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​First NSW Aboriginal JP Barbara Cohen retires after 38 years as a clerk

After working with the Department of Justice for a total of 38 years, staff at Dubbo Courthouse bid a warm farewell to colleague Barbara Cohen this week as she heads into retirement.

Barbara or 'Barbie' as she's fondly known, was the youngest and first Aboriginal Justice of the Peace (JP) in NSW, and has been a friendly and familiar face at the courthouse since starting her career as a  clerical officer for the Sheriff's Office in 1962.

During her time at the Department, she had worked at the courthouse "on and off" across the years, taking a break from the role when she worked with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (which later became ATSIC), returning to familiar territory as an account clerk in 2001.

No doubt there are many stories and memories Barbara has from her 38 years at the at the Department, and when asked what she has enjoyed most, Barbara said "everything".

"The staff are lovely, you're meeting people all the time, and it can be stressful but rewarding," she said. "It has been a very interesting role and a very busy place. You learn so much, and at the same time realise there's so much more to learn all the time."

Barbara's colleagues have said she has played a vital role in the delivery of excellent client service, is a wonderful ambassador for the Dubbo Court and is greatly loved and appreciated by staff and the court network.