Mr John Duscher OAM BJ JP FRVAHJ
Region: South Gippsland
Appointed JP: 19 June 1990
Appointed BJ: 12 May 2000
I have been honoured to have had the opportunity of serving as a volunteer JP since 1990 and as a BJ since 2000, two distinctive roles each with their specific procedures and responsibilities.
As a JP it has been a pleasure to assist people in the community witnessing a range of legal documents when required. The successful establishment of a Document Signing Centre at Wonthaggi Police Station has made it easier for the public to access our services and has strengthened the local JP Association.
The role of a BJ is unique, certainly challenging, often unpleasant but very necessary. Shortly after my initial appointment I was given the task of organising the local roster before the call out system began. I have conducted many out of hours court sessions over the years, called out in the middle of the night in all types of weather (I have a very understanding wife), travelling some ordinary country roads and often dealing with people at their worst, affected by drugs, drunk or both, angry, irrational, violent and belligerent because they have been caught and rarely do they have legal representation.
I have been sworn at, spat at and even an attempt to assault me. It has also been harder in the country where at times you are dealing with people and families you know. This is where the Code of Conduct for BJ’s is so specific and important and it has been the foundation of my decision making from day one, ensuring that no-one is disadvantaged by process or procedure and a fair hearing is held.
I have dealt with significant cases around violence, theft, major drug production and trafficking, arson and child protection. Sadly the incidence of Family violence continues to rise. All very challenging experiences but you do what you have to do.
In 2016 I was made a FRVAHJ and proudly a Life Member of the Association in 2020.
I had a wonderful career in Education, a job I really loved, over 46 years in all, working in various roles and leadership responsibilities.
I have lived in rural Victoria all my life and have enjoyed being heavily involved in the community, keeping busy and working with many fine people and organisation. Being a volunteer has its own rewards and you see so many good things achieved.
The moments that stick in my mind are being 26 years in Local Government, four times as Mayor, served on many local and Regional committees and represented Council at Victorian and National level. State Community Road Safe Committee represented Eastern Region. President/Secretary of Apex and Rotary, School Councils, Board Director Positions Westernport Water, The Wonthaggi Club, Moonya Disability Services and Rose Lodge Aged Care, volunteer at State Coal Mine in Wonthaggi since, Treasurer Uncle Bob’s Club since 1983, Freemason( Healesville) Wonthaggi Rovers/Power F.C. player, Coach, mentor ,Secretary and active interest in RSL, Lawn Bowls and everything the grandkids are involved in.
It’s been busy but it has been a privilege to serve…..