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Joseph Harman, Leanne Turner and Commissioner Dominica Whelan have been appointed as Federal Magistrates, the Attorney-General Robert McClelland announced today.The three were chosen from a…

Joseph Harman, Leanne Turner and Commissioner Dominica Whelan have been appointed as Federal Magistrates, the Attorney-General Robert McClelland announced today.

The three were chosen from a field of 67 candidates who were considered after the Government called for expressions of interest and nominations.

Assessing the candidates and making recommendations to the Attorney-General was a panel comprising Chief Federal Magistrate John Pascoe, former Family Court judge Susan Morgan and a senior official of the Attorney-General's Department.

Harman, who begins his appointment in June 2010, has nearly 25 years experience in the law, specialising mostly in family law, and has been the director of the Cottage Specialist Family Law Centre and Penrith Family Mediation Centre since 2008.

Also bringing significant expertise in family law, as a solicitor Turner worked with a variety of firms including the Legal Aid Office, acquiring a comprehensive knowledge of family, criminal, estate and commercial law and civil litigation.

In 2003 Turner became an accredited family law specialist and independent children's lawyer and in 2006 and 2007 she was appointed Appeals Registrar and Regional Coordinating Registrar, respectively.

Whelan, who begins in May 2010, enters the role with broad experience including her most recent role as Commissioner of Fair Work Australia.

A solicitor and barrister, Whelan was appointed as a Commissioner of Fair Work Australia in 2009, having been a Commissioner with the Australian Industrial Relations Commission since 1995.

Prior to that, Whelan was a Commissioner of Comcare and also worked in various positions with the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

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