Who We Are
The principal team
John Robertson was a District Court Judge from September 1994 until his retirement on May 18, 2018. He was initially the resident Judge at Ipswich, then the President of the Children’s Court of Queensland in Brisbane. In 2001 he was transferred as the second resident Judge to the Court at Maroochydore where he remained until retirement. He was commissioned as a Judge of the Planning and Environment Court soon after taking up his position on the Sunshine Coast and, until his retirement, heard and determined many appeals and applications in that jurisdiction. On June 1, 2018 he was appointed Chair of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council, a part-time statutory position he still holds. He has a great interest in local government law and the role of local government in our democracy. He holds degrees in Arts (majoring in political science) and Laws. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University by QUT in 2002 for services to the law and legal education.
Recently retired Land Court Judge Wayne Cochrane obtained his initial teaching qualification in 1970 and worked as a State High School teacher between 1970 and 1972. Between 1973 and 1986, Wayne worked as a teacher at Brisbane Grammar School, ultimately obtaining the position of Master in Charge of the Lower School. During his time as an educator, Wayne obtained Bachelor degrees in Education (1974) and Economics (1977) from the University of Queensland and a Masters of Science from Griffith University (1984). In 1987 Wayne commenced his legal career, initially working as a Clerk to His Honour Judge Quirk of the District and Local Government Courts. He completed the Barristers Board course (obtaining 2nd class honours) in 1988 and was admitted as a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1989. Between 1989 and 2010 Wayne practised at the private bar, specialising in planning, environment, land and construction law. Wayne was appointed as a judge of the Land Court of Queensland on 15 April 2010 and worked in that role continuously until his retirement in December 2019. Wayne will perform the role of Acting ICEO for review matters that John Robertson is unable to deal with.
Hayden Wright has been a career local government officer and former local government CEO. He was appointed as Town Clerk at Cairns City Council in 1988 and became the CEO at Redland Shire Council in 1993, a position he held for10 years. Hayden was appointed to the position of executive director of the Office of the CEO at Brisbane City Council in 2003. In this role he was responsible for formal and legislated governance of the Council. In 2009 Hayden commenced his own consulting practice to offer consulting services to councils and, in that capacity, has assisted and advised many councils, particularly Indigenous councils, on managing governance issues. In 2013 Hayden was appointed by the LGAQ as its Independent Councillor Advisor to provide confidential advice and support to councillors throughout the state. Hayden currently chairs or is a member of a number of Councils’ Audit and Risk Committees and continues to provide consulting services.
Marg Wenham is an award-winning journalist with 20 years’ experience reporting, feature and commentary writing, and section editing (daily opinion and news features) for The Courier-Mail and Sunday Mail major metropolitan newspapers in Brisbane. Marg has written extensively on a wide range of social and social justice issues including child protection, post-Forde Inquiry compensation, disability and mental health services and associated laws, guardianship laws, indigenous issues and legal affairs. She also extensively covered higher education and the public service and reported on State Parliament. Marg has a Bachelor of Arts with double political science and single journalism majors from the University of Queensland and previously worked as a paralegal.
The ICEO will also have access to a small group of support staff, including researchers, specialist lawyers in local government and election law, and IT experts.