Community & Business

18 March, 2023

Bruce William Johnston (Solicitor)

Bruce William Johnston (5 February 1948-20 November 2O22) Obituary by Ruth Hopkins (sister)

Bruce William Johnston (Solicitor) - feature photo

Bruce Johnston passed away peacefully last November at the Mareeba Hospital.

Born in Melbourne, he attended Xavier College. He was a keen athlete and won the prestigious one Mile Event three years consecutively. He had a rich baritone voice, sang in their school operas and also played violin. He completed Law at Monash University.

He and his wife Alison lived in Speewah for 40 years and loved their home in the rainforest which they initially shared with the local artist John Lockyer (Dec.)

Together they regenerated a large section of their Cadagi property with many native trees thus restoring it to its natural vegetation.

ln 1973, he commenced work as a solicitor with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait lslander Legal Services (A.T.S.I.L.S) working with Wayne Goss. This involved his attendance at many country town courts throughout Northern Queensland whereby becoming well known and respected by many indigenous communities.

He moved to Cairns where he set up his own legal service for many years. His pet Bassett Hound became known about town and would sit under his seat at the old Courthouse.

His fame even attracted a write-up in the Cairns Post! For many years he attended court on

Thursday lsland as a Legal Aid Defence Lawyer. He endeared himself to the islanders and loved and respected their culture.

For some time, Bruce was Assistant Parole Officer at the Mareeba Lotus Glen Correction Centre. During his later years, he was the legal aid solicitor at Cairns, Mareeba and Atherton Courts.

He was instrumental in setting up NGOOMBT in Kuranda and was most appreciative when he and Alison were in need of their services.

He was a keen pool player for many years at the Speewah Tavern and later was a team member of the Kuranda pool Club.

Bruce and Alison's families wish to extend their sincere gratitude for the wonderful care given to them by the Mareeba shire community during this past year: Kuranda Home Visiting Nurse (Peta), Ngoombi Aged Care Services, Mareeba Hospital (Dr. Tim and his nursing team) and Mareeba community Funerals (Sophie).

Bruce was an inspiration to many to turn their lives around and was indeed the “people’s lawyer”.

Rest in peace.


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