GOVERNMENT FORMALISES VICTIMS OF CRIME ROLES
Attorney-General Martin Pakula today announced the official appointment of seven representatives to the Victims of Crime Consultative Committee.
The victims of crimes’ representatives will bring their own unique experiences of crime and the criminal justice system to inform the work of the committee.
The representatives, who will serve for a two-year term, are Ms Sandra Betts, Ms Helen Cross, Ms Noelle Dickson, Ms Meliza Ludowyke, Mr Richard Prowse, Ms Carol Turner and Ms Jennifer Debnam-Williams.
Mr Pakula also announced the formal appointment of the Victims of Crime Commissioner, Greg Davies APM, and the Victims of Crime Consultative Committee Chair, the Honourable Bernard Teague AO.
Mr Davies was appointed inaugural commissioner in October 2014 and Mr Teague was appointed chair in April 2015. Legislation formalising their roles was proclaimed on 3 February this year and this week, Mr Davies and Mr Teague were formally appointed under that legislation.
The Victims of Crime Consultative Committee, which was formed in 2013, has proven to be a valuable forum where victims of crime, judges and magistrates and criminal justice professionals come together to discuss policy and services for victims of crime.
The recently-enacted legislation guarantees the committee will continue to provide victims of crime with the opportunity to be heard by Government and will ensure their concerns are considered in formulating policy.
The Commissioner’s primary focus will be to address systemic victim issues and to report to the Attorney-General. The Commissioner will also be responsible for advising government as to how the justice system can be improved to better meet the needs of victims.
The Commissioner also has powers to request records from Victoria Police, the Office of Public Prosecutions and other government departments and agencies.
Since his appointment, Mr Davies has been an effective advocate for victims of crime and the formalisation of his role will ensure he is able to continue to be an independent voice for victims.
Quotes attributable to Attorney General Martin Pakula
“Collectively these representatives have experienced a diverse range of crimes and can draw on these experiences to help bring about better outcomes for all victims.”
“A just society demands that we recognise the particular harm suffered by victims of crime and that we include them in the justice system in a respectful and meaningful way.”
“Today’s announcement provides greater certainty for victims of crime by formalising the independent role of the Commissioner and the members of the consultative committee.”