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HINCHCLIFFE, Hon Timothy Alexander CBE (1946-2009)

HINCHCLIFFE, Hon Timothy Alexander CBE (1946-2009)

Tim Hinchcliffe, New Guinea Judge, was notable for his work with indigenous people in both Australia’s Northern Territory and in New Guinea. The son of Alan Richards Hinchliffe (1913-1999), he first entered the College in 1950 continuing with his education at the School until 1964. At College, he swam in the 1959 Swimming Team but commenced rowing soon after and this proved to be his dominant sporting interest at school as he was eventually to become a member of the 1st Rowing VIII from 1962 to 1964 and Boat Captain in 1964. He also enjoyed football and, in 1963 and 1964, played in the 2nd Football XVIII and earned House Cricket Colours in 1964. In 1963 he was a House Prefect before, in 1964 becoming a School Prefect, House Captain of Shannon and a Cadet Corps Sergeant.

Tim Hinchcliffe, Magistrate, Northern Territory, 1986.

Tim Hinchcliffe, Magistrate, Northern Territory, 1986.

After leaving College he studied law at Melbourne University, was a resident at Queen’s College and rowed in the crew there. He graduated in 1972 and signed the bar roll on 13 February, 1975. He read with Frank Dyett before establishing his own practice from which, in 1982 at the age of 36, he was appointed as the youngest Magistrate up to that time in the Northern Territory. During the time in his own practice, he also served on the Bar Council, on the Ethics Committee and on the Police-Lawyers Liaision Committee. He later worked in Alice Springs before being appointed in February 1987 as a Judge of the Supreme and National Court, New Guinea, where he worked in rural areas including Lae (1987-1998) and Mt Hagen in the Highlands (1999-2009). He served in the National and Supreme Court System for 22 years and became the Senior Puisne Judge. In 1995 he was awarded a CBE for ‘outstanding services to justice and the community’.

During his years in Papua New Guinea, Tim served on many judiciary services committees in various capacities, "was deputy Defence Force judge (1997 - 2001) and lecturer (Ethics) at the Legal Training Institute. He also served on many community based committees including the Papua New Guinea Scouts and Girl Guides Associations, Cancer Relief Society, was patron of Bridge Ministries Half-Way House in Lae, and president of the RSPCA in PNG, the Morobe Red Cross and the Papua-Melbourne Cricket Club. In 1998 he was made a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International and in 2000 awarded PNG's 25th Anniversary Medal.

Tim died in Brisbane, while still in office, on 20 March, 2009. Following funeral services at Mt Hagen, Port Moresby and All Saints Anglican Church, Geelong he was interred at Geelong East Cemetery. His father rowed in the crews of 1930 and 1931 and both his brothers David and John also attended the College.

Sources: Ad Astra December 1986 p 3; The Victorian Bar News 3 April 2009.
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