Class of 1975
Anthony or Tony as he is better known was born on the same day as Queen Elizabeth II of a poor Irish policeman and a Chinese mother.
His father left Ireland and moved to Palestine at the end of WWII and later moved to Hong Kong to work for the Royal Hong Kong Police Force. There was a great deal of travel right from the start for Tony who was born in Edinburgh as a direct result. Both parents came from large families of eleven and incredibly both were number five in the family running order. Growing up in the privileged Hong Kong expat community, Tony spent a lot of time holidaying in Ireland. But by the time he was 16 he was fluent in Cantonese.
It wasn’t until his second last year of secondary school that his parents decided to relocate to Perth and Tony entered Aquinas College in Year 11.
He arrived to find a completely different culture and set of life conditions. Gone was the privileged upbringing and freedom of Hong Kong. However he found Aquinas College a very welcoming place and one that changed his perspective on life completely. He says: “there was an innate sense of honesty about the people and Aquinas had an impact on me. It gave me a sense of belonging to something.”
After graduation Tony studied Law at UWA, where he met his wife Jane. He joined Jackson McDonald Lawyers starting out in litigation but was naturally curious and found different types of law stimulating. He said: “you need to be prepared to work hard. It’s a lifestyle decision to be a lawyer and you need to be creative. I think you need to have a good sense of what is right and wrong, and that is what I got from Aquinas.”
Tony was elected to the Bar and joined Francis Burt Chambers in 1999 and worked in nearly all courts and tribunals as well as the Corruption and Crime Commission and Royal Commissions. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame and Murdoch University, where he teaches trial advocacy. He is also a strong mentor to many across all levels of the legal profession.
On 1st May 2018, Local Government Minister David Templeman asked Tony to hold an Inquiry into the City of Perth. In typically modest style befitting of the best Aquinians he says they picked him: “because I came across as impartial and thorough”. He is driven by a firm belief that it is important to restore confidence in the City of Perth. Retrospectively, Tony says of his time at the College: “there were things I didn’t like but, whether or not you like it, I am grateful for those lessons.”