The delegates from the Special Olympics.
The delegates from the Special Olympics.

Security, Defence and Community Involvement

Chief of Defence

The Governor welcomed General Angus John Campbell, AO, DSC, Chief of the Defence Force to Government House.

Ambassador Kennedy

The Governor and the Ambassador enjoy a walking meeting.
The Governor and the Ambassador enjoy a walking meeting.

The Governor welcomed Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, United States Ambassador to Australia and Ms Siriana Nair, US Consul General in Perth, for a stroll around Government House Gardens this morning.

Having recently arrived in Australia, Ambassador Kennedy was quick to discuss her priorities, including cooperation between our two countries around climate change, diversifying supply chains and strengthening AUKUS relations.

40 Years of Neighbourhood Watch

A milestone was celebrated at Government House today.

For 40 years, Neighbourhood Watch has sought to keep our community safe. The crime prevention program encourages neighbours to look out for neighbours and to improve home and personal security and report suspicious activity.

The Governor addresses the crowd.
The Governor thanks volunteers for their efforts.

First piloted in Bunbury in 1982, Neighbourhood Watch quickly spread throughout the state with the support of the WA Police Force, Neighbourhood Watch volunteers and committed Local Governments. Today Neighbourhood Watch supports a small cohort of traditional volunteers and an increasing online community and aims to encourage individuals and communities to participate in preventing and reducing property crime and improving personal safety.

Neighbourhood Watch believes in the power of neighbours working together to build safer, vibrant and inclusive communities, to prevent crime and make a positive, sustainable difference in communities.

The Governor bestows a memento on Ms Peta Walker, the daughter of the late Superintendent Jim King.

As part of the event, there was a special acknowledgement of the late Superintendent Jim King, who was instrumental in introducing the program and crime prevention to the WA Police Force and the Western Australian community.

Winmar Enterprises

The Governor and Mr Winmar discuss art.
The Governor and Mr Winmar discuss art.

Mr Barry Winmar of Winmar Enterprises called upon the Governor today to discuss a number of matters related to Aboriginal people, including;

  • the WA Aboriginal Cultural Centre
  • the Institute of Indigenous Wellbeing and Sport WA
  • Auspire – WA Australia Day Council
  • Aboriginal Affairs WA
  • Aboriginal Professional Leadership WA and
  • Youth Professional Leadership WA

Mr Winmar is a Whadjuk Noongar man with connections to the Ballardong region. Currently, he is the CEO of the Institute of Indigenous Wellbeing and Sport, Councillor at the City of Kwinana and Managing Director of Winmar Enterprises. He also serves on the WA State Government’s Whadjuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre Cultural Authority providing advice and direction for the development of the new Aboriginal Cultural Centre Project.

Swearing in a Family Court Judge

Ms Robin Lynn Cohen SC swears the oath.

Ms Robin Lynn Cohen SC was today sworn in as a judge of the Family Court of Western Australia by the Governor.

Ms Cohen is a highly experienced legal practitioner having been admitted as a legal practitioner in February 2003 after completing a Bachelor of Law at Murdoch University. She commenced at Legal Aid WA in 2002 and completed articles and restricted year before becoming a solicitor in the Family Law Practice of Legal Aid WA. From 2005 to 2006 she was Solicitor Duty Lawyer and Senior Solicitor at the Perth Drug Court where she managed a busy daily court list in various criminal courts. She was then seconded to a legal firm for six months where she managed a large, complex workload in a broad range of Family Law matters including trials, restraining order proceedings, opinion work and mentoring junior solicitors.

From January 2006 to December 2016, and October 2018 to January 2022, Ms Cohen was a senior solicitor at Legal Aid WA in the Family Grants Division. She managed a large, complex file load in Family Law. She was counsel in complex Children’s Court and Family Court trials, Counsel in Violence Restraining Order proceedings and Family Court appeals and Hague Convention applications. She advised and represented children in the Perth Children’s Court with respect to Restraining Order matters (VRO and Prostitution Restraining Orders) and Secure Care applications and also represented children in the Perth Children’s Court with Health Act applications. She was also involved in providing training for legal aid staff and attended interagency meetings with the Family Court, Perth Children’s Court, Legal Aid WA and the Department of Communities.

She was appointed Senior Council in October 2021.

For the period October 2017 to October 2018 Ms Cohen was an acting magistrate presiding in the Family Court where she managed a large caseload and presided over interim hearings, trials in financial and child related matters and conciliation conferences. Ms Cohen was again appointed as an acting magistrate commencing on 31 January 2022 where she presides at present. Ms Cohen will resign as an acting magistrate prior to her appointment as a judge.

Ms Cohen has been a Guest Lecturer at the University of Western Australia Law School on the role of the Independent Children’s Lawyer and Protection and Care proceedings and delivered Continuing Professional Development Seminars for the Law Society, Piddingtons, Legal Wise and Legal Aid.

She has received an Award of Recognition for Service to WA Police; was nominated for Senior Family Lawyer of the Year, Family Law Practitioners Association and Senior Lawyer of the Year 2021, Law Society. She is a Board Member, Wanslea Pty Ltd and Wanslea Early Learning and Development Pty Ltd and a Board Member, West Australian Aids Council.

She took the oath today in front of friends, colleagues and her family.

Special Olympics

Guests take a seat.
Special Olympics representatives and guests take a seat.

This evening, the Governor hosted delegates from the Special Olympics International, who were in town to conduct a site visit in relation to Perth’s bid to host the World Summer Games in 2027.

The World Games are held every two years and are the largest humanitarian event in the world, transcending the boundaries of geography, nationality, politics, gender, age, culture, and religion. The Games provide sporting pathways and opportunities for people living with intellectual disabilities (ID) and/or autism.

If successful in the bid, this would be the first time the World Games have been held in the Southern Hemisphere and would be the largest sporting event in 2027. It is expected that 19,350 international visitors would visit Perth during this time.

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