Appointment of the Hon David Harper AM

Appointment of the Hon David Harper AM

The Directors of Kooyoora Ltd have appointed the Hon David Harper AM as the Professional Standards Ombudsman for the dioceses of Melbourne and Bendigo

After graduating in Arts (Hons) (1965) and Law (1967) from The University of Melbourne, David Harper joined the Victorian Bar in 1970, and was appointed Queens Counsel in 1986.  

He was Chairman of the Victorian Bar Council (1990-1991), and was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1992, becoming a member of the Appeal Division of that Court in 2009.  

He retired in June 2013.  

He was President of the Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (VACRO) between 1995 and 2012, after which he became – and remains – one of its patrons. He was President of the Victorian Branch of the International Commission of Jurists (1992-1999), President of the Graduate Union of The University of Melbourne (1997-1999), a part-time Commissioner of the Victorian Law Reform Commission (1991-1992 and 2001-2008), and President of the Judicial Conference of Australia (2010-2012).  

He was chair of the International Humanitarian Law Committee of the Australian Red Cross (Victoria) between 2001 and 2015, and remains a member of that committee. He was a Senior Fellow and Judge in Residence at the Law School of The University of Melbourne for the second semester of the 2014 academic year, and an acting judge of the Supreme Court of Tasmania in November and December 2014.  

Between 1 June and 27 November 2015 he was the chair of a panel appointed to advise the Victorian Government on the management of serious violent offenders who if unconditionally released post-sentence would pose a danger to the community.   The panel recommended the establishment of a Post Sentence Authority, to which he was appointed as Deputy Chair for six months between April and October 2018.  

Between April and August 2017 he and Ken Lay AO, now Lieutenant Governor of Victoria, conducted an inquiry for the Victorian Government into the most effective means of combating the threat of terrorist violence.   

He became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2008 for service to law reform, the judiciary, international humanitarian law and the community.  He is a member of the Boards of a number of Not-for-Profit entities, including Court Network and The Northcote Trust.