Coroner 'unflappable' and brings 'unique' qualities to role
QUEENSLAND'S new state coroner has been described as "zen-like" and "unflappable" as he begins filling the huge shoes his predecessor left behind.
The legal community packed into one of the Brisbane Magistrates Court courtrooms for an official swearing-in ceremony on Thursday where they learned Terry Ryan was one of 12 siblings who began his career as a social worker, with degrees in social work and law.
Mr Ryan, who already hit the ground running on Monday, had worked in the Department of Justice since the mid-1990s before replacing Michael Barnes, who held the role for the statutory 10 years.
Chief Magistrate Brendan Butler said Michael Barnes' "consultative style and compassion for the families transformed Coronial work in Queensland."
He said the legal administrative and policy experience Mr Ryan obtained in senior positions within the department "stand him in good stead".
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said Mr Ryan brought "unique qualities" to the coroner's role.
"Your Honour has been described as possessing a zen-like persona," he said.
"Your ability to emerge from a crisis with clear and simple solutions while those around are spinning like tops is well known in the department."
Mr Ryan said his challenge was to build on the foundations Mr Barnes laid but he did not underestimate the size of the task before him.
"My predecessor Michael Barnes has left us with a tremendous legacy. His leadership has created a modern, coordinated, accountable coronial system," he said.