New Acting Commissioner Appointments
14 October 2021
The Chief Judge is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Michael Davidson, Mr Stuart Harding, Mr Christopher McEwen SC, Ms Lynne Sheridan and Mr Andrew Smith as Acting Commissioners of the Court for the period commencing 18 October 2021 and expiring on 26 November 2022.
Mr Michael Davidson
Mr Davidson has over 40 years’ applied experience as a valuer. He holds a Graduate Diploma in Public Administration and an Associate Diploma in Real Estate Valuation from Sydney TAFE. He has worked with the NSW Valuer General, culminating with being Principal Valuer, Valuation Objections and Appeals dealing with all land values issued in NSW. In 2020, Mr Davidson retired from the public sector and established his own private valuation consultancy, specialising in advice on statutory valuation. He has extensive experience in valuation of land under the Valuation of Land Act 1916 and the Compulsory Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991. He is an Associate Member of the Australian Property Institute.
Mr Stuart Harding
Mr Harding has over 30 years’ applied experience as a planner in local government and private practice. He holds a Bachelor of Town Planning from the University of NSW (1986). Mr Harding has experience working in a full range of urban, strategic and statutory planning projects across metropolitan Sydney, regional New South Wales and throughout Australia. He has worked in both local government and private practice. In 1999, he founded with others a planning consultancy, where he has worked to the present. Mr Harding is a member and has served on committees of the Environment and Planning Law Association NSW over the last 15 years and is a member of the Planning Institute of Australia.
Mr Christopher McEwen SC
Mr McEwen has over 39 years’ applied experience as a lawyer. He holds the degrees of Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Jurisprudence from the University of NSW (1982). He commenced as a solicitor in 1982, was called to the NSW Bar in 1986 and was later appointed Senior Counsel in 2004. Mr McEwen has specialised experience in local government, planning, property and pollution law, and associated administrative claims. He has extensive knowledge and experience with the Court’s practice and procedure across all classes of jurisdiction in litigation, conciliation and mediations. Mr McEwen is a member of the NSW Bar Association and Environment and Planning Law Association NSW.
Ms Lynne Sheridan
Ms Sheridan has over 25 years’ applied experience as a planner in local and state government and private practice. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Urban and Regional Planning (University of Sydney) and is currently undertaking a Graduate Diploma of Executive Management (University of NSW). Ms Sheridan has applied experience working in a full range of strategic and statutory planning roles, with knowledge and experience in heritage and planning. Ms Sheridan received a Premier’s Award for the development of Simplified House Code, and has also been involved with a number of heritage projects for local and State government.
Mr Andrew Smith
Mr Andrew Smith is a qualified lawyer with knowledge and experience concerning land rights for Aboriginal people, disputes involving Aboriginal people and cultural heritage. He is a Wiradjuri man of the Tubba-Gah people. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (2005) and Master of Laws (2018) from the University of New England. He is in the process of completing his PhD at the University of New England. He was admitted as a solicitor in 2005 and as a barrister in 2009. Mr Smith is active in many legal and community organisations, including on the Judicial Commission of NSW Ngara Yura Committee and serves as Deputy Chair of the NSW Bar Association First Nations Committee. In 2020, he was appointed Governor of the Board of the Law and Justice Foundation by the NSW Attorney General.