Seeking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory panel members

Media release

Friday, 13 July 2018

The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council is seeking members for its new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel.

The Council informs, engages and advises on sentencing matters in Queensland. Establishing the panel is part of the Council’s commitment to understanding and addressing the drivers of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the state’s criminal justice system.

Council Chair John Robertson said: “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represent four per cent of Queensland’s population yet account for 32 per cent of Queensland’s prison population. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment rate in Queensland is now 11 times higher than the non-Indigenous imprisonment rate.

“As a Council, we are committed to looking at how sentencing may contribute to this over-representation. During NAIDOC week, it is timely to announce that we are determined to embed this issue in everything we do — the advisory panel will support us in doing that.”

Expressions of interest are being sought from people that have a deep understanding of the criminal justice system, provide advice or advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and have an interest in improving sentencing outcomes and impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The advisory panel will provide advice to the Council on how to effectively engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as well as:

  • advise the Council about how to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can actively discuss sentencing with the Council
  • ensure the world views and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities are reflected in the Council’s work
  • provide advice to the Council on relevant sentencing issues.

Mr Robertson added: “We acknowledge the diversity of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Queensland which the panel will reflect. We especially welcome expressions of interest from individuals in regional Queensland.”

The advisory panel will comprise up to six members, who will be paid meeting fees and out-of-pocket expenses. Appointments will be for a period of one year initially.

It is a genuine requirement the panel comprises Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Expressions of interest are open until 5pm on 15 August 2018.