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The Notary Public

A notary public is an officer of the law, responsible for certifying and …

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Our History

The office of notary public can be traced back to the ancient Roman Empire…

Our History

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About the Society

The Society’s records suggest that the unincorporated predecessor of the Society, The Society of Notaries Queensland, was first constituted in a formal sense in about 1936. The Society continued in existence in that form until 1998 when it was incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981. However, it is likely that Queensland Notaries organised themselves as early as 1922. In that year, a register of Queensland Notaries was established. The first entry in that Register relates to Mr Thomas Morton of Wharf Street, Maryborough who was sworn as a Notary on 9 August 1880. The Register also shows that by the turn of the century there were 11 Notaries. The same Register is used today to record Queensland Notaries and as at 4 August 1999, the total number of Notaries registered since 1880 was 354. As at that date, the number of living registered Notaries in Queensland was 148.

The original entries in the Register of Notaries appear to have been made by quill pen and the Register comes complete with its own quill pen and instructions for cutting of quills. The quills pen was made by Scriveners Company, which was founded in England in 1373.

Many of the names appearing in the Register of Notaries are still seen in the firm names of many of the oldest and most highly regarded firms of solicitors presently practicing in Queensland.


The founding Secretary of the Society, back in 1936, was Mr Neville Henderson. He held that position for many years. Since then, there have only been two other Secretaries. Mr George Walters took over the position in the 1980’s and held it for about ten years. Don Seawright took over the position in November 1995 until November 2015. The current Secretary, Peter M Williams was appointed at the AGM in November 2015.

For further information please contact:

Peter M Williams
Honorary Secretary

P: +61 7 3397 5010
F: +61 7 3397 0644
E: secretary@societyofnotaries-qld.org

Postal address:

Society Objectives

The objects of the Society are:

  • To support and promote the character, status and interests of Notaries in Queensland.
  • To promote honourable practice, to repress malpractice and to settle disputed points of practice.
  • To decide all questions of professional usage or courtesy between or amongst Notaries.
  • To consider all questions affecting the interests of Notaries.
  • To engage in the reform of the law relevant to the practice of Notaries.
  • To consider all future applications of persons applying to the Court of Faculties in London for appointments as Notaries and to support or oppose these applications.
  • To consider what is an appropriate number of Notaries for Brisbane, Rockhampton, and Townsville and any other cities, towns or districts in Queensland.
  • To acquire by purchase, donation or otherwise a library and to maintain the library.
  • To provide rooms or other facilities for the holding of meetings of the Society or other matters.
  • To encourage the study of the law, and to provide all information on subjects important to the practice of Notaries.
  • To make, alter or repeal rules for the good government of the Society.
  • To recommend the fees to be charged by Notaries.
  • To do all other things necessary for the attainment of the above objects.
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