Act states that the Registrar must be notified within 30 days of any change to a person’s name or contact details.
The register features a number of JPs and Cdecs without current contact information and while all efforts have been made by JP Branch to discover contact details, a substantial number of JPs and Cdecs cannot be located.
A list of colleagues with inactive details has been prepared and can be accessed here.
To maintain the integrity and accuracy of the JP Branch database and to ensure colleagues receive important information regarding the requirements of office, we would appreciate your assistance to browse the list, identify any colleagues you may recognise and request that they update their contact details as follows:
- through the ‘Update your details’ section on the JP Branch website.
- by email to [email protected] ,or
- by phone on 1300 301 147.
Long Service Awards
JPs and Cdecs, registered in Queensland, who have provided 25, 40, 50, 60 or 70 years of continual service, can be nominated by their Member of Parliament for a long service award.
Long service awards acknowledge the dedication of JPs and Cdecs to their position and are personally signed by the Attorney-General. Once prepared, your award will be presented to you by your MP.
Information taken from Queensland Government Justice Of The Peace Branch Update.