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FULLAGAR, Richard Kelsham (1926-2001)

FULLAGAR, Hon Justice Richard Kelsham (1926-2001)

Hon Justice Richard Fullagar.

Hon. Justice Richard Fullagar.

Supreme Court Judge of Victoria for nineteen years and Chairman of the Victorian Bar Council, Hon. Richard Fullagar was a member of an illustrious legal family.

He was the son of Sir Wilfred Kelsham Fullagar KBE (1892-1961) a notable member of the Victorian Supreme Court and the High Court of Australia and Marion Frederica Dorothea nee Lovejoy. Richard attended Trinity Grammar School and Scotch College, Melbourne before commencing at the Geelong College Preparatory School as a boarder in 1937 at the age of 10. In 1939, he won the Harry Purnell Memorial Prize as Dux of the Preparatory School. In his final year at the School, 1943, he was a sergeant of the Cadet Corps and a member of the 1st rowing VIII. In an Ad Astra interview he said that his greatest triumph was top-scoring for the Preparatory School Cricket XI against Bostock House.

After College he studied law at Melbourne University but only completed his first year before enlisting in the RAN in February, 1945 where he served as a midshipman until his discharge from HMAS Lonsdale in March, 1946. He returned to study, graduating LLB in 1948 and LLM in 1949 and was admitted to practice in October, 1949. In 1953, he married June Harris of Cobram. They had three children. He was later called to the Bar in other jurisdictions including; Tasmania (1957), Singapore (1967) and New South Wales (1969). His early practice in property and equity soon gave way to industrial property including cases of patent law. In 1964, he became a barrister and by 1974 was vice-chairman of the Bar Council, a Director of Equity Trustees and in 1975 president of the Medico Legal Society. In 1975 he was appointed to the Supreme Court where he worked assiduously until his retirement from the court in 1994. That same year he became chairman of the solicitor’s disciplinary body, the Solicitors’ Board also becoming chairman of its successor body, the Legal Profession Tribunal in 1997.

Hon. Richard Fullagar was inducted into the Old Geelong Collegians' Association Notables Gallery at Geelong College in 2011.

Sources: Ad Astra April 1992 p 16; Pegasus; The Age (Melb) 1 Dec 2001.

Richard Fullagar, 1937 (Rowing)

Richard Fullagar, 1937 (Rowing)

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