First woman appointed head of the highest court in NSW

The NSW Court of Appeal has its first female president following the appointment of Justice Margaret Beazley to the role on Wednesday.

The state's attorney-general Greg Smith announced Justice Beazley would take the top job in NSW's highest court, succeeding current president James Allsop.

Also the court's first female judge, appointed in 1996, Justice Beazley's tenure as president will begin in 2013.

The appointment's been a long time coming. Justice Beazley has served as a judicial member of the Equal Opportunity Tribunal, an acting district court judge and assistant commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. She's also been a judge in the ACT's Supreme Court, the Federal Court of Australia and the Industrial Relations Court of Australia.

Justice Beazley graduated from Sydney Law School with honours in 1974 and joined the bar in 1975. She was appointed silk in 1989. In 1994 she worked with the Australian Law Reform Commission to identify gender bias in the law.

A mother of three, she was reccognised as an "inspiration to many in her ability to balance work and family" by NSW Governor Marie Bashir, upon awarding her an honourary Doctor of Laws degree in 2008.