This website contains images of people who have passed away.

Terrie Ann Stewart

Dedicated her life to advocating and supporting the Victorian Aboriginal community in contact with the justice and welfare systems.


Dedicated to providing emotional, social and cultural support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Terrie Ann Stewart is a proud Taungurung woman who grew up in Preston on Wurundjeri Country. She is a proud mother of 3 children: 2 daughters and a son.

Terrie worked various jobs from the age of 14. She left high school at 15 to support her mother who was caring full-time for Terrie’s brother Gary, who had Down syndrome.  

Terrie has worked in the Victorian criminal justice system advocating for and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for over 35 years. A proud and well-respected Aboriginal community member within Victoria, she is known for her dedication and contributions to cultural reform within the Victorian criminal justice system. 

In 1989, Terrie’s passion for community work led her to return to school to study for a Certificate of Applied Social Science (Aboriginal Welfare Studies). She went on to work across various community organisations and government departments, including the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS), Bert Williams Aboriginal Youth Services, Parkville Youth Residential Centre and Melbourne Youth Justice Centre.

Terrie began working as the Koori Court Officer at the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court in the early 2000s. In this role she advocated and provided emotional, social and cultural support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who appeared before the Koori Court.  

Terrie assisted with the establishment of the Melbourne County Koori Court in 2012. She would later oversee the expansion of the County Koori Court into 7 regional locations across the state. 

The County Koori Court is the first sentencing court for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders in the higher jurisdiction in Australia. The court's primary objective is to enhance Aboriginal community engagement in the sentencing process, achieved through the inclusion of Aboriginal Elders, Respected Persons, the County Koori Court Coordinator, and other stakeholders. The court’s expansion has supported over 40 Aboriginal Elders and Respected Persons to participate across the state.

Terrie has dedicated herself to serving in Koori Courts within both the Magistrates and County Court systems for over 2 decades. She has remained steadfast in her efforts within the Victorian criminal justice system across her extensive tenure, offering unwavering support and advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and communities. Terrie currently serves as the coordinator of the County Koori Court and continues to play a pivotal role in its operations. 

Her initiative has played an integral role in building the organisation's understanding and respect of Victorian Aboriginal culture. As a result, she has been honoured with many organisational awards for her unwavering commitment to ensuring fairness and equity in Aboriginal people's interactions with the criminal justice system:

2007: Awarded state-wide Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee (RAJAC) Aboriginal Community Justice Award for her exceptional efforts in advancing justice outcomes within the Koori community.

2007: Awarded Northern Metropolitan RAJAC Aboriginal Community Justice Award for her outstanding contributions to improving justice outcomes for the Koori community.

2010: Awarded the Magistrates Court of Victoria’s Staff Member of the Year Award, recognising her remarkable contributions to the Magistrates Court.

2013: Awarded Northern Metropolitan RAJAC Adult Elder Award for her outstanding dedication to the Aboriginal community.

2016: Awarded the County Court’s - Criminal Division Quiet Achievers Award in recognition of her commendable accomplishments.

2016: Awarded the County Court’s Court Excellence Award for her exemplary performance.

2018: Awarded the County Court’s Court Excellence Award for her continued dedication to excellence.

2022: Awarded the County Court’s Above and Beyond Award for consistently exceeding expectations.

Terrie has also served as a board member for prominent organisations such as the Koorie Heritage Trust, VALS and Djirra.

Terrie also facilitates ongoing professional development training for Elders and Respected Persons. She organises cultural awareness training for Judicial Officers and key stakeholders where she teaches on the nuances of Aboriginal culture and the impacts of colonisation on Victorian Aboriginal peoples and communities. This ensures appropriate services and programs are available to assist community coming before the County Koori Court and to support community with their court outcomes and obligations. 

Her adeptness in developing and preserving positive connections and partnerships between the County Court and the Victorian Aboriginal community is noteworthy. Through her persistent effort, she has established a continuous sense of cultural safety within the community, laying the groundwork for success.

Terrie is a humble and quiet achiever. Her contributions to the Victorian Aboriginal community are well regarded and will continue to have a lasting impact in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities who are entangled with the criminal justice system.