Mr Worthington, 76, was Chief Judge of the District Court of South Australia from 1997 to 2013 and served on numerous legal boards and committees, including as president of the Law Society of SA and part-time commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission.
He and his wife Jill have been members of the Adelaide Hills parish for 45 years and their five children attended St Catherine’s Catholic School and Mercedes College.
A Sacred Heart College old scholar, Mr Worthington entered St Francis Xavier Seminary and studied philosophy for three years before opting for a career in law.
A key influence on him was the now deceased Adelaide bishop Philip Kennedy.
“I was at the seminary with Phil Kennedy who had been a lawyer so amongst our group we would often chat about the law,” he told The Southern Cross.
“That sparked my interest in it and after I decided the priesthood wasn’t for me, I followed up on it and found I loved it.”
Having already completed some tertiary studies, Mr Worthington could only afford to study part-time while working at the General Post Office and later as a clerk at the Crown Law Office.
He was admitted to practice in 1969 and spent the next 16 years at Ward and Partners where he rose to partner.
In 1985 Mr Worthington began working solely as a barrister at Jeffcott Chambers and after three years was appointed Queen’s Counsel. In 1995 he was appointed a Judge in the District Court and two years later was made Chief Judge.
“I am honoured to be given this award,” said the retired judge and grandfather of 10.
“I enjoyed being part of the committees and boards that I have served on.
“It was a privilege to lead the Court for 15 or so years.”
Born in Brisbane, Mr Worthington went to school at Christian Brothers’ College, Manly, in Sydney before his family moved to Marion and he began attending Sacred Heart College at Somerton Park.
He was a member of the Bishops’ Trustees Board of St Francis Xavier Seminary from 1991 to 2002.Jump to next article