Maria Stockley, who demonstrated that it was possible to combine a successful legal career with family life, has died in Melbourne. She was 59.
Maria had legal practice experience from 1975 to 1984 before becoming a Legal Costs Consultant in September 1984.
Admitted to legal practice in 1975, and after working in general and family law, Maria Stockley joined Grace Costs Consultants in September 1984.
She found being a Legal Costs Consultant met her needs for professional fulfillment whilst providing the flexibility that was necessary for raising a family. At the time she had three sons with her husband Derek. They went on to have two more. Combining demanding legal work with the responsibility of raising five children was a major challenge.
Maria worked with Grace Costs Consultants, Mahlabs Costing and the Costing Service, Law Institute of Victoria before establishing her own costing practice in her later years.
During her 27 years as a Costs Consultant, Maria established a reputation for being hard working, competent and professional.
She was well liked on a personal and professional level. Her life and work experience enabled her to share amusing and entertaining stories. Her expertise and experience meant that her opinions were not only sought on costing matters, but also child rearing as well. She also had a direct manner which was appreciated.
Although it is common practice in the legal profession now, combining career and child rearing in the 1980’s was not easy. Child care was different. Government support was absent.
Her childhood was set in a variety of country and suburban locations as her father moved with his railways job. Her mother often worked nights as a midwife. Maria had two younger brothers, Paul and Stephen, who both (separately) passed away in tragic circumstances in their early adult years.
Maria was a bright and intelligent student. She chose Law at Monash University as it seemed to be the appropriate thing to do.
Maria found time for community involvement throughout her life. Her skills and expertise were keenly sought. Amongst others, she served on managing committees of The Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing ("ACCIH"), Eastern Suburbs Law Association and Eastern Volunteers.
Her illnesses were a combination of diabetes, severe kidney failure and related problems. Maria decided to opt for palliative care. For most of the last six weeks, Maria was at home where she died peacefully.
Maria is survived by husband, Derek, sons, Michael, Anthony, David, James, Andrew, and grand-daughter Grace. A grandson Ryan was born in June 2012.