The Honourable Alastair Nicholson graduated Melbourne University Law School in 1960 and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1961 and signed the Roll of Counsel of the Victorian Bar in 1963. He was appointed Queens Counsel in 1979, a Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria from 1982-88, and Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia from 1988 until his retirement in 2004. He was Judge Advocate General of the Defence Force from 1987-91 and held the rank of Air Vice Marshal in the RAAF and is an Officer of the Order of Australia.
Alastair has long been a children's rights campaigner. He has chaired several international conferences on child protection and child justice systems, and served as a consultant to the Royal Children's Hospital International Vietnam, and to UNICEF Vietnam. He has also been a consultant to the Queensland Government on legal recognition of Torres Strait Islander traditional child rearing practices. He was the recipient of the Human Rights Award at the Fifth World Congress on Family Law and Children's Rights held in Canada in 2009.
He has been an Honorary Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne since 2003 and is currently Chair of Children's Rights International.