Judge John Staude ('75)

Class of 1975

The Class of ’75 was quite a formidable year.

It produced at least two Aquinas Board chairs and a number of legal practitioners, among them John Staude who was appointed to the District Court of Western Australia in March 2010.

John came to Aquinas in 1969 from Holy Family School in Como, the first of four Staude brothers to do so. He was an able scholar and an enthusiastic participant in Debating, Drama, Hockey, Swimming and Army cadets. He was also a Prefect. He was active in the Young Christian Students’ movement through which he later met his wife Sharon with whom he has four children.

After leaving Aquinas, John studied law at UWA. In 1982 he was articled at law firm Talbot & Olivier, becoming a partner in 1986. For a few years, mentored by the late Brian Singleton QC, he practised mainly as a criminal lawyer, but from 1988 he specialised in civil liability and insurance. In 1994 he established his own practice and in 2003 he became an independent barrister. At the time of his appointment to the bench he was a councillor of the Law Society of Western Australia.

John continues to be active in legal and judicial education, as a member of the District Court Education Committee, the Advisory Board of the University of Notre Dame Law School and the Steering Committee of the National Judicial Orientation Program. John has also contributed to many community organisations. For many years after leaving school he served on the committee of the Old Aquinians’ Association. He has been the chair of the St Paul’s School Board and president of the Guilderton Community Association. He is involved with the Friends of Moore River Estuary and now chairs the Pilgrim Trail Foundation.

Like his father Bill, he is a passionate cyclist with a special interest in cycle touring. In 2016 he cycled the Via Francigena, a 2000km pilgrim route from Canterbury to Rome.

John is thankful for his education. “Aquinas made me. It was a happy time and I had a terrific rapport with the brothers, the lay staff and the boys. I am lucky to have been in a year group that values the connections we made at school. As we get older the friendships become more meaningful.”

The enormity of the responsibility for making decisions that affect the lives of others is not lost on John: “Many of the people with whom I deal have not had the great advantages that I have enjoyed, especially a loving and supportive family and a good education. What I learned at Aquinas was that from those to whom much is given, much is expected.”