Our Executive

Cheryl Vardon

Chief Executive and Principal Commissioner

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

Cheryl was awarded an honorary doctorate (Doctor of the University) from Griffith University in 2018. 

She has a distinguished career as an educator and is recognised for her leadership in the protection of vulnerable children and young people. 

Since 2016 Cheryl has led a series of reviews for the Queensland Government leading to practical systems reform measures to keep vulnerable children more than safe. Reviews into system reforms still continue under Cheryl’s leadership. 

She is an experienced reviewer of systems using case studies and stories to influence policy and establish reforms.

Cheryl’s work in Indigenous education and services for Indigenous children and young people has received a Prime Minister’s Reconciliation Award. 

She has held many leadership, board and statutory roles, as a Director-General, Chief Executive, Commissioner and Adjunct Professor, in private, public and not-for-profit organisations, including education departments, children’s services departments, consumer affairs, a national charity, universities, and tribunals. 

Cheryl is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Managers and Leaders, a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Women's Leadership Institute Australia. 

Cheryl is an experienced public speaker, having delivered a number of keynotes across Australia and internationally throughout her career. 

To request Cheryl as a speaker or panellist at your next event, contact us.

Natalie Lewis

Commissioner

Natalie Lewis was appointed Commissioner for the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) in May 2020.

Ms Lewis, a Gamilaraay woman, brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge from her distinguished over 20-year career in youth justice, child and family services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs.

Ms Lewis works alongside Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon with a strong and renewed focus on the systemic and structural issues disproportionately affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Previously, Ms Lewis held the role of Chief Executive Officer with QATSICPP Limited.

As Commissioner, Ms Lewis drives change to better the safety, wellbeing and interests of children and young people, including those in the child protection system.

Jaime Blackburn

Executive Director - Research and Child Death Prevention

Jaime is a senior executive and qualified accountant with extensive experience in both the public and private sector, having spent a significant period of her career delivering professional services within a ‘Big 4’ environment in Queensland and in the UK.  

Jaime previously worked for the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and held roles in corporate governance, risk management and internal audit services. 

Jaime currently manages the child death prevention, family and child research and the child death review teams.  

Jaime also acts as a risk management advisor to the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Queensland Art Gallery. 

Penny Creamer

Executive Director - Oversight and Indigenous Outcomes

Penny Creamer is the Executive Director Oversight and Indigenous Outcomes and has been with the QFCC since June 2018.

Penny brings a wealth of knowledge to the QFCC, having worked in child and youth services and the education sector for more than two decades. 

Penny has extensive experience working in Indigenous education, setting up early childhood programs in remote areas of Queensland including Cape York, Torres Strait Islands and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Further to this work, Penny led the implementation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child and family centres across 10 Queensland communities.

Working both internationally and here in Queensland, Penny has led a variety of youth programs, including her work in the foundational Bullying. No Way! campaign which provides information and ideas for students, parents and teachers to combat bullying.