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New advisory council members named

Former Childrens Court Judge John Robertson will co-chair the new Independent Ministerial Advisory Council.

Queensland’s new Independent Ministerial Advisory Council (IMAC) will be co-chaired by former Childrens Court Judge John Robertson and Beck O’Connor, DVConnect chief executive.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath announced the members of the IMAC today which includes victims of crime, representatives from the legal sector and peak advocacy bodies, First Nations representatives and expert practitioners.

The council will provide advice, guidance and victims’ perspectives on criminal justice issues and youth crime reforms being considered by government.

This will include primary crime prevention and early intervention for young offenders, and those at risk of entering the criminal justice system and rehabilitation for youth offenders.

The IMAC will also provide advice and guidance on how victim support services could be improved.

Co-chair John Robertson, who was Chair of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council from 2018-2023, said it was an honour to be appointed.

“There is a wealth of expertise and experience on this council,” he said.

“Reforming the criminal justice system will not be a quick fix.

“However, I am confident that our shared insight and experience will make a valuable contribution to improving how the system supports victims and to help create meaningful reform.”

Fellow co-chair Beck O’Connor, who also leads support service VictimConnect, said she looked forward to serving on the council.

“I acknowledge the need for significant reform to ensure the criminal justice system not only provides accessibility, safety, and cultural appropriateness for all victims of crime, but also facilitates healing and community involvement,” she said.

“I am committed to creating a more empathetic, responsive, and supportive criminal justice system – one that prioritises the needs and rights of victims throughout.”

CEO of Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion Matilda Alexander, who is also a member of the Queensland Law Society Human Rights and Public Law Committee, is also on IMAC.

Other IMAC members include Professor Susan Dennison, Robert (Keith) Hamburger AM, Ian Leaves APM and Professor Lorraine Mazerolle.

The IMAC will be supported by a secretariat in the new Justice Reform Office (JRO). The JRO will lead evidence-based reform of the criminal justice system with a focus on improving programs to divert people away from the criminal justice system, helping people to break the cycle of reoffending, making communities safer, and reducing demand on courts and prisons.

The IMAC will provide advice and guidance relevant to the JRO’s work plan.

It will hold its first meeting in coming weeks.

For more information about the IMAC, go to www.justice.qld.gov.au/imac

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