The Inquiry Panel, from left: Emeritus Professor Dorothy Scott OAM, the Honourable Philip Cummins (Chair) and Mr Bill Scales AO
The Chair of the Inquiry is the Honourable Philip Cummins, a former Victorian Supreme Court Judge, who has had a long commitment to child protection. In 1993 he was the judge in the Supreme Court trial for the murder of Daniel Valerio, which was a catalyst for the introduction in Victoria of mandatory reporting of child abuse, which he recommended. Upon his retirement from judicial office in November 2009, Mr Cummins became Co-Patron of Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia (CAPRA), and also undertook research in the Faculty of Medicine at Monash University into child abuse, with a particular focus on children’s experiences of the court process. Upon his appointment as Chair of the Inquiry, he relinquished both these positions. Mr Cummins was a Queen’s Counsel in Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT for 10 years prior to his appointment to the Bench. He was Chairman of the Victorian Bar and Senior Vice-President of the Australian Bar. He was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria from 1988 to 2009, sitting in all its Divisions and in the Court of Appeal. He was Senior Judge of the Trial Division of the Court and Principal Judge of the Criminal Division. He holds degrees of Master of Laws and Master of Science (Psychiatry) from The University of Melbourne and is a Senior Fellow (Hon) in the Law School at that University.
Emeritus Professor Dorothy Scott, the Acting Director of the Australian Centre for Child Protection since December 2011, was the Foundation Chair of Child Protection and the inaugural Director of the Australian Centre for Child Protection at the University of South Australia until she retired in 2010. She has worked in the fields of mental health and child protection and developed the first sexual assault counselling service in Victoria in the 1970s. Professor Scott has conducted several child protection inquiries and been an adviser to State and Commonwealth Governments. For her service to the community Professor Scott was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia and the Centenary Medal. The author of five books and many refereed articles, Professor Scott has been influential nationally and internationally in improving approaches to preventing and responding to child abuse and neglect.
Mr Scales brings a broad range of experience from business, government, public policy and the community to the Inquiry Panel. In addition to his role on the Panel, he currently holds the positions of Chancellor at Swinburne University of Technology, a Panel Member of the Australian Government Review of Funding for Schooling, a member of the Advisory Board of Veolia Australia, and a Victorian Council Member and a Member of the National Education Advisory Committee of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Mr Scales has also held positions as Chair of the Port of Melbourne Corporation; Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet in Victoria; Group Managing Director, Regulatory, Corporate and Human Relations and Chief of Staff, Telstra Corporation; Chair and CEO of the Industry/Productivity Commission; Chair of the Australian Government’s Safety and Compensation Council and Commissioner of the Australian Government’s Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission; Chair and CEO of the Automotive Industry Authority; Administrator of the City of Brimbank; Panel Member of the Review of Australian Higher Education and a Member of the Expert Reference Group to advise the Australian Government on regulatory matters related to the Higher Education Sector; and chair and member of many other boards, councils and committees.
Wednesday 22 September 2011
Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge today announced that, at the Inquiry panel’s request, the reporting date for the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry has been extended to 27 January 2012.
Tuesday 28 June 2011
The Inquiry into child protection has begun holding its metropolitan Public Sittings, with Sittings in Melbourne on 28 June and 5 July as part of its consultations with the community.
Wednesday 18 May 2011
The Inquiry into child protection has begun holding Public Sittings across regional Victoria as part of its extensive community consultation, starting in Geelong today.
Monday 28 February 2011
The Inquiry into child protection has invited written submissions and outlined the processes the Inquiry will follow, at its first public meeting in Melbourne today.
Monday 31 January 2011
Premier Ted Baillieu today launched the inquiry Protecting Victoria's Vulnerable Children to comprehensively investigate systemic problems in Victoria's child protection system and make recommendations to strengthen and improve the protection and support of vulnerable young Victorians.