The records maintained by the Queensland Justices Association, in particular the periodic member publication - originally called The Queensland Magistrate, then JP, Justice and the JP and more recently the QJA Journal - is the primary source for the content of this review of QJA’s first century of existence.

History of the QJA - the first decade

The Queensland Justices Association was established a few short years after the introduction of the Justices Act Amendment Act 1909 which terminated the somewhat prestigious adjudicating role previously performed by some justices of the peace (as honorary magistrates in respect of minor judicial matters) and allowed only legally trained (and salaried) magistrates to perform these duties.

As revealed in the following extract from the Brisbane Courier, on 17 September 1918, a meeting was called to form a membership association for Queensland justices of the peace. This was just a few weeks before the signing of the Armistice to end World War I.


Whether this JP association was established as an advocacy group to lobby the government for a restoration of their lost judicial function is a matter of conjecture, as available records are silent on this issue. However, it is apparent from the title and content of the periodic membership publication (The Queensland Magistrate – started in 1919) that judicial matters were virtually the sole consideration of the QJA leaders and members in the association’s formative years.
The composition of the inaugural QJA Council was a potpourri of Queensland’s social, political and business personalities. 

Key People

QJA’s first President was former Mayor of Brisbane and Official Chief Magistrate, Ald John W Hetherington who held the position for just the first year. 

The Presidents to follow Hetherington during the first decade were W E Moxon, A L Petrie, E Griffith Oxley, F W Sabine and S M Newman, each of whom served for two years.

While holding the office of QJA President in 1921 and 1922, Andrew Lang Petrie (a member of one of the most prominent pioneer families of Brisbane) was also a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). Mr Petrie held the seat of Toombul/Hamilton for 32 years (1893-1925). He died in 1928.

The initial QJA Patron was the sometimes controversial Sir Pope Alexander Cooper, Queensland Chief  Justice (1903-1922),  University of Queensland Chancellor (1915-1922) and intermittent Lieutenant-Governor.

In 1924, a nineteen year old Thomas Alfred Hiley replaced the inaugural QJA Registrar, S R F Allom (who held the position for the first six years). Mr Hiley would remain in the Registrar’s chair for the next twenty- two years (finishing in 1945).
In April 1944, Hiley was elected to the Legislative Assembly as the member for Logan. He was later to represent Coorparoo (1950-60) and Chatsworth (1960-66) and become leader of the Liberal Party. In 1957 the Country Party-Liberal Party coalition took office, with Frank Nicklin as Premier and Hiley as State Treasurer, a portfolio he held until stepping down in 1965. He was knighted in 1966.


Images of this era

WW1 Peace celebrations - Brisbane 1918

Tivoli Theatre - Brisbane 1920's

Brisbane Tram - 1920's

Brisbane City Hall - 1920's


Watch the full presentation of the History of the QJA by John Carpendale at QJA's Centennial State Conference in 2018

Download the full print edition of the history of the QJA - "QJA Across the Generations" by John Carpendale.