Five New Appointments To Magistrates’ Court

21 September 2021

The Victorian Government has today appointed five new Magistrates, bringing a wealth of expertise and diverse experience to the state’s busiest court.

Acting Attorney-General Natalie Hutchins congratulated Cecily Hollingworth, Rohan Lawrence, Cynthia Lynch, Jason Ong and Matthew White on their appointments to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.

Cecily Hollingworth has more than 18 years’ experience practising in criminal law in Victoria and interstate, including 12 years as a barrister both prosecuting and defending jury trials. She has appeared in both state and Commonwealth criminal matters, as well as in coronial inquests and WorkSafe hearings.

During her career, Ms Hollingworth has represented vulnerable clients pro bono and undertook a three-month placement at Aboriginal Legal Service WA in Kalgoorlie. She most recently worked as Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Northern Territory.

Rohan Lawrence has worked as a barrister since 2008, appearing in jury trials under both Victorian and Commonwealth criminal legislation as well as public and private hearings conducted by IBAC and other integrity bodies. He previously worked as a solicitor at Clarebrough Pica Barristers and Solicitors and as a volunteer lawyer at Northern Community Legal Service.

Cynthia Lynch has practised as a barrister predominantly in criminal law for the past 11 years, appearing in a range of matters across the Magistrates’, Children’s, County and Supreme Courts, as well as in specialised jurisdictions including the Drug Court and Koori Court. Before this, she worked as a solicitor for seven years.

Ms Lynch has also significantly contributed to the development of junior lawyers as lead counsel for Victoria Legal Aid’s Trial Counsel Development Program and as a mentor for La Trobe University’s legal internship subject and the Victorian Bar’s student engagement program.

Jason Ong has worked in a variety of roles at the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) over the past 18 and a half years, preparing complex criminal law matters in the Magistrates’, Children’s, Coroners, County and Supreme Courts and serving as OPP coordinator for the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants. He was admitted as a lawyer in 2000 and holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University.

Matthew White is an accredited specialist in criminal law and has been principal at Matthew White and Associates for the past 17 years. Before this, he was partner at Grubissa White Barristers and Solicitors, and worked as a solicitor for a range of organisations including the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, the Australian Government Solicitor and Victoria Legal Aid.

Quotes attributable to Acting Attorney-General Natalie Hutchins

“I’m honoured to welcome our five new Magistrates, who each bring with them a depth and diversity of experience and strong commitment to serving the Victorian public.”

“I congratulate them on their well-deserved appointments and look forward to seeing the strong and positive contribution they make to the Magistrates’ Court – delivering better and fairer outcomes for the community.”

Reviewed 21 September 2021

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