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The Downing Centre was originally built as a department store for Mark Foy's in 1908.

Mark Foy's was taken over by Grace Brothers in 1980 who traded in the Centre until 1983.

The building was then converted into a court complex which opened in 1985.

It was named the 'Downing Centre' in 1991 after former Attorney General and Minister for Justice Reg Downing.

The Downing Centre contains 7 levels of courtrooms.

The Local Courts are situated on levels 4 & 5 and the District Courts are on the lower ground level up to level 3.

The Downing Centre is NSW's central court complex and is presided over by the Chief Judge of the NSW District Court, Justice Reg Blanch, and the Chief Magistrate of the NSW Local Court, Judge Graeme Henson.

It is a classically crafted building whose exterior comprises white bricks separated by yellow sills and cornices.

Its cultural significance is reflected in its listing on the Register of the National Estate.

All in all, the Downing Centre is a great place to work.

Downing Centre emblem

There are a number of new Magistrates in the Downing Centre Local Court this year.

Magistrate Reiss has come from Ryde Local Court. He is an extremely thorough and careful Magistrate. He is frequently in the Commonwealth Court 5.5 replacing Magistrate O'Shane.

Magistrate Milledge is from Waverley. She is fantastic. Very just and fair, especially towards those who are genuinely remorseful for criminal offences. She replaces Magistrate Barkell who had primarily been presiding over defended hearings.

And of course, there are Magistrates Buscombe, Stevenson and Favretto – a great new mix for 2013.