• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE5859

Martin, Carolyn Elvina

( – 2012)
  • Died 31 December, 2012
  • Occupation Judge, Lawyer, Traveller


Carolyn Martin’s life was one of many firsts. So small and elf-like was the prematurely born Carolyn Hoare, her parents gifted her Elvina as a second name. Such prematurity however, did not impede Carolyn’s intellectual development: aged five, able to read and write fluently and already showing signs of extraordinary intelligence, Carolyn was immediately placed in grade two, having arrived in WA from the UK with her family only shortly before.

In Grade 7, a scholarship brought Carolyn to PLC, where she was a student for the next six years. Always conscientious, and excelling at history, Latin and chemistry, Carolyn later went on to graduate with honors from the University of Western Australia. A Master of Laws at the University of London followed.

Returning to Western Australia, Carolyn was first admitted to practice as a lawyer in 1977. After several years Carolyn joined the WA Family Court as a registrar, the first female appointee to that position.

Other firsts followed. In 1985, Carolyn became the first female stipendiary magistrate, and in 1996, the first female judge of the Family Court of Western Australia. Adoption law called Carolyn, who became the leading authority in Western Australia, if not Australia.

An inveterate traveller, Carolyn notched up visits to 100 countries, many with her mother, as the pair enjoyed exploring different cultures and cuisines on annual overseas trips.

The Hon Justice Carolyn Martin died on 1 October, 2012. A quiet courage and extraordinary concern for others marked out this journey. Her friends remember Carolyn as a person who made the most of every day; a woman whose laughter, vibrancy and zest for life gave her a singular capacity to light up every room she entered.

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