Her Honour the Honorable Sally Thomas AC

Her Honour the Honorable Sally Thomas ACHer Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas, AC was sworn in as the 20th and first female Administrator of the Northern Territory on 31 October 2011. Her Honour was born in Cambridge, England and migrated to Sydney, Australia with her parents in 1945 where she attended Hornsby Girls High School. Her Honour studied law and in 1963 was admitted as a legal practitioner to the Supreme Court of New South Wales and subsequently to the High Court of Australia.

Her Honour was a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory from 1992 to 2009, Her Honour was the first female Judge in the Northern Territory. During the immediate period following her retirement from the Supreme Court, Her Honour played an active role in the community as patron, president and chairperson of numerous organisations.

Her Honour first came to the Northern Territory in 1978 to take up an appointment as Stipendiary Magistrate from Sydney where she had been a partner and solicitor in a legal firm. Her Honour served as Magistrate and then Chief Magistrate of the Northern Territory, a position she held from 1986 to 1992.

Her Honour has a strong interest in the tertiary education of Territorians and was Deputy Chairman of the Northern Territory College of Queensland University and then a Member of the then Northern Territory University Council from 1989 to 2003. In 2003 the Northern Territory University changed its name and became part of the expanded Charles Darwin University. Her Honour was appointed to the Council of Charles Darwin University and elected Deputy Chancellor. Her Honour was appointed Chancellor of the University on 1 January 2010 and held the position of Chancellor until December 2015.

Her Honour’s career has not been limited to the judicial system, she was Chair of the Legal Aid Commission from 1990 to 1996, Chair of the Northern Territory Winston Churchill Fellowship Committee from 1992 to 2004 and in 2004 she was appointed Deputy National Chair Fellowship, of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

In June 2000 Her Honour was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the community, particularly through the Northern Territory Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship Committee, to tertiary education, and to the law. Her Honour continues to hold an interest in these fields.

In January 2014 Her Honour was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the people of the Northern Territory, particularly to the judiciary and social justice, to the advancement of women in the legal profession, to youth, and to the promotion and development of tertiary education.