New voice joins the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council

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Media release

Monday, 24 May 2021

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, the Honourable Shannon Fentiman, has announced the appointment of Boneta-Marie Mabo to the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council.

Ms Mabo’s appointment was approved by the Governor in Council and will broaden the Council’s understanding of the impact of sentencing on First Nations people and their communities.

As a current member of the Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel, Ms Mabo is an award-winning visual artist and a Youth Programs Manager at Sisters Inside, where she leads the Young 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 2014 People’s Choice Award in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Telstra Art Award.

As a Piadram, Munbarra and South Sea Islander woman, Ms Mabo has strong connections to the community and is a passionate advocate for reducing the over-representation of First Nations peoples in Queensland’s criminal justice system.

Piadram is her Mer Island clan in the Torres Straits through her grandfather Eddie Koiki Mabo and she is 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.

Retired judge and Council Chair, John Robertson, welcomed Ms Mabo’s appointment to the Council and looks forward to working more closely together.

“Neta-Rie has made considerable contributions to our Advisory Panel, and I am confident her expertise will be invaluable to the work of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council,” Mr Robertson said.

“The Council has played a significant role in broadening understanding of, and increasing public confidence in, the sentencing process across Queensland over the past six years.

“Given her background working with the local community and Sisters Inside, I am excited to collaborate with Neta-Rie on the Council’s current projects, and hear her ideas on how we could better inform, engage and advise Queenslanders on sentencing matters moving forward.”

This appointment will bring the Council’s membership to 12 members whose expertise 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.

Members of the Council apply for their positions through an open merit-based process. The current Council membership is appointed until 25 July 2022.

Ms Mabo is the second First Nations person to be appointed to the Council following the appointment of Waka Waka man, Mr B Costello, in 2018.

Mr Robertson said the Council is currently working on a review into the serious violent offences (SVO) scheme and Ms Mabo’s contribution will add tremendous value to the project.


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