New Family Responsibilities Commissioner appointed

Trailblazing Indigenous and human rights advocate Tammy Williams has been appointed in the role of Family Responsibilities Commissioner.

Ms Williams – a Murri woman from the Guwa people near Winton and the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples of central Queensland – will officially start in the role on 2 September, replacing long-serving Commissioner David Glasgow.

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Jackie Trad said the appointment, which provides certainty around the future of the Family Responsibilities Commission (FRC).

“Ms Williams’ appointment as Commissioner provides strong leadership for the Welfare Reform Communities serviced by the FRC,” Ms Trad said.

“Ms Williams has the energy, vision and ability to communicate across local, corporate and government levels and offers a strategic and fresh leadership approach.

“She brings deep understanding of the commission, its Local Commissioners and communities from her time as Acting Director-General of the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, in addition to extensive decision-making, mediation and alternative dispute resolution techniques from seven years as a Queensland Civil and Administrative TribunalAdjudicator.

“As Commissioner she will play an important role together with Local Commissioners in the co-design of Local Thriving Communities in the Welfare Reform communities, including building on the local leadership established through the FRC,” she said.

The appointment follows an agreed recruitment process and nomination endorsed by the Family Responsibilities Board, which includes representatives from the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments and Cape York Institute.

Ms Trad also thanked outgoing Commissioner Glasgow for his significant contributions to improving outcomes in the Welfare Reform communities during his 11 years of service with the FRC.

“Mr Glasgow has served the FRC since its establishment in 2008 and on behalf of the Queensland Government, I acknowledge his contributions, including his guidance and mentorship shared with Local Commissioners in the five welfare communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale, Doomadgee and Mossman Gorge,” she said.

“I also acknowledge the valued role of former Deputy Commissioner Rodney Curtin, who served in this role alongside Commissioner Glasgow for over eight years.”

Any extension to the initial 10-month Commissioner appointment past 30 June 2020 will be progressed following a co-design process with the Welfare Reform communities to evolve the FRC in line with local priorities, needs and aspirations.


About the FRC

The FRC is an independent statutory body established under the Family Responsibilities Commission Act 2008 in July 2008.

It is a key element of Queensland’s Welfare Reform program with objectives to restore social norms, re-establish local Indigenous authority, enable engagement in the economy and increase home ownership.

The FRC is co-funded by the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments and has been operating in the Cape York communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge since July 2008. The FRC has operated in Doomadgee since 2014, where it is funded solely by the Queensland Government.

About Commissioner Tammy Williams

Ms Tammy Williams was awarded her law degree in 2001 from the Queensland University of Technology.

She was admitted as a Barrister in the Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court in Australia in 2002 and has more than 20 years of professional and pro-bono experience working in the field of human rights, with a focus on Indigenous and children’s rights.

As Acting Director-General of the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Ms Williams was Chair of both the Family Responsibilities Board, which oversees the FRC, and the Welfare Reform Advisory Board. In the role of Deputy Director-General (Policy) she was Chair of the Welfare Reform Advisory Board Working Group.

Other significant appointments and memberships include:

  • Former Commissioner of the Queensland Family and Child Commission
  • Membership of the National Human Rights Consultation Committee, which analysed Commonwealth and State human rights laws and policies, and comparative international laws and Parliamentary mechanisms. The committee has been credited with undertaking the most comprehensive public consultation of its type in the nation’s history.
  • Membership of the National Indigenous Council, a peak advisory body that advised the Australian Government on matters relating to Indigenous policy.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.