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On the Couch
28 August, 2009  
Wayne Martin

One of Australia’s liveliest Chief Justices, Wayne Martin from WA, slips onto the couch and lets his fears, regrets and fantasies all hang out


imageWayne Stewart Martin became Chief Justice of Western Australia on May 1, 2006.

He was born on December 28, 1952 and attended North Perth Primary School and Christchurch Grammar School.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (1st class hons.) in 1973 from the University of WA and was an articled clerk with Lavan & Walsh, Perth.

He completed a Master of Laws from the University of London in 1975 and was admitted to practice in WA in 1977.

After being a senior litigation partner with Keall Brinsden, Perth, he joined the independent bar in 1988 and was gonged with silk in 1993.

From 2001-2003, he was counsel assisting the HIH Royal Commission in Sydney.

He was President of the WA Bar Association from 1996-1999, Chairman of Law Reform Commission of WA from 1996-2001, President of the Law Society in 2006 and a director of the Law Council of Australia in the same year.

In recent pronouncements Wayne Martin has supported juries sitting with judges, the web streaming of trial highlights and greater access to court documents.

He recently ruled that a nursing home is not legally required to continue feeding a quadriplegic man against his wishes.

He climbed onto Justinian’s therapeutic couch, closed his eyes and let himself drift …

Describe yourself in three words.
Gregarious, reformist, demanding.

What are you currently reading?
Black Glass” by Dr Kate Auty.

What’s your favourite film?
To Kill A Mockingbird.

Whom or what do you fantasise about?
Being in the barrel of a three metre wave at Northpoint, Gracetown.

What stimulants do you recommend?
Moondah Brook Verdelho.

What is your most recognised talent?
Putting people at ease (in fact, to sleep).

What is your greatest fear?
Not reducing the appalling rate of Aboriginal imprisonment in Western Australia.

What words or phrases do you overuse?
I have a thirst you could photograph.”

What is your greatest regret?
Not spending more time with my elder kids when they were growing up.

Whom do you envy and why?
Murray Gleeson – every word is perfect.

What is your most disturbing personal obsession?
Over preparation and planning.

What’s your most glamorous feature?
My wife.

If you were a foodstuff, what would you be?
Potato chips – I have eaten too many.
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What human quality do you most distrust?
Sycophancy.

What would you change about Australia?
Indigenous disadvantage.

Whom or what do you consider overrated?
Exercise.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Exercise.

How would you like to die?
Blowing out the candles on my 100th birthday.

What would your epitaph say?
He gave it his best shot”.

What comes into your mind when you shut your eyes and think of the word “law”?
Norder.