Language Wasn’t A Barrier To First Greek-Egyptian Judge in Australia, Dina Yehia

In July 2022, Dina Yehia became the first person of Greek Egyptian descent to sit on the Supreme Court of New South Wales.  However, it was challenging for her as “As a woman and an immigrant”.

Justice Yehia was seven-years-old when her family arrived in Australia from Egypt and didn’t speak any English. Since then, Justice Yehia, who is of Greek-Egyptian descent, has done a lot of fitting into an entirely new different ethnic and cultural background.” I was very fortunate that I always had some supportive mentors from the very beginning.”, Dina stated.

“Diversity on the bench,” she had stated then, “is an essential component of a fair and impartial judiciary. She was one of the 10 female judges who joined their ranks in the Supreme Court over the past eight years

She got her start as a defense attorney for the Western Aboriginal Legal Service in 1989, where she represented thousands of Indigenous clients. In 1999 she became a public defender and was appointed the first female Deputy Senior Public Defender in 2013. As judge to the District Court, a role she assumed in May 2014, she pushed for the Walama List.

“It wasn’t easy but I think I’m very privileged to have been given these opportunities,” she said.