NSW appoints dedicated domestic violence commissioner

Barrister and human rights advocate Hannah Tonkin has become Australia’s first stand-alone domestic violence commissioner.

Hannah Tonkin

Dr Tonkin previously held a dual role as NSW Women’s Safety Commissioner and Commissioner and Executive Director of Women, Family and Community Safety in the Department of Communities and Justice.

On Tuesday domestic violence minister Jodie Harrison announced Dr Tonkin will now lead a whole-of-government approach to domestic, family and sexual violence as the state’s dedicated Women’s Safety Commissioner.

In the role, she’ll focus on early intervention and play a key role in implementing the state’s new coercive control laws which come into effect in the middle of 2024, Ms Harrison said.

She’s also tasked with overseeing government domestic violence policies and programs and mainstream services, promoting awareness and public engagement, and ensuring a voice for victims.

Dr Tonkin said domestic, family and sexual violence has a devastating impact on victims and the broader community.

“The creation of the stand-alone Commissioner role will ensure that I am best positioned to deliver this significant remit and drive change to improve women’s safety, by strengthening interagency coordination and collaboration across government.”

The appointment has been commended by Domestic Violence NSW.

“This move recognises the critical need for strong and focused leadership across all government agencies, working in close collaboration with the domestic, family and sexual violence sector,” said CEO Delia Donovan.

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