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Profile: SEK Hulme AM QC Back


Samuel Edward Keith (S.E.K) Hulme AM QC was born 13 July 1929 in Melbourne and died 27 November 2008.

The second son of Samuel Edgeley Hulme and Alethea Henrietta Hulme (nee Wright), he acquired the nickname "SEK" during selection discussions for a school football match.

SEK was educated at Lloyd Street Central School in East Malvern and Wesley College Preparatory School in Prahran, before spending a year in the Royal Australian Naval College in 1943. In 1944, he resumed his studies at Wesley College, finishing school in 1947.

From 1948-51, he studied law at the University of Melbourne (Queen's College), graduating with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours). He was in the Melbourne University Regiment from 1948-1952, before becoming a Commissioned Officer (Citizens Military Forces) in the CMF Air Liaison Section in 1952-53.

On the recommendation of his then-Dean, Zelman Cowen (later Australian Governor-General), SEK applied for a Rhodes scholarship. He attended Oxford University (Magdalen College) between 1953-55, graduating with a Bachelor of Civil Law (First Class Honours). In 1956, he was a temporary lecturer in law at Magdelen before returning to Melbourne to commence practice at the Victorian Bar. He also lectured and tutored in law for a while at Melbourne University.

Specialising in equity, revenue and commercial matters, SEK read with Keith Aickin, before moving to chambers of his own in Eagle Star Chambers. He also became something of a specialist in inquiries, and eventually took silk in 1968.

During his years as a junior, SEK had four readers: Gavan Griffith, Ron Castan, Bruce Coles and Peter Galbally. He was chairman of Barristers' Chambers Ltd between 1979-87.

Among his numerous directorships and institutional activities, SEK was a member of the Barristers' Disciplinary Tribunal (Victoria) between 1980-97, and inaugural chairman of the Melbourne University Law School Foundation (1985-92). SEK is a member of the Human Ethics Committees at the Royal Children's Hospital (Melbourne) and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He has also been a councillor and vice president of the Old Colonists' Association of Victoria.

Married to Natalia Matushenko since 1970, SEK's interests include wine production (he was the founder of The Arthur's Creek Estate), writing, history and sport. SEK and Natalia have a daughter and a step-daughter. He is the co-author (with Geoffrey Blainey and James Morrissey) of Wesley College: the First Hundred Years, plus numerous papers and articles on constitutional and revenue law. SEK was made a Member of the Order of Australia (A.M) in 1992. He retired from the Bar on 30 June 2008.

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