Qld role for former SA child protection boss

The former CEO of South Australia’s child protection department Cathy Taylor has been appointed to oversee implementation of the Queensland government’s response to recommendations of key domestic and family violence reports.

Cathy Taylor

As permanent Independent Implementation Supervisor Ms Taylor will shepherd implementation of the response to recommendations of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce, and the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Queensland Police Service’s response to family violence.

In January Ms Taylor announced her resignation from her role with South Australia’s Department for Child Protection after the department came under scrutiny for failures to protect young people from abuse, including the deaths of young children who had been identified as being in high risk settings.

Ms Taylor has over 20 years’ experience as a senior public servant in Queensland and South Australia, working across strategic policy, legislative reform, planning and service delivery roles in child protection, youth justice, disability services and domestic violence.

The appointment of an independent implementation supervisor was a recommendation of both the first and second women’s safety taskforce reports, as well as the Commission of Inquiry into QPS responses to domestic and family violence, A Call for Change.

As part of her job she’ll be required to report bi-annually on how the recommendations are being implemented and whether objectives are being achieved.

Ms Taylor’s appointment followed a nation-wide recruitment process with candidates considered by an independent selection panel.

She has been appointed for a minimum two year term.

Linda Apelt, who was appointed as the interim Independent Implementation Supervisor in November 2022, will continue in the role until Ms Taylor commences in the coming  weeks.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said Ms Taylor had immense experience in leading significant reforms to keep families safe and driving change across government agencies.

“She has extensive knowledge of Queensland’s investment and reform in this area, having led the response to the Not Now Not Ever Report,” he said in a statement.

Ms Taylor was not forced out of her role with child protection, SA Premier Peter Malinauskas said at the time. Mr Malinauskas told the ABC: “The time was right for her and the department, and I accepted her resignation.”

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