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Published date: Tuesday 1 May 2018
A ceremony today at NSW Parliament House will pay tribute toJustices of the Peace (JPs) who have been serving the community since Johnny Farnham topped the pop charts with Sadie the Cleaning Lady and the average weekly wage was $57.
Attorney General Mark Speakman said the almost 100 JPs would receive commemorative certificates today after notching up 50 years of service since taking their oaths between July and December 1967. A total of 161 JPs reached the milestone in that period.
“Given the average person spends five years or less in a job, it is absolutely remarkable all these men and women have dedicated 50 years of their lives to being a JP. Together these 161 JPs have delivered 8050 years helping the community at key milestones in their life including applying for a passport, buying a house or accessing superannuation,” he said
JPs serve as independent witnesses to documents people use for official or legal purposes. The primary functions of a JP are to witness a person making a statutory declaration or affidavit, and to certify that a copy of an original document is true and accurate.
There are 95,000 JPs in NSW, with around 2,425 who will have surpassed 50 years of service in 2018. Of those attaining 50 years’ service in 2018, 86 per cent are male and only 14 per cent female. However, among all current JPs the gender balance is nearly 50/50.
Commemorative certificates were first issued in 2012 to honour five decades of service.
“It is important we take the time to stop and thank these amazing volunteers who have worked tirelessly for the majority of their lives to perform legal duties,” Mr Speakman said.
JPs who can’t attend today’s ceremony will have their certificate delivered to their local MPs.
Of the 161 JPs to achieve 50 years of service in the second half of last year, 142 are male and 19 female. The youngest is 71-year-old Karolann Warby from Pittwater. while the oldest JP attending today is 95 -year-old Russell Stevenson from Albury. The Pittwater electorate has seven JPs celebrating 50 years, the most of any electorate in NSW.
People can search for a Justice of the Peace in their area by visiting the online public register of JPs at: www.jp.nsw.gov.au