Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the appointment of Megan Mitchell as Australia’s first Children’s Commissioner in Canberra on February 25.
Australian Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs, said the announcement was a significant step in protecting children in Australia.
“The rights of children are a central part of all the areas of work undertaken by the Australian Human Rights Commission and appointment of Australia’s first dedicated national Children’s Commissioner, who can focus solely on the protection of the rights of children, is extremely important,” President Triggs said.
President Triggs said Ms Mitchell had extensive experience in issues facing children and young people and held qualifications in social policy, psychology and education.
“Megan has worked with children from all types of backgrounds, including significant work with vulnerable children,” Professor Triggs said. “She has practical expertise in child protection, foster and kinship care, juvenile justice, children’s services, child care, disabilities, early intervention and prevention services.”
Ms Mitchell’s previous roles include NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People, Executive Director of the ACT Office for Children, Youth and Family Support, Executive Director Out-of-Home Care in the NSW Department of Community Services, CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service and Director, Strategic Policy and Planning in the NSW Ageing and Disability Department.
“Throughout her career, Megan has not only worked to improve the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people, but she has encouraged the participation of children and young people in decision-making about issues that affect their lives.”
President Triggs said she expected that these approaches, and the great breadth of practical experience that Ms Mitchell brings to the role of Australia’s first national Children’s Commissioner, would be distinctive features of her term.
Ms Mitchell will commence her term as Children’s Commissioner on Monday, March 25 2013.