New RTI Commissioner to start in January

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Stephanie Winson has been appointed as Queensland’s new Right to Information (RTI) Commissioner.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said Ms Winson was highly qualified, possessed international experience and would bring a fresh approach to a valued, vital and independent position.

“We are privileged to have someone with Ms Winson’s experience as the new RTI Commissioner,” Minister Fentiman said.

“As head of an independent statutory body, we look forward to Ms Winson being autonomous and carrying out her duties in a fair and impartial way.”

As an Assistant Ombudsman in New Zealand, Ms Winson led the System Monitoring Office, which was responsible for analysing and proactively intervening on potential systemic issues.

Ms Winson also oversaw more than 40 staff and her role included leading investigations and Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture examinations across seven jurisdictions.

Her impressive career includes being a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand since March 2002 and Secretary of the National Assembly in Namibia (1997-2000), having previously been Director Legal Services of the Namibian Parliament (1995-97).

She joined New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority as a senior solicitor in January 2001, before undertaking the role of Chief Legal Counsel with Maritime New Zealand in 2007, where she later was promoted to General Manager.

Ms Fentiman said Ms Winson’s broad range of experience and qualifications, which included earning a Master of Laws with distinction at Victoria University, Wellington, were perfectly matched for the role of RTI Commissioner.

“Her skill set includes constitutional, administrative, criminal and international law, regulatory and policy design, public finance and drafting and law reforms,” Minister Fentiman said.

“It’s an all-encompassing position and Ms Winson’s resume covers all bases, from working with and within governments to drafting law reforms and working with statutory bodies.

Ms Winson will start her three-year posting on 3 January 2023.

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