Meet the Council
The Council can have up to 12 independent members, appointed by the Governor in Council on recommendation by the Attorney-General. Members apply for their positions through an expression of interest process and are appointed for 3 years.
Members include legal experts and community advocates with extensive experience in criminal law, domestic and family violence, victims of crime, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice issues and youth justice.
The Honourable Ann Lyons - Chair
Ann Lyons is a graduate of The University of Queensland—Bachelor of Laws (1977) and Queensland University of Technology—Master of Laws (1997). On 2 February 1977, she was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and continued to work at Macrossan Byrne & Co. As a solicitor, Ann practised principally in criminal law and civil litigation. She was a tutor (1978–1980) and then lecturer (1980–86) in constitutional law and contract at the Queensland University of Technology's Law School and Built Environment School. She worked from 1987 to 1994 with the Queensland Law Society and became an accredited mediator in 1993.
Ann also worked as an anti-discrimination lawyer with Queensland Rail, was a legal member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal (1995–2001) and a legal member of the Panel of Assessors under the Health Practitioners (Professional Standards) Act 1999 (Qld) (2000–05). She was appointed as the inaugural president of the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal (2000–06).
The Women Lawyers Association of Queensland named Ann their Woman Lawyer of the Year in 2004 in acknowledgement of her contributions to the Queensland legal profession. Ann has held a number of positions in various professional and charitable organisations including: canon lawyer and assistant judge, Brisbane Catholic Archdiocesan Matrimonial Tribunal (1984–1994); member and later chair, Brisbane Archdiocesan Communications Commission (1990–94); member and later chair of the Loreto College School Council (1990–97); member, Mater Private Hospital Research Ethics Committee (1998–2001); executive member, Council of the Australasian Tribunals (COAT) and convenor of the Queensland chapter (2006); member, Churchill Fellowship Queensland Selection Committee (2008–2016), member, Advisory Committee QUT Law School; member, Loreto Ministries (2015–18) member, Supreme and Federal Court Judges' Conference Committee (2012–18), and member, Legal Profession Breakfast Committee (2017-2021).
Ann was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2006 and was appointed Senior Judge Administrator (SJA) in 2017. She previously held positions on the court as the Criminal Listings Judge, member of the Mental Health Court (2008–2011), president of the Mental Health Court (2011–14) and chaired a number of court committees.
Professor Elena Marchetti - Deputy Chair
Elena is a Professor in the Griffith Law School and a co-Lead of the Disrupting Violence Beacon, Griffith University, where she researches in the areas of criminal law, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the justice system and domestic and family violence. Elena has received two large Australian Research Council Fellowship grants to conduct research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sentencing courts and partner violence, and more appropriate ways to evaluate Indigenous-focused criminal justice processes. Elena is currently researching the use of Indigenous Justice Reports in criminal sentencing hearings. She has recently been appointed to the Australian Research Council, College of Experts, is a Queensland Patron of the Justice Reform Initiative and is on the editorial board of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology.
Jo is currently working in the Aged Care sector after a lengthy career in child protection. She remains as a Board Member of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. From 2019–2021 she was employed as the Regional Visiting Manager Sunshine Coast, Community Visitor Program, Office of the Public Guardian, managing a team of local Community Visitors and advocating on behalf of vulnerable children and young people in care and adults with impaired capacity. She was the CEO of Protect All Children Today Inc., from September 2004 to July 2019, a not-for-profit organisation that supports children and young people aged 3–17 required to give evidence in criminal court hearings as victims or witnesses to crime. Jo has consistently advocated for vulnerable people’s rights and facilitated change through evidence-based feedback.
Julie Dick SC
Julie was a sitting judge of the District Court of Queensland for more than two decades. She was first appointed to the District Court in 2000 and served as a Judge of the Childrens Court of Queensland from 2001 and as the President of the Childrens Court of Queensland from 2007 to 2010. She was also appointed as an acting judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland from 2011 to 2012. Julie also co-chairs the Forensic Science Queensland’s advisory board and co-chairs the Forensic Justice Subcommittee of the DNA Advisory Board. She led a review of Queensland’s serious and organised crime laws and is also a sessional member of Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Matt is a barrister who practises in criminal and regulatory law. He was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2016, as a Solicitor of the High Court of Australia in 2018 and as a Barrister for the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2018. In 2020, he was awarded a Master of Laws from QUT, with his thesis considering how sentencing reforms for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples might operate alongside the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) which establishes a right to equality before the law. Matt also has an interest in human rights and discrimination law.
Debbie Kilroy OAM
Philip McCarthy KC
Philip was recognised as a leader within the legal profession through his appointment as King’s Counsel in December 2019, having been first called to the Bar in 1997. Philip was appointed as the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Queensland in 2021. Prior to this, he was a Consultant Crown Prosecutor with the Office of the DPP. He has extensive experience in criminal law and has worked on numerous complex and sensitive legal matters including homicide, sexual crimes, fraud and official corruption. Philip was a member of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce. Philip holds academic qualifications in Law and Science and is considered a valued mentor to aspiring legal professionals.
Katarina Prskalo KC
Katarina was recognised as a leader within the legal profession through her appointment as King's Counsel in November 2022. Katarina is the Public Defender at Legal Aid Queensland. She studied law at the Queensland University of Technology. Katarina was admitted as a solicitor in 1997 and has practised exclusively in the criminal law since 1998. She was admitted as a barrister in 2004 and entered the High Court Register of Practitioners in 2011. She has extensive experience as counsel across all criminal law jurisdictions, including the Mental Health Court and the Court of Appeal. Katarina was appointed an Acting Judge of the District Court from 30 May 2022 to 14 November 2022.
Dan is Principal at private criminal defence firm Robertson O’Gorman Solicitors. He is a Queensland Law Society accredited criminal law specialist and represents clients as a solicitor-advocate in all court levels across Queensland. He is published in various legal texts and journals on criminal law. Dan is also a Member of the Management Committee (former President) of Caxton Community Legal Centre, an organisation that supports vulnerable people facing the criminal justice system. Dan is a member of the Queensland Law Society Ethics Committee and a member (former Chair) of the Queensland Law Society Human Rights and Public Law Committee. He presently sits on the Queensland Law Society Council as the Attorney-General’s appointee.
Brett is the Assistant Commissioner of Police for the Far Northern Region, based out of Cairns. He has extensive experience across a wide range of policing duties, particularly criminal investigations. He has worked across many areas of regional Queensland during this time and has led numerous successful serious criminal investigations. In his current role, Brett is responsible for providing effective policing services in one of the most dynamic and challenging regions in the State which encompasses communities in the Torres Strait and Cape York. He holds post graduate qualifications from Charles Sturt University and the Australian Institute of Police Management.
Warren is a lawyer and has been a member of the Council since 2016. From 2014 to July 2023 he was the Chief Executive Officer of knowmore, a national community legal centre assisting victims and survivors of child abuse with their redress and justice options. knowmore also helps people applying to the
Territories Stolen Generations Redress Scheme. In this, and other previous roles including as the Director of Criminal Law at Legal Aid Queensland from 2004–2010, Warren had considerable experience working with client groups experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage, including youth and homeless people.
Prior to joining knowmore Warren was the Assistant Commissioner, Misconduct at the Crime and Misconduct Commission (as it was then known).
The Council is supported by a small, multi-disciplinary Secretariat administered by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.
April is the Director of the Secretariat of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council, and has unique expertise in law, criminology and mathematics.
Having worked in the private legal profession, the university sector, and within Queensland government, she has applied experience in criminal justice policy, evaluation, research, and teaching.
April is deeply passionate about evidence-based justice policy.
June 2018 - August 2023
November 2016 – May 2017
- Debbie Platz (August 2022–March 2023)
- Helen Watkins (11 November 2016–July 2022)
- Cheryl Scanlon APM (May 2018–July 2022)
- Mr B Costello (1 June 2018–15 September 2021)
- Kathleen Payne (10 November 2016–12 July 2020)
- John Allen QC (10 November 2016–18 December 2018)
- Vicki Loury QC (1 June 2018–18 December 2018)
- Deputy Commissioner Tracy Linford (10 November 2016–14 May 2018)
- Michael Cowen QC (10 November 2016–23 August 2017)