There is a motorcade of political and legal heavyweights heading down the Hume Highway en route to Canberra and the High Court of Australia on Monday. This time, the crowd is on its way to cursing NSW’s top lawyer Jacqueline Gleeson to the bench of the seven-man court.
Gleeson has been a judge at the Federal Court of Justice in NSW since 2014 and was announced in October along with Melbourne-based Silk Simon Steward as a substitute for retiring judge Geoffrey Nettle and Virginia Bell. The trustee was sworn in in a low-key COVID-safe ceremony in December with another session on February 1, where family and friends could attend. Gleeson – whose father is a former Supreme Court justice Murray Gleeson – get full shebang on monday. And a good thing also considering the crowd that was scheduled to attend.
Former head of the bank’s Royal Commission Kenneth Hayne – who is also a former Chief Justice of the High Court – was on his way to Canberra for the ceremony on Sunday, as was the NSW Governor Margaret Beazley who was the first female president of the NSW Appeal Court before being appointed to the state’s supreme ceremonial position. Not that Beazley was prepared to talk to the CBD about the trip. And then there’s Gleeson’s actor brother-in-law Eric Bana, who has loyally participated in the other investments of the legal eagle. Considering he was last seen at the premiere of his latest thriller The dry in Sydney is the likelihood that he will bring star power of the kind the institution has never seen before.
It is also worth noting that Gleeson’s appointment has been the cause of celebration at the Government House in Sydney. On February 13, Beazley with her husband Dennis Wilson hosted a dinner for the Supreme Court’s upcoming judge before her official start date on March 1. Lovely.
REX AND THE CITY
It’s day one for the regional airline Rex’s reinvention as a shuttle in the capital. At 7am on Monday, the maiden voyage between Melbourne and Sydney is scheduled to fly from Tullamarine Airport. Kl. At 8.15 the festivities are scheduled to start at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport with a bash led by Rex executives and CEO of Sydney Airport Geoff Culbert – who is no doubt relieved to see more capital flights coming to his COVID-affected airport.
John Sharp, the former federal transport minister now Rex vice president, expected to attend the party with the airline’s previous owners, including airline pioneers Max Hazelton, and head of the Transport Workers’ Union Tony Sheldon. Also on the guest list? Former CEO of Virgin Australia Paul Scurrah. The director has been a gun for hire since Bain Capital’s local boss Mike Murphy led the well-liked CEO out the door and replaced him with former JetStar boss Jayne Hrdlicka – but only after Bain secured the airline with Scurrah’s help at the end of a heavily contested bid. Times, no. As for Scurrah’s invitation to the event, could another role in aviation benefit the performer? Unfortunately, Rex’s representatives were not prepared to comment.
The fact that Rex has someone who responds to his media line is an achievement in itself. After all, it was only two weeks ago that the CBD revealed the airline’s director of business affairs Ben Worsley had gone out of work just three weeks from the big launch and less than four months at Mascot. It turns out he had scored a job – no doubt a better one – in the NSW Department of Education along with Worsley’s former ABC colleagues, including Greg Miskelly and departmental secretary Mark Scott. But he has quickly been replaced at Rex by communications manager Steve Loader who served under Geoff Dixon and James Strong in past lives in Qantas. He started as director of corporate relations last week.