Judge Charlotte Kelly
Judge of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia
Charlotte connected with The Pinnacle Foundation in 2014 as mentor to Caitlyn Georgeson, a Law/Arts student attending the University of Adelaide. The experience was rewarding and affirmed all that Pinnacle endeavours to achieve. Caitlyn herself has continued to play an active role within the Foundation, first as Alumni Manager and now Chair of the Victorian Committee.
Charlotte completed her Law degree at the University of Adelaide in 1985. She was admitted to practice in 1986 and commenced working with Camatta Lempens, an inclusive law firm based in the western suburbs of Adelaide. Her commitment to social justice led Charlotte to specialise in family law, often representing legal aid clients and women escaping family violence.
After seven years, Charlotte moved to specialist family law firm, Di Morosini & Co, before returning to the western suburbs for another six years practicing family law with SJ McKinnon & Associates. In addition to running a busy family law practice, Charlotte supported women’s access to justice through her community outreach activities, providing free legal advice at women’s shelters and community legal centres, including the Women’s Information Switchboard.
Charlotte was an inaugural committee member of the Women Lawyers’ Association and served on the committee until 1999. She continued to support the Association’s activities and was awarded honorary Life Membership in 2018. Charlotte was also a foundation member of the Steering Committee to establish a Women’s Legal Service in South Australia (WLSSA) and served on the Management Committee until 1999, when she joined the Family Court of Australia as Senior Registrar.
In March 2007 Charlotte was appointed to the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, and later became a Judge of the Federal Circuit Court in 2013. She has continued to focus on social justice and the impact of family violence both within her role as a judge and in the wider community.
Charlotte is a member of the Court’s Indigenous Access to Justice Committee and supported the FCC’s achievement in 2014, becoming the first Australian Court to sign a Reconciliation Action Plan with Reconciliation Australia. In 2018 Charlotte established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Law List in the Adelaide Registry, implementing the Court’s commitment to provide culturally sensitive Court services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
Charlotte continues to sit as a Judge of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. She remains committed to protecting children from the trauma of family violence, promoting better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families within the family law system, and to fundamentally supporting equal access to justice.