Appointment Of New State Coroner

29 October 2019

Attorney-General Martin Pakula today announced the appointment of County Court Judge Sara Hinchey as the new State Coroner.

Mr Pakula said Judge Hinchey was an outstanding candidate for the position, having appeared before the Coroners Court in some of the state’s most high-profile inquests including the Kerang Rail Disaster, the Broughton Hall Nursing Home Deaths and the Burnley Tunnel Inquest.

She also appeared as the Counsel Assisting the Coroner during the Inquest into the Deaths of Chase and Tyler Robinson.

Her inquisitorial experience also extends to appearances before two Royal Commissions including the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

Judge Hinchey was appointed as a Judge of the County Court in May this year following more than 19 years’ experience as a trial and appellate barrister.

During this time, she also appeared in the higher courts of Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and the ACT, as well as the Federal Court and the High Court of Australia.

Her appointment to the Coroners Court follows the retirement of State Coroner Judge Ian Gray. The Victorian Government would like to thank Judge Gray for his term as State Coroner during which he led the restructure and transformation of the Coroners Court. The government would like to thank Judge Gray for his focus on family violence prevention and communication with families.

Quotes attributable to Attorney General Martin Pakula

“Judge Hinchey is a highly experienced lawyer and advocate, and has significant expertise in inquisitorial proceedings.”

“I congratulate Judge Hinchey on her appointment as Victoria’s new State Coroner and look forward to her continued contribution to the Victorian justice system.”

“I would also like to extend my thanks to Ian Gray for his service and commitment as the State Coroner and previously the Chief Magistrate.”

Reviewed 10 February 2021

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