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Former magistrate appointed dean of law

A former magistrate and a widely experienced lawyer has been appointed the new dean of law at Southern Cross University.

user iconLauren Croft 17 August 2022 Big Law
Former magistrate appointed dean of law
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After spending over a decade as a founding member of Southern Cross Law School in the 1990s, David Heilpern returns as the dean of law.

Mr Heilpern brings a wide variety of legal experience to his new role; he was the youngest magistrate in Australia when first appointed in 1998 and continued through to 2020, sitting in the criminal, mining, family, industrial, coronial and children’s jurisdictions of the NSW Local Court; and was the senior civil magistrate for five years, and during his time on the bench, Mr Heilpern was the principal educator for new magistrates throughout Australia and the Pacific.


“For me, in part it is a bit of unfinished business, as I believe deeply in the role Southern Cross can play in our profession,” he said.

“I love the law, its intricacy, utility and force as an agent of change and justice. To study law can and should be a joy and delight — that is my mission.”

As the new dean and head of discipline, Mr Heilpern is passionate about forging stronger ties with professional practice and attracting more students through Southern Cross’s three-year law degree and its pathway associate degree.

“I am passionate about legal education and Southern Cross seeks to ensure students are stimulated, excited and fulfilled in their journey through the law,” he added.