Chief Judge Don Brebner AM

Chief Judge Don Brebner was elected National President of ACPC in March 1985 and held that office until August 1987.
He had been admitted to legal practice in South Australia in 1950 and became a judge of the Local and District Criminal Court of South Australia on 17 May 1973. At first he served in the then Planning Appeal Board but was later transferred to the general jurisdictions of the court in April 1978 He became Senior Judge, later Chief Judge, on 21 March 1985 where he served until his retirement in 1997.He played a leading role in the establishment of the Courts Administration Authority and in the construction of the Samuel Way Building. Away from the law, he was president of the South Australian Football League from 1966- 1978, a period when football moved to what came to be Football Park. He was awarded a membership of the Order of Australia in 1988.
Chief Judge Brebner became National President at a difficult time for ACPC As a result of withdrawal of Commonwealth funding, the paid Secretariat closed in late 1984 and for a time its the future appeared to be in doubt. The proposed biennial conference planned for Melbourne was abandoned and both the National President and the Senior Vice President resigned. The Branches however decided to keep ACPC alive as a National body and arrangements were made to review the Constitution. On Judge Brebner’s election as President it was decided that the next national Conference would be held in Adelaide and the SA Branch committed to hold the next National conference.
Notwithstanding that ACPC no longer had the assistance of paid staff, its work continued, the Journal continued to be published, and Branches remained in some, but not all, States.
Under Chief Judge Brebner’s presidency the Fourteenth National conference of ACPC, held in Adelaide between 10th and 13th August 1987, and opened by the Governor General, Sir Ninian Stephen, was undertaken in conjunction with conferences of the World Society of Victimology and the International Prisoners Aid Association.
ACPC was greatly indebted to Judge Brebner for his important contribution to its continuation and development during his term of office.
He died on 27 November 2010.
[extract from CAA Newsletter, December 2010]


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