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Bernard Quinn KC Chairman Hawthon commission
Bernard Quinn KC

In early October, the AFL finally appointed their four person panel to investigate the racism allegations against Hawthorn, the then coach Alastair Clarkson and assistant Chris Fagan. Attorney Bernard Quinn, KC [King's Counsel], will head the panel and be joined by experienced barristers Jacqualyn Turfrey, Julie Buxton, and Tim Goodwin. Quinn has experience in commercial, public law and product liability law and extensive experience with class action suits. He was involved with the investigations in the Black Saturday bush fires. He also served as an associate to a justice in the High Court.

Jacqualyn Turfrey, Barrister, has extensive experience in multiple areas in commercial law and criminal law. She also worked in family and children's courts. She is an accredited mediator with experience in workplace disputes, community disputes, commercial disputes, and children's matters.  Ms Turfrey is a proud Palawa woman (Tasmania). Tim Goodwin, Barrister, specializes in commercial and public law with experience across commercial law, administrative law, government advice work, regulatory actions, and native title and land rights work.  He has experience in federal court and serves on a number of boards including the Human Rights Law Center.  He is a member of the Yuin people of the South East Coast of New South Wales.

Julie Buxton, Barrister, works in commercial, public administrative law and criminal law, with a diversity of legal, commercial and policy experience gained across the private, government and not-for-profit sectors.  She began in commercial litigation before moving into property, planning and environmental law. She also has an extensive human rights practice, having been the human rights and youth justice adviser to Victoria’s Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, a senior advisor of the Koori Justice Unit within Victoria’s Department of Justice, and has worked with the United Nations Serious Crimes Unit in Timor-Leste (East Timor).  She won the 2016 Churchill Fellowship to study international models of truth-telling and reconciliation with indigenous peoples. 

In a statement, the AFL said they were hoping to finalize the investigation by December, (date unspecified) with the report and recommendations to be made public. AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon said it was vital that the panel worked independently of the AFL and included people with diverse backgrounds, “These are very serious allegations, and it is important that we have an independent panel that is able to hear the perspectives of all involved and to provide natural justice to those making the claims and those who have had claims made against them ... The four-person panel, with their diverse backgrounds ... will also have the ability to bring in additional outside expertise, whether that be in cultural safety, football administration, or any other area the panel believes extra resource is needed.”

Source:, Jay Allen, AFL Media Release

Article last changed on Saturday, October 08, 2022 - 9:01 AM EDT

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