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His Honour Judge Denis Reynolds

Judge Denis Reynolds was one of the longest serving judicial officers in Australia and the longest serving President of the Children’s Court of Western Australia – a position he held from 2004 until his retirement in 2018.

As Head of Jurisdiction, Judge Reynolds provided strong support to the Drug Court in the Perth Children’s Court, with the aim of rehabilitating children and young people from the effects of drug use and supporting them to develop stronger relationships with their families and the community.

He sees the role of the family as critical in addressing justice outcomes for a child or young person.

Through his dedication to addressing the high rate of incarceration among Aboriginal young people, Judge Reynolds garnered enormous respect among Aboriginal leaders addressing dysfunction within sections of the Aboriginal community. Strengthening the capacity of communities and involving Aboriginal leaders and community members in developing local solutions for local issues has been a key theme in his advocacy on youth justice issues.

Recognising the role that prevention and diversion initiatives play in directing young people away from the formal criminal justice system, Judge Reynolds is a passionate advocate for expanding these initiatives. In particular, he has advocated supporting programs designed around Aboriginal children and young people that respect their cultural needs and values.

He has spoken out on numerous occasions about the need for Western Australia to invest some of its economic dividend into programs which prevent young people moving through the system into formal detention.

In 2012 Judge Reynolds was named the winner of the Community category of the Western Australian of the Year awards.