State-wide workshops provide Interim Victims’ Commissioner opportunity to listen

Published Thursday, 16 November, 2023 at 12:15 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

  • Interim Victims’ Commissioner to hold workshops with victim support and criminal justice sector agencies in November and December
  • Wider engagement with victims of crime to occur in 2024

Eight state-wide workshops are being hosted by Jon Rouse APM, Queensland’s Interim Victims’ Commissioner.

Workshops in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Mount Isa, Townsville and Cairns will be held in November, while those in Logan, Gold Coast and Redlands will occur in December.

The workshops will support the work of the Interim Victims’ Commissioner already underway to:

    • raise awareness of the rights of victims of crime and the services available to assist them.
    • identify, develop and provide additional resources for victims of crime to understand their rights, the criminal justice process and how to access support and assistance.
    • identify the training needs for government agencies to interact with victims in a trauma informed manner.

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 appointment of a permanent Victims’ Commissioner will be announced in mid-2024, but as Queensland’s Interim Victims’ Commissioner, Mr Rouse has already been engaging with victim support agencies, government agencies and victims across Queensland.

Hosting workshops with the agencies who work closely with victims is the next step in Mr Rouse’s commitment to listen to and support victims of crime across the state and ensure their voices are heard.

The workshops will help identify some of the issues faced by some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

The Interim Victims’ Commissioner will be hearing from victim support services and those who work in the criminal justice system to help to identify gaps in information provision and training for those who support victim-survivors.

While the workshops provide an opportunity to meet the Interim Victims’ Commissioner and his team, the main purpose is to listen.

Mr Rouse will carry out broader engagement in early 2024, including meeting people with lived experience as victims of crime.

Quotes attributable to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette D’Ath:

“Through these forums we will be able to ensure that victims get better support when they need it most.

“The workshops will build a greater understanding of the issues faced by victims in the Queensland criminal justice system, through the lens of people who work most closely with them. 

“We know there has already been a lot of consultation around interaction between victims and the criminal justice system in Queensland.

“But those people who continue to share their lived experiences supporting victims and/or working in the Queensland criminal justice system will help build on the important work done to date. 

“We acknowledge the important work of the agencies who are attending the workshop and value their expertise, insight and time.”

Quotes attributable to Interim Victim’s Commissioner, John Rouse APM:

“We extend our thanks to those agencies who have accepted our invitation to attend the workshops.”

Explainer/fast fact and or further information:

Three separate recent inquiries all identified a need for an independent Queensland Victims’ Commissioner:

  • the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce (Taskforce) Hear her voice – Report Two
  • the Independent Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Services responses to domestic and family violence (QPS COI) and A call for change
  • the Legal Affairs and Safety Committee Inquiry into Support provided to Victims of Crime

Read more about the role of the Interim Victims’ Commissioner.

The workshops are for people who work in victim support or the criminal justice sector and are invite only.

  • Brisbane on Thursday 16 November.
  • Toowoomba on Friday 17 November.
  • Mount Isa on Wednesday 22 November.
  • Townsville on Thursday 23 November.
  • Cairns, Friday, 24 November .
  • Logan, planned for December.
  • Gold Coast, planned for December.
  • Redlands, planned for December.