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New members appointed to the Child Death Review Board

Four new members have been appointed to Queensland’s Child Death Review Board, bringing expertise in child and adolescent mental health, child sexual exploitation prevention, housing and homelessness, domestic and family violence support, frontline child protection, and child maltreatment research.

New board members:

  • Mr Murray Benton is a Barkanji man who brings strong experience in local youth-based service delivery in regional Queensland, supporting young people with crisis accommodation, emergency relief, and access to health services.
  • Ms Elizabeth McNamara is the National Education Manager with the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and a member of the National Office for Child Safety working party. She has extensive experience in childhood trauma and sexual exploitation prevention.
  • Dr Divna Haslam is a registered Clinical Psychologist, has completed ground breaking research on child maltreatment, and brings strong academic connections within the child protection sector.
  • Ms Carly Jacobitz is the Executive Director of Performance, Risk and Assurance at Life Without Barriers, with extensive frontline operational experience in child protection and residential care. She also sits on the boards of DVConnect and Peakcare.

Kamilaroi woman and sitting board member Simone Jackson has been appointed to the role of Deputy Chairperson, recognising her significant experience across Queensland’s human services sectors and her commitment to reducing the over-representation of First Nations children involved with youth justice and child protection systems.

The new board members and Ms Jackson join Chairperson and Queensland Family and Child Commission Principal Commissioner Luke Twyford and five sitting government representatives.

The board conducts systemic reviews following the deaths of children connected to the child protection system to identify opportunities for improvement and prevent future deaths. It has reviewed more than 160 cases since it was established in July 2020.

Quotes attributable to Child Death Review Board Chairperson Luke Twyford:

“I sincerely welcome the new members to the board and thank them for engaging in this often challenging and confronting work.

“The work of the board is invaluable, and I sincerely acknowledge the expertise every member brings to these reviews and the important recommendations the board makes to government and the sector.

“The skills, perspectives, and professional and lived experiences of the board’s new membership put us in good stead to deliver strong, relevant informed recommendations that can effect meaningful systemic change for Queensland families.

“I welcome the perspectives the First Nations members bring to the board, recognising these are vital to improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families who become involved with the child protection system.

“On behalf of the board, I thank outgoing members for their significant contribution, including former Deputy Chairperson Ms Jody Currie, Mr Bruce Morcombe OAM, Ms Margaret Kruger, Ms Shanna Quinn, and Professor Jeanine Young AM.”

Quotes attributable to Child Death Review Board Deputy Chairperson Simone Jackson:

“I am pleased to accept the role of Deputy Chairperson of Queensland’s Child Death Review Board and to continuing to advocate for better outcomes for Queensland children and families.

“I remain focused on harnessing the expertise of the board to drive real and urgent change to reduce the over-representation of preventable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child deaths, especially when in connection to the child protection system.

“It’s critical we learn from these tragedies and from the experiences of their families and communities—Queensland’s Child Death Review Board is committed to heeding these lessons, so we can better protect our most vulnerable children.”

[ENDS] 19 September 2023

Media Contact:

Child Death Review Board – Kirstine O’Donnell ph: 0404 971 164