In early February, her Majesty the Queen approved the appointment of Churchie Old Boy, the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, as the 26th Governor of Queensland, the second Old Boy to be appointed to this office.
The Chief Justice is following in the steps of Old Boy Sir Alan Mansfield (1915) who was Queensland’s Chief Justice from 1956 and then Governor of Queensland from 1966 to 1972.
Chief Justice de Jersey generously took the time to talk with Eagles’ Wings about his appointment and his days at Churchie. Below is Paul's recound of the event.
I have very fond memories of my time at Churchie. It was pivotally important in both my academic and social development. Primary and secondary education are defining and the Churchie stage was especially so in my case.
A life of distinction
I remember then Headmaster Harry Roberts defining a gentleman as ‘someone who never causes anybody else any trouble’. I suspect I have caused a lot of trouble over my subsequent years but I hope I might still be characterised as a gentleman.
He said in my exit statement, as they are now known that ‘with ordinary luck he will have a distinguished career’. I’ve had more than an ordinary share of good luck and am very proud as a Churchie Old Boy to be the second Governor of Queensland who can boast that lineage, and I hope some of the glory reflects back to the School to which I owe so much.
I believe humility, tolerance and a capacity for hard work are key attributes needed for the role. I see the role as importantly focused on the welfare and wellbeing of each and every Queenslander. Life is pretty good in the Sunshine State. I’ll be doing my best to maintain and enhance that.
I would like to promote inclusiveness and further steps along the road to reconciliation between Indigenous and the non-Indigenous people of Queensland. I’d also like to promote the interests, in particular, of regional Queenslanders who do not have access to all the resources that are so abundant here in the south-east corner.
There have been three great surprises in my professional life. The first was when I was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court at the tender age of 36. The second was when I was appointed Chief Justice when I was the comparatively tender age of 49 and now finally being appointed at the age of 65 as Governor of Queensland.
Each of those happenings was a matter of enormous surprise and great honour.
2014 To be sworn in as Queensland’s 26th Governor on 29 July
2013 Chair, Queensland Institute of Medical Research Council
2008 Honorary Doctorate from the University of Southern Queensland
2003 Awarded a Centenary Medal from the University of Queensland
2000 Appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia. Honorary Doctorate from the University of Queensland
1998 Appointed Chief Justice