First Parliamentary Counsel

Peter Quiggin portrait

Peter Alan Quiggin PSM

On 14 May 2004, the Attorney-General announced the appointment of Peter Quiggin as First Parliamentary Counsel. This appointment was extended on 30 March 2011 for a further 7 years. A further 5 year extension commenced on 14 May 2018.  Mr Quiggin was awarded a Public Service Medal in the Australia Day 2008 Honours.

2004

Former First Parliamentary Counsel

Hilary Penfold portrait

Hilary Penfold PSM, QC, Centenary Medal

The Honourable Hilary Penfold joined OPC in 1977 and was appointed as First Parliamentary Counsel in 1993. She was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2001 and was appointed a Commonwealth Queen’s Counsel in 2001. In 2004 she was appointed Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Parliamentary Services. In 2008 she was appointed as a judge of the ACT Supreme Court and retired from that position in 2018.

1993 to 2004
Ian Turnbull portrait

Ian Maclean Lindsay Turnbull QC

Ian Turnbull joined the Attorney-General’s Department in 1968, following a number of years of drafting and other legal work overseas. He was appointed as First Parliamentary Counsel in 1986 and appointed a Queen’s Counsel for the Australian Capital Territory in 1989. He retired as First Parliamentary Counsel in 1993.

1986 to 1993
Geoff Kolts portrait

Geoff Kolterman Kolts OBE, QC

Geoff Kolts joined the Attorney-General’s Department in 1955. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1978. He was appointed as First Parliamentary Counsel in 1981 and appointed a Queen’s Counsel for the Australian Capital Territory in 1982. After retiring as First Parliamentary Counsel in 1986, he was the Commonwealth Ombudsman until he retired from that position in 1987.

1981 to 1986
Bronte Quayle portrait

Bronte Clucas Quayle CB, OBE, QC, Star of Pakistan

Bronte Quayle joined the Attorney-General’s Department in 1950. In 1962, he was awarded the Star of Pakistan by the Government of Pakistan. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1969. He was appointed as First Parliamentary Counsel in 1977 and appointed a Queen’s Counsel for the Australian Capital Territory in 1978. He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1979. He retired as First Parliamentary Counsel in 1981.

1977 to 1981
Charles Comans portrait

Charles Kennedy Comans CBE, OBE, QC

Charles Comans joined the Attorney-General’s Department in 1938. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1965. He was appointed as First Parliamentary Counsel in 1972 and appointed a Commonwealth Queen’s Counsel in 1974. After retiring as First Parliamentary Counsel in 1977, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

1972 to 1977
John Ewens portrait

John Qualtrough Ewens CMG, CBE, OBE, QC

John Ewens joined the Attorney-General’s Department in 1933 and was appointed as Parliamentary Draftsman in 1949. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1955, a Commander of that Order in 1959 and a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1971. He was appointed as the inaugural First Parliamentary Counsel in 1970 before retiring as First Parliamentary Counsel in 1972. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel for the Australian Capital Territory in 1984.

1949 to 1972
Martin Boniwell portrait

Martin Charles Boniwell CBE

Martin Boniwell joined the Attorney-General’s Department in 1912. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1936 and was appointed as Public Service Arbitrator in 1939. He acted as Parliamentary Draftsman from 1946 and was appointed to the position in 1948. He retired as Parliamentary Draftsman in 1949.

1946 to 1949
George Knowles portrait

Sir George Shaw Knowles CBE, OBE, MA, LLM

Sir George Knowles joined the Attorney-General’s Department in 1907. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1919 and a Commander of the Order in 1928. He was appointed as Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department, Parliamentary Draftsman and Solicitor-General in 1932. He was knighted in 1939. In 1946 he retired from his public service positions and was appointed as Australia’s first High Commissioner to South Africa.

1932 to 1946
Robert Garran portrait

Sir Robert Randolph Garran GCMG, KCMG, CMG, KC

Sir Robert Garran was appointed as Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department and Parliamentary Draftsman at Federation in 1901, when he was also made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George. In 1916 he was appointed as Solicitor-General. He was knighted in 1917 and made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1920. After retiring from the public service in 1932 he took silk in New South Wales, and was awarded the Knight Grand Cross in 1937.

1901 to 1932