|26 Aug 2022|
Barrie Hungerford passed away on 26 June 2022 at the age of 85. He was a former deputy president and judicial member of The Industrial Commission of NSW and served as a judge of The Industrial Court of NSW from 1989 until retirement in 2002.
Whilst at school Barrie was a key member of the outstanding 1st XV of 1954 – and I mean key member (he was the hooker). Upon leaving school he went to the RMC Duntroon, joining fellow 1st XV member and school captain, David Gilroy, becoming a commissioned officer in the Australian Army in 1959. In this role he experienced ‘hands on’ practical dealings with human resources. A long term army career was, however, not for him. His interest in human resources and industrial relations led to him becoming chief industrial advocate for The Metal Trades Industry Association and he opted for a career in the law. Barrie began practice at the NSW Bar in February 1976, was appointed a QC in November 1988, and one year later was appointed as a judge.
The year of 1954 was unique in that three members of the leaving class that year became barristers, then QCs, and then judges. The first to do so was Jeremy Badgery-Parker, who was Dux of the school and who, after appointment as a QC, became successively a judge of The District Court of NSW and then The Supreme Court of NSW. The second was Barrie. The third was the writer, who after appointment as a QC was appointed as a judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW and as an acting judge of the Supreme Court. The three of us would often see each other when we were practising barristers since we were based in the same barristers’ chambers. I later had the pleasure of serving with Barrie on the Governing Council of the Judicial Conference of Australia (the Australia wide professional association of judges). After formally retiring in 2002, Barrie’s work was not done. He then accepted an appointment to a part time role as an acting judge of the District Court, which continued for some years.
I sometimes wonder why the year of 1954 produced not only three judges but also a significant number of solicitors. I attribute this to our headmaster, James Wilson Hogg, who taught us English in our final two years at the school and whose love for and appreciation of the English language was contagious.
Barrie’s legacy remains the fair resolution of industrial disputes, of unfair dismissal claims, of unfair work contracts, and of occupational health and safety laws, expressed in judgments clear in exposition and eloquent in prose.
In private life Barrie was a former President and later Patron of the Hungerford and Associated Families Society. Nothing, however, was more important to him than his own family.
He is survived by Judy, his wife of 45 years, and their four children, together with his three children of his first marriage. A well-attended memorial service was held at St James Church, King Street, Sydney on 5 July 2022.
- Adjunct Professor David Lloyd QC
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