First Victims’ Commissioner appointed

Beck O'Connor
In-coming Victims' Commissioner Beck O'Connor. | Photo: Supplied

DVConnect CEO Beck O’Connor will become Queensland’s first Victims’ Commissioner.

State Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said Ms O’Connor, who will start in the role at the end of July, had dedicated her professional career to social justice.

Minister D’Ath said she was a champion for equality and self-determination and stood up for victims across many sectors including health, mental health, child protection, as well as social and disability support.

As well as DVConnect CEO, Ms O’Connor is also a co-chair of the Independent Ministerial Advisory Council, Deputy Managing Director of the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation and a founding member of the National Lived Experience Advisory Council for the Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission.

“This extensive experience makes Ms O’Connor well positioned to ensure the perspective of victim-survivors are a key part of informing her examination of current system responses and ensuring that government and community led approaches ethically reflect and meet victim’s needs and rights,” Minister D’Ath said.

Ms O’Connor starts in the role on July 29 for a five-year appointment, taking over from Interim Commissioner Jon Rouse.

Minister D’Ath said the Victims’ Commissioner would play a critical role in championing the rights of victims of crime and provide a platform for their voices to be heard within the criminal justice system, as well as addressing systemic issues impacting their welfare.

“The Victims’ Commissioner will have the power to conduct systemic reviews of key matters relating to victims of crime and will also review the State’s Charter of Victims’ Rights. This review will specifically consider whether additional rights should be recognised or if existing rights should be expanded.”

She said the role would also have responsibility for developing a website to help guide victims as they navigated the criminal justice process.

Ms O’Connor said she was committed to elevating the voices and concerns of those with lived experiences, ensuring the systems prioritised the rights and recovery of victim-survivors.

“In this role I have an opportunity to lead transformative change with courage and compassion.

“I am dedicated to removing barriers to justice and healing, ensuring that our systems not only support but also enable victims to thrive.”