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QFCC Commissioner

Cheryl Vardon

Chief Executive and Principal Commissioner

Cheryl Vardon is the Chief Executive and Principal Commissioner at the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC). She has held the role since October 2015. 

Cheryl has had a distinguished career as an educator and is recognised for her leadership in the protection of vulnerable children and young people and for indigenous education. She is an experienced leader of policy implementation and system reform.​

As the Principal Commissioner, Cheryl is committed to working with families and children, government agencies, and community organisations to make Queensland a safer place to raise a family. As a leader with extensive experience, Cheryl is well positioned to play a key role in the reform of Queensland’s child protection and family support system and to champion the needs of all children and families, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

One of Cheryl’s first priorities and achievements was to establish the QFCC Advisory Council which will help her to deliver on the QFCC’s mandate through collaborative partnerships across the sector.​

Current roles and memberships:

  • Women’s Leadership Institute Australia
  • Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management
  • Fellow of the Australian College of Education. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Previous positions:

  • Director-General of Education for Western Australia
  • Chief Executive of the ACT Department of Education and Children's Services
  • Vice Principal of the University of Melbourne
  • Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra.
  • Chief Executive of the Department of Public and Consumer Affairs
  • Commissioner for Consumer Affairs for South Australia
  • Regional Director of Education in Victoria
  • Statutory roles for:
    • Social Security Appeals Tribunal
    • Commonwealth Safety and Rehabilitation Compensation Commission
    • Teachers Disciplinary Appeals Board, Victorian Government.

Major projects and recognition

  • Led the review of child protection services and management, Territory as Parent​ and The Territory’s Children, (2004)
  • Consulted on the establishment of a secondary school for indigenous Fijian children on Turtle Island in Fiji (2003-05).
  • Consultation to philanthropic leaders in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia to develop programs and services for disadvantaged young people (2001-03)
  • Commonwealth Government Reconciliation Council Award for her work on indigenous education (Western Australia, 1998).