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Two NSW-based practitioners were appointed to the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court in November.

Former Legal Aid Director Kylie Beckhouse was appointed as judge of the Federal Circuit Court and will commence her new role in the Sydney registry on 30 November. As Director of Family Law at NSW Legal Aid, she was head of one of Australia’s largest family law practices and dispute resolution services and served many years on the Law Society of NSW Family Law and Children’s Legal Issues Committees.

“Ms Beckhouse is a highly respected family law solicitor, known for her drive and interest in improving access to legal services and ensuring these services meet the needs of children, young people, and families,” said President of the Law Society of NSW Richard Harvey.

“Her passion to assist some of the most vulnerable in our community has been a guiding force in her career and will serve her well on the bench of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.”

Judge Thomas Altobelli was elevated from his position on the bench of the Federal Circuit Court to become a judge of the Family Court of Australia. President Harvey noted Judge Altobelli is accredited by the Law Society of NSW as a family law, children’s law and mediation specialist.

“He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Court,” Harvey said.

Harvey congratulated the new judges and said the appointments “could not come at a more crucial time for the courts as they work to overcome significant delays and backlogs in family law matters which have been exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions”.