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Published date: Thursday, 11 July 2019

[PDF version of this media release]

Attorney General Mark Speakman today announced the appointment of Magistrate Teresa O’Sullivan as the new State Coroner.

Mr Speakman said Magistrate O’Sullivan is the second woman to lead the NSW Coroners Court, following in the footsteps of trailblazer Mary Jerram. 

“Magistrate O’Sullivan’s extensive experience in criminal and coronial jurisdictions, along with her decade on the bench, have prepared her well for her new appointment,” Mr Speakman said.

Her Honour’s 30 year legal career includes roles at Legal Aid offices in Queensland, the Northern Territory and NSW. She also practised at the Marrickville Legal Centre and worked in child protection in London. Magistrate O’Sullivan was appointed to the Local Court bench in 2009 and joined the Coroners Court in 2015.

Mr Speakman said Magistrate O’Sullivan is well respected by her peers and has a reputation for compassion and empathy when handling coronial inquiries and inquests. 

“Her Honour is passionate about reducing the number of preventable deaths in NSW. She has made a number of key recommendations aimed at improving public safety,” Mr Speakman said.

Magistrate O’Sullivan says she is thrilled to have been elevated to the position of State Coroner working alongside five Deputy State Coroners, four of whom are women, at the new state-of-the-art Coroners Court at Lidcombe.  

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead a dedicated team across the state who work tirelessly to improve services and outcomes for bereaved families and are committed to finding ways to prevent future tragedies,” she said. 

“We work hard to make the coronial experience as positive as we can, to ensure those who have lost a loved one feel supported every step of the way.” 

Magistrate O’Sullivan has been acting in the position since the former State Coroner Magistrate Les Mabbutt resigned in December last year. She will commence her new appointment from Monday, 15 July. 

In addition to the five Deputy State Coroners based in Sydney, Local Court magistrates preside over coronial matters in rural and regional NSW.