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Our executive

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Our executive

Luke Twyford

Principal Commissioner

Gender pronouns: he/him

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Luke joined the QFCC as Chief Executive and Principal Commissioner in January 2022. Luke is an accomplished senior executive, with rich experience in the child and family sector.

Luke’s career spans more than 20 years across Commonwealth, New South Wales and Northern Territory governments in the areas of reform, research and evidence, integrity, audit, governance and complaints management.

Prior to joining the QFCC, Luke worked for nine years with the Northern Territory Government, leading critical reform of the child protection system and its legal frameworks. This included legislating a charter of rights for children in care and leading reform in family support and out-of-home care programs to empower children and families and reduce abuse, neglect and youth crime. He was also responsible for monitoring the performance of the Child Safety Department and delivering projects to improve the systems designed to keep children in care safe.

Luke holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honors from the University of Wollongong. He has extensive experience providing evidence to courts, inquiries and commissions. He led the whole-of-government responses to two royal commissions, with his evidence on system reform and child voices provided to Royal Commission on the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory the most frequently quoted material in the final report.

Luke is a special advisor to QUT’s Australian Child Maltreatment Study, a pioneering research program into the scale and impact of child abuse and neglect in Australia. He was Chairperson of the Child and Youth Development Research Partnership, an initiative of leading research institute the Menzies School of Health Research, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.

Luke’s parents fostered a number of children throughout his childhood, with his own lived experience and those of his foster brothers and sisters profoundly shaping the perspective he brings to his work and his passion in advocating for the rights and wellbeing of children and young people.

Natalie Lewis

Commissioner

Gender pronouns: she/her

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Natalie Lewis is a Gamilaraay woman and the Commissioner of the Queensland Family and Child Commission. 

Natalie is fiercely committed to progressing a transformational reform agenda to strengthen Queensland’s focus on children’s rights. Her passion for children’s rights is inspired by the experiences of children and young people disadvantaged by the systems designed to protect them, especially those in statutory child and youth justice systems.

Natalie has dedicated her career to improving life outcomes for First Nations Peoples across Australia and is deeply committed to addressing the systemic and structural issues that disproportionately affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. She has led significant national reform across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child protection and family services sectors, playing an instrumental role in the implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle in Australian child protection legislation. She is a strong advocate for protecting the right of First Nations People to exercise self-determination and to remain meaningfully connected to kin, culture and Country.

Natalie’s career spans more than 25 years in both Australia and the United States, working in frontline service delivery, program and policy development, and organisational leadership across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and youth justice and child and family sectors.

Natalie is an adjunct research fellow at Griffith University, a member of the Australian Child Rights Task Force, and a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Group for the successor plan to the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020.

She is also the former Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP) and has held appointments on the Queensland First Children and Families Board, the Joint Ministerial Council for Closing the Gap, and the National Executive of SNAICC – National Voice for our Children.

Christopher Smith

Executive Director - Government Relations and Corporate Services

Gender pronouns: he/him

Christopher Smith has been temporarily appointed to the role of Executive Director Government Relations and Corporate Services. Chris has extensive senior leadership and management experience, having worked over nine years in Director roles across a range of areas. Chris has previously worked at the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Environment and Science, and the University of Southern Queensland.

Chris brings a diversity of key specialisations extending to leading teams involving finance, human resources, administration, procurement, travel, strategic and operational planning, corporate and performance reporting, facilities, business continuity, internal audit, risk management, as well as experience on taskforces and project teams. 

As Executive Director of Government Relations and Corporate Services, Chris will coordinate, lead, and influence legislative and policy submissions and responses to ensure the QFCC’s views and positions are represented at a local, state and national level. Chris will ensure the QFCC’s corporate services and functions enable and empower the Commission to achieve its strategic objectives.

Anne Edwards

Executive Director - Operations

Gender pronouns: she/her

Anne Edwards is the Executive Director Operations.

She has extensive experience leading reform, including establishing the First Nations Justice Office within Queensland’s Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG), where she led efforts to achieve the justice targets outlined in the National Agreement and establishing the Justice Policy Partnership in Queensland. Anne performed a central role in the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry and has experience as a senior leader at the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council (QSAC).

Anne holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in psychology and criminology, a Master of Arts (Criminology) from the University of Melbourne, and a Graduate Diploma in Public Policy from the University of New South Wales.

As the Executive Director of Operations, Anne will deliver projects to keep government systems accountable for their impact on children and families, which is a key strategic objectives for the QFCC.