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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Office of the Public Guardian opens Cairns hub

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Thursday, September 10, 2015

    Office of the Public Guardian opens Cairns hub

    Children and young people in the child protection system and adults with impaired decision making capacity are now better protected in far north Queensland, thanks to the Office of the Public Guardian’s new hub at Cairns.

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath officially opened the office today to mark Queensland’s Child Protection Week.

    “Improving the lives and futures of the most vulnerable members of our community is a priority for the Palaszczuk Government,” Mrs D’Ath said.

    “This week is Queensland Child Protection Week, when we focus attention on the issues of child abuse and neglect.

    The Office of the Public Guardian has special responsibilities to protect the rights and wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people in the child protection system and was a key recommendation of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.

    “It combines the functions of the Adult Guardian and Child Guardian and is responsible for protecting the rights, interests and wellbeing of vulnerable Queenslanders right across the state.

    “Staff based in this hub also support adult clients with impaired capacity to make decisions.”

    Mrs D’Ath said the Cairns hub joined existing Office of the Public Guardian offices at South Brisbane, Ipswich and Townsville.

    “Cairns was chosen as a location for the Office of the Public Guardian to help protect, and provide support and advocacy to children in the child protection system across far north Queensland,” Mrs D’Ath said.

    “Alarmingly, around 40 per cent of children and young people in care identify as being from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background, and this figure is significantly higher in far north Queensland.

    “In addition to the Palaszczuk Government’s strategies to provide additional support to vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, this office in Cairns is an important safeguard to protect the rights, interests and wellbeing of children and young people from all backgrounds.”

    Acting Public Guardian Julia Duffy said the Cairns office had been open since February and provided valuable outreach support to remote communities at Cape York and the Torres Strait.

    “The official opening as part of Child Protection Week is another important step in implementing the recommendations of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry,” she said.

    “I would like to thank the Queensland Government, and the Attorney-General in particular, for their continuing support of this important work.”

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