Interim Victims’ Commissioner appointed
Published Saturday, 02 September, 2023 at 10:54 AM
Acting Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath
- Interim Victims’ Commissioner appointed to assist Queensland victims of crime
- Decorated advocate and former Queensland Police Service officer Jon Rouse AM has been appointed to the role
- A permanent appointment will be made by the end of the financial year
Former Queensland Australian of the Year Jon Rouse APM has been named as Queensland’s interim Victims’ Commissioner.
Mr Rouse is a former Queensland police officer with almost 40 years’ experience including investigating crimes against children at State Crime Command’s Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Group and leading Taskforce Argos, where he implemented Australia’s first operation to proactively target internet child sex offenders.
The Palaszczuk Government committed to the establishment of a Victims’ Commissioner, as an independent statutory officer, following recommendation 18 of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce Hear her voice: Report Two (2022).
The Interim Victims’ Commissioner will start immediately, while the appointment of a permanent Victims’ Commissioner will be announced by the end of this financial year.
Acting Premier Steven Miles, Attorney General Yvette D’Ath and Cooper MP Jonty Bush announced the interim role today, following strong messaging from the community. Mr Rouse’s appointment is to ensure there is a Victims Commissioner while necessary administrative and legislative arrangements were being implemented to enable the functions of the permanent Victims’ Commissioner.
Mr Rouse will ensure the voices of victims of crime are heard and that enduring systemic improvements continue to be made to meet their needs.
The interim Victims’ Commissioner role includes:
- engaging with victims of crime and their families, associated support services and criminal justice agencies to identify, develop and provide consistent and accessible resources for victims of crime to understand their rights, the criminal justice process and how to access supports and assistance;
- raising awareness of the rights of victims of crime and the services available to them; and
- identifying the training needs for government agencies to interact with victims of crime in a trauma informed manner and identify what if any additional training should be developed and delivered by the Victims’ Commissioner.
In addition, there will be improvements to the coordination and provision of agency responses to victims of crime and the Financial Assistance Scheme, under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009, will be independently reviewed.
As part of this review, consideration will also be given to enhancements to reduce the burden on victims of violent crime.
Quotes attributable to Acting Premier Steven Miles:
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to making sure Queenslanders feel safe and heard and we know the appointment of Mr Rouse will mean so much to so many.
“I want to thank our new Interim Victims’ Commissioner for putting his hand up, to ensure this critical gap is filled.
“Engaging with victims of crime, raising awareness and helping to identify how things can be done better will be the key focuses for our new Commissioner and given his strong career history, I have no doubt Jon will excel in this role.”
Quotes attributable to Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Yvette D’Ath:
“We are very proud to appoint Mr Rouse as the Interim Victims’ Commissioner.
“Not only is he a decorated police officer, he was also awarded 2019 Queensland Australian of the year.
“The safety of Queenslanders has always been at the top of our agenda, and this is the start of further enhancing broad criminal justice reform for victims of crime.
“The role is a direct result of the Palaszczuk Government listening to the victims of crime who provided an invaluable contribution to the Committee by their willingness to share their experiences.”
Quotes attributable to Interim Victims’ Commissioner Jon Rouse:
“I am honoured to be appointed as the first Interim Victims’ Commissioner in Queensland.
“I am looking forward to listening to and supporting victims of crime across the State and ensuring their voices are heard.
“In my decades with the Queensland Police Service, I worked with many victims of crime, and I know the enduring challenges they face.
“Working together we will be able to identify new ways of providing them with the support they deserve.”
Emilia Hutchinson - 0437 060 435