The Honourable Margaret McMurdo AC
Margaret McMurdo AC served as President, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Queensland, July 1998 - March 2017. Ms McMurdo was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2007. She was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 and the Queensland Law Society’s Agnes McWhinney Award in 2006. She was also awarded the degrees of Doctor of the University by Griffith University (2000) and by the Queensland University of Technology (2009) and an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Queensland (2012).
She is a founding fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and is a member of the American Law Institute. She has served as a trustee of Brisbane Girls Grammar School (1994–1998) and as a member of the council of Griffith University (2003–2013). She has been Patron of Women’s Legal Service since 2014, the LawRight Civil Justice Fund since 2015 and Caxton Community Legal Centre since 2017. Ms McMurdo is currently Chair of the Board of Legal Aid Queensland; Chair of the Board of Governors of the Queensland Community Foundation; and Adjunct Professor at both the TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, and the Southern Cross University Law School.
Since December 2018, she has been Commissioner and Chair of the Victorian Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants.
Marisa Vecchio AM
Marisa Vecchio AM is owner of beautiful Hanworth House, one of Brisbane’s oldest residences, awarded the 2014 Qld Heritage Council Gold Award; the John Herbert Memorial Award for most outstanding nomination; and 2015 Premier’s Sustainability Award.
Previously Marisa was a national CEO of Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL) and Quality Innovation Performance Limited (QIP), the leader in primary care accreditation. A business leader and company director for nearly 20 years, Marisa’s acumen was acknowledged when she was named 2004 Queensland Telstra Business Woman of the Year.
Marisa is an avid philanthropist with involvements in: Zonta International, QUT Alumni (President and Council member), WANTZ committee, and active fundraiser for Qld Ballet, Mater Foundation and Women’s Legal Service.
In 2017 Marisa was recognised for her corporate and philanthropic works in being awarded both an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours and the 2017 Queensland Community Foundation’s Community Philanthropist of the Year. QUT honoured her contribution to the University and community in 2019 by awarding her Doctor of the University.
The Owner of PandaPearls Australia Pty Ltd, Amanda’s love of the South Pacific and introduction to the pearling industry started as a child growing up in Papua New Guinea. She was fortunate to be sent to St Margaret’s AGS where, as a boarder she met girls from rural and regional Queensland. It was whilst at school that her entrepreneurial talents were recognised. Her interest in business, adventure and travel culminated in her applying and being selected by the State Government to experience the opening up of China. Thisis where her passion and understanding of the pearl industry commenced into her now business model.
PandaPearls is a retail world of beautiful pearls, antiques and object d’art. Amanda recognised the changes occurring within the retail sector and Pre-COVID chose to ‘do business differently’ where she has an online presence with over 14,000 database customers and enjoys rural and regional shows such as BEEF Australia in Rockhampton. PandaPearls Australia exhibits all around the country at conferences where her products are in demand particularly at nursing and midwifery events.
Her enjoyment of connecting with women by bringing her business to them gives her much pleasure as she travels Australia. Another aspect of her business is philanthropy and her support of charity including the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Women’s Legal Service. In Amanda’s vast 20-year experience in retail she has witnessed, assisted and supported women experiencing varying forms of abuse. The PandaPearls Team are committed to stamping out abuse in all its forms.
Famin graduated in a Bachelor of Laws (first class honours) and Arts from UQ in July 2019. With a full-time job in law lined up for January 2020, Famin began a project called "Famin Makes", where she sews reversible hats and scrunchies and donates all the proceeds to Women's Legal Service Queensland. Since starting full-time work in the law, Famin has continued running the project in her spare time. To date, Famin has raised over $24,000 for Women’s Legal Service. Famin is also passionate about raising awareness about domestic violence, using her platform to inform others on the issue through social media, podcasts and interviews.