Dr Melissa Anne Perry QC – who is of Greek Cypriot background – was sworn in as a judge of the Federal Court of Australia on Monday night. Dr Perry has followed in her father John’s footsteps, who was also a judge in the Supreme Court of South Australia.
Dr Perry is the granddaughter of a Greek Cypriot immigrant who came to Australia in the ’20s and worked as a docker. Her grandfather came from Egkomi. His surname was Pieri and he changed it to Perry.
Her appointment was announced in August and she will serve in the Sydney Registry. Dr Perry is praised for her native title experience as well as her specialisation in constitutional and administrative law.
“The swearing in ceremony was very emotional and at least twice, the speakers who presented Dr Perry mentioned her Cypriot roots”, said Michael Christodoulou, President of the Federation of Cypriot Communities of Australia and New Zealand, who attended the event.
Dr Perry in recent years has developed close relations with the Cypriot community, and became a member of the Cyprus Community of NSW. She had also met the former President of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr Dimitris Christofias, when he officially visited Australia in May 2011.
Dr Perry was admitted to the Supreme Court of South Australia as a barrister and solicitor in 1985. She graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) earlier that year. In 1986, following completion of her degree, Dr Perry was Associate to the Hon Justice Matheson at the Supreme Court of South Australia. In 1988 she completed a Master of Laws and in 1995, was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy, at the University of Cambridge, where she won the Yorke Prize for her doctorate in public international law.
Dr Perry went to the Bar in 1992 and since that time has practised primarily in constitutional law, administrative law and native title. She was appointed Queens Counsel in 2004 and was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in 2012.
Dr Perry was a Visiting Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge for three months 2005-06, and a part-time Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian National University in 2003. She is currently a member of various legal and academic organisations, including the Administrative Review Council and the Australian Academy of Law of which she is a Director and Fellow.
Dr Perry is also a Squadron Leader with the Royal Australian Air Force Legal Specialist Reserves.

Neos Kosmos

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