I was born on 16 August 1958 in Carlton to parents Santo and Angelina La Rosa, migrants from Sicily. I grew up in North Carlton well before it was a trendy or gentrified suburb. I went to the local state primary school in Lee Street, and then Princes Hill High School, in the shadow of Carlton old home ground, Princes Park. I was fortunate enough to do well in my final year and gained entry to the university of Melbourne Law School, enrolling in a Law/Commerce double degree, graduating in 1981.
I completed my articles year with a small firm in Coburg, but after two years went to explore practice in criminal law with the then Legal Aid Commission of Victoria (now Victoria Legal Aid). I became a specilalist in criminal law, practicing predominantly in cases going the County and Supreme Court. I became the Managing Solicitor for the Criminal Practice in the mid 1990s. In 2002, I was appointed as a Magistrate, a position I still hold.
When I was appointed, the media notice issued by the Attorney General’s office stated I “..was the son of Sicilian migrants..” I was the first such appointment, and indeed only the second appointment with recent connections to Italy. I was, and still am, extremely proud of that achievement and of its recognition by the Attorney General, is it gave recognised the contributions people like myself made, and continue to make, to our community.
I am married to my wife, Emma, for 40 years come October, and have two children, Laura and Daniele, who have given us three beautiful grandchildren, Julian, Isabella and Layla.
I have now held the office of Magistrate for 20 years this September, and am currently assigned to Warrnambool for this year, though I had previously been assigned to Ringwood, where I had been the coordinating Magistrate for approximately 10years.