For he’s a jolly good (Honorary) Fellow!

December 11th 2013

John ColdreyAround the Institute, he is known fondly as a source of endless amusing anecdotes and sharp-witted speeches at many of VIFM’s social occasions.

Recently, however, the Chair of the VIFM Council the Honourable John Coldrey QC was recognised somewhat more formally for his stellar career and achievements in law with an Honorary Fellowship from Monash University. The ceremony which was held in Melbourne on the 25th November,  acknowledged distinguished leaders of various fields, from business to sport, and education to the arts, with the presentation of seven Fellowships and three Honorary Fellowships.

The Monash University Fellowship is an honour awarded by the Council of the University in recognition of the achievements that alumni have made and continue to make through their professional distinction and outstanding service. Honorary Fellowships are awarded to individuals who are not Monash graduates.

John was educated at Essendon High School, and at Melbourne University where he was awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws.

At the University he edited the law student’s magazine ‘Summons’, and represented the University in Intervarsity hockey. He also worked part-time as fruit picker, aircraft cleaner, labourer with the Victorian Railways, waiter, shop assistant, and English teacher at Essendon High School.

He was Counsel Assisting the Inquiry into Allegations Against Members of the Victorian Police Force in 1975-76. He took up the role of Director of Legal Services for the Central Land Council in the Northern territory, presenting claims for aboriginal land title (including Uluru) in 1982-84.

In 1984 he was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions for Victoria, and he chaired the Consultative Committee on Police Powers of Investigation, which resulted in the requirement that Police interrogations be electronically recorded.

Between 1991 to 2008 he was Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

In 2004 he was awarded the gold medal of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law in recognition of his contribution towards criminal law reform.

He is currently the Chair of the Council of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and a judicial member of the Adult Parole Board of Victoria.

He is an honorary life member of the Criminal Bar Association of Victoria and the Melbourne University Sports Union.

His hobbies were hockey and yachting, but they have been reduced to walking, writing and travel.


Read more about the Monash University Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship Awards 2013: