5 June 2023
Minister for Health
Another important step to strengthen child safety in our hospitals and health settings has been taken as the Tasmanian Government implements the recommendations from the Child Safe Governance Review.
An independent panel has now been appointed to review all child safeguarding concerns and complaints in our hospitals and health services.
The establishment of the Child Safety and Wellbeing Panel is part of the implementation of the Department of Health’s Child Safety and Wellbeing Framework and recommendations of the independently chaired Child Safe Governance Review.
Following a nation-wide search, Barbara Hingston has been appointed as Chair of the Panel.
Ms Hingston is an experienced non-executive director and former senior executive with governance experience in national and multi-state not-for-profit businesses and public entities, including tertiary health systems, oral health, youth mental health, disability and other human services.
She is a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to community, health and people with disability.
Two further independent members have been appointed:
- Paula Davies is an experienced lawyer who has worked in legal and policy roles with the South Australian Government and as a lawyer in private practice; and
- Ann Stark has been a psychologist since 1974. She has practised extensively in various organisations in Tasmania and Queensland, with an emphasis on roles in family therapy and child psychology. She has held various regulatory appointments in the psychology field.
Importantly, the Panel includes two consumer representatives:
- Erica Edmands has had her own legal practice undertaking workplace investigations and training with clients such as University of Melbourne and Victoria Police. She is also a partner in a national behaviour change consultancy. Ms Edmands has previously been Associate Director with Mental Health at Work and Associate Director of Managing Work Life Balance; and
- Nix Berry grew up in Tasmania and has experience in child and health services in that context. Achievements include being a student facilitator with the School Partnerships Program at La Trobe University in Melbourne, and working with secondary and middle school students from diverse and low socio‑economic backgrounds.
Premier and Minister for Health, Jeremy Rockliff said the establishment of the Child Safety and Wellbeing Panel is part of the Tasmanian Government’s commitment to strengthening child safety in our hospitals and health settings.
“There is nothing more important than safeguarding children and young people, and we are continuing to progress critical changes to improve child safety in our Health Service,” the Premier said.
“The independent panel is another important step that will better safeguard children and young people into the future.”
Work is continuing to implement all 92 recommendations from the Child Safe Governance Review, which was commissioned by the Government following the Health hearings of the Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s responses to child sexual abuse in institutional settings.
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