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Blue Card and Foster Care Systems review Expert Panel

The Blue Card and Foster Care Systems review will be driven by the Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardonwith an Expert Panel consisting of:

Linda Apelt, former Director-General of the Department of Communities, CEO of Montrose

Linda Apelt has made significant contributions to improving service delivery across the human services sector as a former long-serving Director-General with responsibilities spanning Housing and Community Services. Linda is currently CEO of Montrose Therapy and Respite Services, a specialist allied health organisation.

Linda is an Adjunct Professor with the Institute of Social Science Research at The University of Queensland. Linda has served as a non-Executive Director on a range of Boards. She is currently Chair of Screen Queensland and a non-Executive Director on the Boards of Crèche and Kindergarten Association Ltd and Common Ground Queensland Ltd.

Hetty Johnston, AM, Founder and Chair, Bravehearts

Hetty Johnston is founder and chair of Bravehearts Foundation Ltd, Australia’s leading child protection advocate. A born lobbyist, Hetty is a woman of passion and determination who has succeeded in highlighting the crime of paedophilia and child sexual assault to media, families, schools and the general community both nationally and internationally.

Hetty works with government and non-government agencies on legislative reform, submissions, lobbying and research to improve child protection and political accountability in Australia.

Bryan Smith, Executive Director, Foster Care Queensland

Following a decision to become a Foster Carer in 1992, Bryan Smith was encouraged to become more involved in child protection. Bryan has extensive experience working with non-government Foster and Kinship Care and Residential services since 1995, as well working for the Department of Families for a short period of time.

Bryan became a committee member of Foster Care Queensland in 1996 and in that time served as both Secretary and President before being appointed to the role of Executive Director in 2004. In 2010 the Smith family became Kinship Carers, which has added a richness to Bryan’s family as well living the difference between Foster and Kinship Care. Bryan has been a significant advocate for all Foster and Kinship Care and the Child Protection system and continues that role today.

John Brennan, OAM, CEO, Surf Life Saving Queensland

John Brennan is the current Chief Executive Officer of Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ). John has been employed with SLSQ professionally for 22 years. John was honoured with the Order of Australia Medal in January 2012 for his services to the surf lifesaving movement. He has also been awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for his services to Surf Life Saving and a Citation of Merit in 2003 from International Life Saving.

John is the current Chairman/Director on the Q Sport Board, SLSQ Representative on the Qld Government State Disaster Management Group and also sits on a number of other Committees relative to Surf Life Saving Australia. Professionally, John holds membership with: Australian Institute of Management – Fellow (FAIM); Corporate Directors Association; The Australian & New Zealand Sports Law Association, and the Institute of Sports Management.

Jacqui Reed, CEO, CREATE Foundation

Jacqui Reed has been Chief Executive Officer of the CREATE Foundation since December 2007.  She has over 20 years’ experience in child protection, out-of-home care, family services and community work, and has undertaken social research and held several management roles.  She has written not only policy, training manuals and research papers, but also a children’s book. 

Jacqui is an accomplished public speaker presenting at many national and international conferences.  Jacqui firmly believes that children and young people, given the right opportunities, have the capacity to transcend their adversity and reach their full potential. Jacqui is a member of the Board of Directors and Leadership Committee at CREATE.

Paul Doyle, APM, former Assistant Commissioner Ethical Standards Command, Queensland Police Service

Mr Paul Doyle was a career police officer having served for some 37 years with the Queensland Police. On retirement in 2014 he held the rank of Assistant Commissioner with command of the Ethical Standards Command. His policing experience mainly centered on being an operational detective which covered some 26 years of his career including a number of significant appointments to major and organised crime units, counter terrorist operations, witness & dignitary protection, the Fitzgerald Commission of Inquiry, Criminal Justice Commission and Crime & Misconduct Commission.

Former Assistant Commissioner Doyle has held positions on a number of Boards and Committees including the Board of Studies of the Australian Institute of Police Management, the Australian and New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency Integrity Forum and the International Advisory Board and Research Advisory Committee of the Australian Research Council, Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security.

Shane Duffy, Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld) Ltd

Shane is a descendant of the Kalkadoon people from Mount Isa in North West Queensland. Shane has worked in the human services industry for over 20 years both within the public and not for profit sectors. Key areas of work have been juvenile justice, child protection, business development and human rights with a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples access to justice.

Shane has been the Chief Executive Officer for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service in Queensland for the last 11 years. Shane is active on a number of Boards and Advisory Groups and has represented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples internationally at United Nations forums in New York and Geneva.

Simon Burgess, Director of Civil Law, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld) Ltd

Simon Burgess is a Barrister with over 25 years’ experience in the justice system and has been the Director of Civil Law at the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Service since 2013. Simon started his legal career in 1991 in the Queensland Government where he worked for 13 years, before going to the private bar.

Simon returned to the Queensland Government in 2012 to work as Principal Legal Officer for the newly created Office of Director of Forensic Disability; a role which saw him appearing regularly as Counsel in the Mental Health Court. Simon has also previously served as a Legal Member on both the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal, Mental Health Review Tribunal and QCAT.

The Expert Panel will participate in consultation with stakeholders to explore the Blue Card and Foster Care Systems’ strengths and weaknesses, identify opportunities for improvement and oversee the development of robust advice and recommendations back to government.  The expertise of technical advisors will be drawn upon to assist the review team. 

Last modified: 
22 November 2017