Sentencing Advisory Council announces new ATSI Panel

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has today officially announced the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel for the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council (QSAC).

Mrs D’Ath said the eight-person panel would provide expert advice to QSAC as it works to understand and address the over-representation of Indigenous people in Queensland’s criminal justice system.

“The Council will now be able to give a stronger voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in regards to how sentencing operates, along with a better sense of how Indigenous communities are affected by current responses, and insight into what changes might be made to improve outcomes,” she said.

“Since it was re-established in 2016, QSAC has played a significant role in explaining, and increasing public confidence in, the complex area of sentencing. I wish them all the best as they broaden their important work.”

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Jackie Trad added her support to the establishment of the Advisory Panel.

“This initiative is exactly what I had hoped for when I oversaw the introduction of the Queensland Government Reconciliation Action Plan earlier this year. We are determined to improve community participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in all aspects of public life,” Ms Trad said.

“I applaud QSAC for demonstrating that partnerships with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities can be achieved, and that we respect and prioritise their views and perspectives when it comes to critical social issues. I look forward to watching the contributions of this amazing group of community leaders.”

The new ATSI Advisory Panel members are:

Laurie Bateman – former Police Liaison Officer for the Queensland Police Service (QPS) in Cunnamulla and currently a police recruit at the Townsville Police Academy.

Dr Janet Hammill – Co-ordinator of the Collaboration for Alcohol Related Development Disorders (CARDD) at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, and Senior Researcher at Synapse.

Raymond Harrison – Youth Support Worker in the Crucial Connections (Reconnect) Program at Sisters Inside.

Melissa Lucashenko – Founding Member of Sisters Inside Inc. and award-winning author.

Boneta-Marie Mabo – Youth Programs Manager, Sisters Inside Inc. and visual artist.

Rebecca McKenzie – Court Coordinator, Brisbane Murri Court, and member of Brisbane Murri Elders Community Justice Group.

Stephen Tillett – Acting Senior Sergeant, Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Project Manager, Cairns Safer Streets.

Graham White – Director of Sector Engagement and Communications at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, Brisbane.

The Advisory Panel will be Chaired by QSAC Council member Bevan Costello, a proud Waka Waka man, Deputy Principal of Cherbourg State School and Chair of the Barambah Justice Group.

The QSAC ATSI Advisory Panel will hold its first meeting today and will meet bi-monthly.

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