Crosby Bursary

Justin Crosby Memorial Law Bursary

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The Bursary was established in December 2013 by the Sunshine Coast Law Association and originated from an idea by Sunshine Coast barrister Mr Stephen Courtney to honour the memory of Justin Crosby for his outstanding legal service to the Sunshine Coast community.

The Bursary is open to all first-year Commonwealth supported students enrolled either full time or part time in the University of the Sunshine Coast Bachelor of Laws Program.

Selection is based on a number of criteria including demonstrated academic merit and financial need, with preference being given to students who attended secondary school on the Sunshine Coast.

The Bursary will be awarded in June of each year for an initial period of three years commencing in the 2014 academic year. The successful student in each year will be awarded $5,000 to provide financial assistance to complete their law degree.

In 2017, the SCLA’s commitment to the Bursary was extended for a further period of 3 years and an additional $5,000 was pledged to award 5 additional students with a $1,000 book voucher to help them in their studies.

The Bursary selection panel includes the head of the University of the Sunshine Coast Law School, a representative from the University of the Sunshine Coast Admissions and Scholarship team in student administration, the President of the Sunshine Coast Law Association and Mrs. Catherine Crosby.

Tributes to Justin

The Sunshine Coast Law Association thanks Stephen Courtney, Simon Browne and Stephen Keim for the following tributes:

On 17 July 2015 at the Justin Crosby Memorial Law Bursary Dinner, Stephen Keim SC gave a keynote speech and a tribute to Justin.  You can download a copy here.

I think unique is the word that best describes Justin.

He was a leader of the Sunshine Coast legal profession. His excellent mind and work ethic earned him the respect of us all. With his wit, easy manner and decency he earned our friendship and love.

Justin was a great example of someone who ran a successful practice but still squeezed every ounce out of his personal life. His interests were many and varied. The ones that I knew of included bridge, bird watching, Latin, yoga, James Joyce and swimming. Justin’s love for his wife, his children and the Sunshine Coast were for all to see.

The legal profession and the Sunshine Coast are lesser for Justin’s passing. The bursary is a marvelous way to remember the man and recognize his place in the law.

Stephen Courtney

Justin GONE FISHIN one more time

Frankly, I miss Justin, miss him very much. He passed over from this world to the next on 16 May 2013.

Justin? There would be scarcely a solicitor, barrister, District Court judge or magistrate or court official, security guard, police prosecutor or regular offender on the Sunshine Coast, and many, many, from much further afield who would need the complete description … Justin Xavier Crosby. ‘Justin’ said and says it all.

I was fortunate to operate a legal practice across the road from Justin, originally born and raised a Buderim boy, when he arrived back ‘home’ here in 1988 with wife Cait, son Fergus and young daughter Emma (nowadays a lawyer herself) on the Sunshine Coast. This was after several years practising in Mareeba, the town whose loss was ever our gain.

As a relative legal novice, I received from Justin, 10 years my senior, the gift of an erudite education, embroidered with many scarcely believable law tales of true, over countless bottles of Taltarni Reserve de Pyrenees, at Danny’s La Terrasse on the Esplanade, Maroochydore.

Justin could not see the point in letting the grass grow underfoot, waiting for his practice to grow, and was forever keen about life … a laugh … and if it was not the apt time for a lunch, it was an opportunity to put the billy on.

He put the billy on the last time in March for me when, despite the dark sentence hanging over him, he was still full of stoic good humour, compassion for others, and not taking himself too seriously. He worked his practice to within a fortnight of his passing; such was his love of the game and the strength of purpose in the face of adversity he derived from it.

There are many of you who will probably be saying now “Yes, and I had lunch with Justin”, or “Yes we did often …!”, “and I too”, and “yes and me”. Whether any of us sat down and shared a glass or cuppa with him, or met him briefly at court, we were all fed and refreshed by an encounter with Justin.

I walked into the Maroochydore Magistrates Court one morning just a few weeks after his funeral and cast my eyes around, somehow hoping magically to catch a sense of him. “It’s not the same without Justin,” I said resignedly to the female security officer. “Yes it is!” she said. “He was never here at this time!”

Early to court he never was, flying in always at the last moment, making it by the seat of his pants. He was, however, ever the consummate professional, and always a class … no, a classic act in court. Justin, no one up here on the coast ever did it better.

Justin’s motto for his firm was ‘striving to be green’, no doubt a play on his Irish Catholic ancestry as much as a nod to the environment, but it was the ‘GONE FISHIN’ sign stuck on the door at his unquestionably shabby, but curiously endearing, original office at First Avenue, Maroochydore, each Christmas (the rare time Justin ever seemed to allow himself a break) which said it all and sticks with me.

Justin’s funeral at Stella Maris Catholic Church was packed with family, friends, fellow parishioners and oh so many people from all branches of the law.

Take heart; Justin’s not lost … he’s just GONE FISHIN, one more time.

Simon Browne, solicitor and friend