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.

Current members | Former members

Current members

John Robertson - Chair

John was admitted as a solicitor in 1973 and formed his own firm in 1978, which ultimately became Robertson O’Gorman. He was Deputy President of the Queensland Community Corrections Board from 1991-1994. In 1994, he was appointed as a District Court Judge. He served in Ipswich, Brisbane, and, for the last 16 years leading to retirement in 2018, at Maroochydore. He was a Judge of the Childrens Court of Queensland for his whole judicial career and President of that Court from 1999-2001. Throughout his career, he has written and lectured extensively on issues relating to sentencing and the criminal law, including restorative justice, sentencing law, advocacy and the criminal law and the media. He is the author of the Queensland Sentencing Manual which was first published in 1999. He is presently a part-time judicial member in the Misconduct Division of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Professor Elena Marchetti - Deputy Chair

Elena is a Professor and the Deputy Head of School (Research) at Griffith Law School, 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 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 Bryant

Jo was appointed as the Regional Visiting Manager Sunshine Coast, Community Visitor Program, Office of the Public Guardian in July 2019, managing a team of local Community Visitors and advocates 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. Jo received the 2018 Professional Nongovernment Child Protection Week Award and became a Commissioner of Declarations in 2007.

Debbie Kilroy OAM

Debbie was first criminalised at the age of 13 and spent over two decades in and out of women’s and children’s prisons. Driven to end the criminalisation and imprisonment of girls and women. Debbie established Sisters Inside, as well as her law firm, Kilroy & Callaghan Lawyers. An unapologetic abolitionist, Debbie’s activism work centres on dismantling the Prison Industrial Complex and all forms of carceral control and exile. With a firm belief that there should be ‘nothing about us without us’, Debbie established the National Network of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls to centre the voices, experiences and aspirations of criminalised and imprisoned women and girls in order to change the face of justice in this country.

Boneta-Marie Mabo

Boneta-Marie Mabo

Boneta-Marie is a visual artist and Youth Programs Manager at Sisters Inside, where she leads the Indigenous Art Program. She has collaborated with the Royal Australian Mint to design a commemorative 50c coin, was inaugural artist in-residence for the State Library of Queensland’s kuril dhagun Indigenous centre and won the 2015 People’s Choice award in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Telstra Art Award. Boneta-Marie is a Piadram, Munbarra, South Sea Islander woman. Piadram is her Mer Island clan in the Torres Strait through her grandfather Eddie Koiki Mabo and Munbarra – the traditional lands of what is known as Palm Island – through her grandmother Bonita Mabo. She is also a descendant of stolen sugar slaves from Tanna Island.

Philip McCarthy QC

Philip McCarthy QC

Philip was recognised as a leader within the legal profession through his appointment as Queen’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 is 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

Katarina Prskalo

Katarina is the Deputy 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.

Dan Rogers

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 President of the 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 is the Chair of the Queensland Law Society Human Rights and Public Law Committee.

Cheryl Scanlon APM

Assistant Commissioner Scanlon was appointed to the Queensland Police Service Ethical Standards Command in December 2020 and prior to this was Assistant Commissioner for Security and Counter Terrorism Command. She has been a police officer for over 33 years with previous roles as Detective Chief Superintendent, Executive Director, Operations Support, Crime and Corruption Commission, and Detective Superintendent, Operations Commander, Child Safety and Sexual Crime Group. In February 2021, Cheryl was appointed by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to lead the Youth Justice Taskforce, which is responsible for implementing measures to reduce recidivist youth offending in Queensland. Cheryl holds tertiary qualifications in Adult and Vocational Education and Management (Policing and Emergency Services) and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Academy, USA.

Warren Strange

Warren is the Chief Executive Officer of knowmore, a national community legal centre assisting victims and survivors of child abuse with their redress and justice options. More than 30% of knowmore’s clients identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In this, and other previous roles, including as the Director of Criminal Law at Legal Aid Queensland from 2004 to 2010, Warren has 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).

Helen Watkins

Helen is a criminologist and psychologist dedicated to excellence in forensic and clinical assessment and treatment. She was a member of the Parole Board Queensland, and a member of the former Queensland Regional Parole Boards and the Mental Health Review Tribunal. Helen operates a private practice offering criminological and psychological services in Australia and internationally. Helen previously worked as a psychologist in maximum- and high-security correctional centres in South East Queensland where she conducted intensive risk assessment and treatment of offenders in custody.

Former members

  • 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)
  • James Morton (10 November 2016–4 May 2017)