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Exemplar of the legal profession a worthy ‘Outstanding Alumnus of the Year’

Exemplar of the legal profession a worthy ‘Outstanding Alumnus of the Year’

Published:08 February 2018

His Honour Judge Alexander ‘Sandy’ Horneman-Wren SC has been an exemplar of his profession at every stage of his legal career and thoroughly deserves recognition as CQUniversity’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for 2018.

It seems a man who resolves high-stakes legal disputes for a living can also appreciate the finer aspects of cultural life, such as broadly painted brush-strokes evoking a frosty morning.

His Honour Judge Alexander ‘Sandy’ Horneman-Wren SC has a diverse focus on civil matters, human rights, administrative law, and professional discipline.

Away from his busy court roles, he has found time to throw his personal support and skills behind the cultural transformation of his adopted community of Ipswich.

Until recently, he was a long-serving President of the Ipswich Arts Foundation and a Trustee of the Gallery, providing leadership to raise funds, including $100 000 to acquire Elioth Gruner’s renowned and evocative painting, Frosty Morning 1915.

Sandy Horneman-Wren earned his Bachelor of Business degree from CQUniversity predecessor, the Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education.

It’s believed he was the first graduate of the University or its predecessors to attain judicial office in the Australian legal system.

Melissa Misztal, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, says Sandy has been an exemplar of his profession at every stage of his legal career and thoroughly deserves recognition as CQUniversity’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for 2018.

“In December last year, CQUni Brisbane graduates witnessed the conferring of the degree of Honorary Doctor of Laws on this respected legal figure,” Ms Misztal says.

“Sandy is now a Judge of the District Court of Queensland and a Judge of the Children’s Court of Queensland.

“He has previously held roles as a Judge for the Planning and Environmental Court of Queensland, and as Deputy President of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

“Outside professional life, Sandy and his wife, Louise, have engaged extensively in philanthropy in support of the arts, health and education, particularly Indigenous education.”

Sandy Horneman-Wren was born and raised in Rockhampton. In 1985, he enrolled in the undergraduate Bachelor of Business degree at the Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education. He majored in accounting, graduating in 1988 after completing his degree in 1987. In 1992, he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the Queensland University of Technology.

Sandy was called to the Bar in Queensland on 27 April 1993 and immediately commenced private practice. He practiced mainly in the areas of industrial and employment law, and administrative law. He appeared in all State courts, including the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Australia and in the High Court of Australia.

In 2006, Sandy joined with a lecturer and friend from CQUniversity, Gordon Stewart, to publish 2005: A ‘Watershed’ Year in the History of Australian Industrial Relations?.

The paper was presented to a conference of the Pacific Employment Relations Association and was subsequently published in Employment Relations Record Vol.6, No.1, 2006. By 2010, it was required reading for the Managing Employee Relations unit offered by the Monash University School of Business and Economics.

In 2009, Sandy was appointed by the Chief Justice of Queensland to the rank of Senior Counsel (S.C.) in and for the State of Queensland.

He was sworn in as a Judge of the District Court of Queensland on 1 November 2012. He was, at that time, also appointed as the Deputy President of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for a period of three years, only the second Judge to hold this position in its history.

Closer to home, Sandy has remained an active member of the CQUniversity community. He has been an occasional speaker in Brisbane, and was part of a small panel to select finalists in the inaugural CQU Creates Art Awards in 2014.