Janet Viola Coombs AM (1932 - 2022)



Janet Coombs was called to the New South Wales Bar on Friday, 13 March 1959, the eighth woman to be admitted.

In 1997, she was made a member of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM). Until her retirement in 1998, she had the longest-running practice of any woman at the NSW Bar. She was made an honorary life member of the Bar Association in 1998.

During the 1970s, she was co-trustee of a room in Frederick Jordan Chambers, which was made available on a subsidised rent for a year to a woman beginning practice at the Bar.

A portrait of Janet (“One of the Girls”) hangs in the Bar Common Room. In 2009, Janet was interviewed for the Bar Association's oral history program, Pioneering Women 1921-1975.

The Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW holds lunches regularly to continue her tradition of welcoming new female barristers to the Bar.

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