New advisory council brings together child protection leaders

A new advisory body has been set up to provide advice and views on the best way to protect and care for Queensland’s children and young people and improve the state’s child protection and family support system.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said the new Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) Advisory Council brought together talented people with in-depth knowledge of the family support and child protection sectors, to provide guidance and be a key link between the QFCC and the wider sector.

“Nothing is more important than protecting our children and making sure families get the support they need,” Ms Fentiman said.

“The QFCC has a vital role in promoting the safety, wellbeing and best interests of children and young people across the state. 

“It also promotes and advocates the responsibility of families and communities to protect and care for children and young people and is a key part of the government’s efforts to improve the child protection and family support system. 

“I commend the QFCC, under the direction of new Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon, for establishing this advisory council which is made up of a broad range of representatives with expertise in fields related to child protection and family support.”

Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon said the QFCC Advisory Council will help to promote the shared responsibility we have to keep children safe in Queensland.

“We’re more than a year into significant reforms to Queensland’s child protection and family support system, and now more than ever, we must continue to focus on the wellbeing of the most vulnerable children and families in the state if we have any hope of improving lives,” Ms Vardon said.

“This advisory council brings together some of Queensland’s best minds in family support and child protection, but also those who’ve had the experience of being in care and those who’ve led very public lives advocating for change,” she said.

“For those working across the sector, there is a genuine effort to improve the lives of Queensland’s children and families and the advisory council can play an important role in helping me expand the ways we work together and build partnerships across the sector.”

The establishment of the QFCC Advisory Council was recommendation 6.3 of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry Report.

The members of the new advisory council are:

  •          Professor Lesley Chenoweth, AO, School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University ;
  •          Ms Kay Ganley, CEO, Charlton Brown;
  •          Detective Chief Superintendent Cameron Harsley APM,, Queensland Police Service;
  •          Ms Rachel Hunter, Chair, Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority;
  •          Ms Hetty Johnston, AM, Founder and CEO of Bravehearts;
  •          Mr Ben Pearce, Youth Representative , CREATE Foundation;
  •          Ms Zoe Rathus, Senior Lecturer, Griffith Law School;
  •          Dr James Scott, Associate Professor, SOM Central – Psychiatry, Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital;
  •          Professor Cindy Shannon, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Indigenous Education), University of Queensland;
  •          Professor Clare Tilbury, School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University;
  •          Ms Heather Watson, Director, McCullough Robertson; and
  •          Mr Ron Weatherall, Deputy Director-General, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.


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