Announcement - Retirement of Commissioner David Ritchie

3 December 2012

Commissioner David Ritchie retired on 5 October 2012 after 10 years as a member of the Commission.

The President of the Commission, Justice Roger Boland, at an informal ceremony to mark the occasion of his retirement held at the Commission on 13 September 2012, after noting the dwindling resources at the Commissioner level, then went on to say:

      "In my time with the Commission there have been three appointments of Commissioners, MacDonald, Ritchie and Stanton. Each one of them an excellent choice for the role.

      David came from the background of a senior position with the Retail Traders Association of NSW, an employer organisation in the retail industry that unfortunately no longer exists because it was quite an influential and moderating force in industrial relations in the retail sector in the 30 odd years I was with the MTIA. David's easy going, companionable nature saw him immediately fit in with the Commission and its Members.

      David, of course, knew his way around the Commission because of his close involvement in retail sector awards and he often appeared before those who were to become his colleagues on the Bench. Nevertheless, like myself, I think it came as something of a challenge to find himself on the other side of the Bar Table with the heavy responsibility to do what was right and fair between the parties regardless of who they might be. But, his long experience in industrial relations and the people skills he accumulated in that role served him very well indeed for the job of conciliator and arbitrator.

      Commissioner Ritchie, in my estimation, did an outstanding job in his decade with the Commission. He had to deal with the full spectrum of advocates, from very experienced senior counsel to self-represented litigants who would not take no - or even yes - for an answer. He was often confronted with difficult legal and factual issues requiring arbitration, but more often that not he was able to settle matters using his formidable conciliation skills, which of course is the Commission's bread and butter. He did it all with good grace, efficiently and fairly.

      I am certainly pleased and grateful to have had David as a colleague and I am sure the other members of the Commission feel the same way.

      On behalf of you all could I wish David Ritchie and his family a long, interesting and rewarding retirement."

Industrial Registrar