A full list of biographies and abstracts for all speakers will be made available closer to the conference date.
A list of confirmed speakers can be found below.
Adair Donaldson LLM LLB BBus
Adair Donaldson LLM LLB BBus, has worked as a lawyer for over 20 years. He has both built a large regional practice and worked as a partner in a nation legal firm during that time. In 2016 Adair founded Donaldson Law to focus on a non-adversarial approach to achieving holistic legal solutions for his clients following a growing realization that aggressive litigation was not serving his clients best. His work focuses on helping those who have suffered abuse within institutions such as the defence force, religious institutions and schools.
For over 10 years Adair has also worked to develop educational programs and consulted on legal issues affecting young people. He is the creator of the acclaimed preventative law resource, Putting Youth in the Picture addresses the legal consequences of alcohol abuse, sexual assaults, illicit drugs, violence, social media and the illegal use of technology.
He has appeared before Federal and State Parliamentary Committees to provide evidence in regards to addressing youth violence, alcohol related issues, and in relation to abuse in the Australian Defence Force.
He is regularly called on by the media to comment on the legal consequences of issues pertaining to youth culture. Adair has also worked closely with the National Rugby League to develop and implement educational resources for their players and clubs. He has been appointed to the Australian Rugby League Commission's Respectful Relationships Committee, which focuses on ensuring respect for women throughout the code. He has also recently been appointed as an ambassador for the Full Stop Foundation that supports and resources the work of Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia.
In 2002 Adair was nominated by his peers for the Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association Civil Justice Award in Queensland, and in 2005 he, along with his business partner Peter Shannon, won this same award.
Associate Professor Tim Moore
Deputy Director (Practice Solutions) - Australian Centre for Child Protection
University of South Australia.
Associate Professor Tim Moore is Deputy Director at the Australian Centre for Child Protection at the University of South Australia. For 15 years, Tim has conducted research projects with children and young people to better understand their experiences and ways that organisations, services and systems can better meet their and their family needs. During the Royal Commission,
Tim was involved in a series of studies that focused on how children conceptualise safety and how adults and organisations can respond to their safety needs and respond when they have been harmed.
Dr Aaron Darrell
Author of the CoST and advocate for children of sex-workers
Most analyses of our world comes from the top, looking down. Dr Darrell lived for 20 years in mum and dad’s brothels, carried the impacts and stigma of being a child of the sex trade and earned a PhD when males from his background either disappear or spend lifetimes as pimps. Aaron’s work comes from the bottom, looking up.
His unique story has given Aaron a lifetime commitment to understanding inequality and its causes. His PhD came from relentlessly asking ‘why?’. His methodology is informed by a background in European psycho-analysis, the impacts of individual and cultural trauma and the operations of power in every aspect of life. This unique approach and the desire to see that tomorrow is truly better than yesterday, allows him to untangle the often-complex reasons that make too many people destructive towards others, themselves and the world.
Dr Darrell has lectured on theories of self, culture, globalization, media cultures and the intersections between trauma, technology and lived practice.
Learn more at www.AaronDarrell.info
Mr Bob Atkinson AO APM
Commissioner for the Royal Commissioner into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Former Commissioner of the Queensland Police Service
Bob served as the Commissioner of the Queensland Police Service for 12 years. In a 44-year career with the Queensland Police Service, he served throughout Queensland, including as a detective and a police prosecutor. Mr Atkinson oversaw reforms after the Fitzgerald inquiry from 1990 as well as the Public Sector Management Commission Review and Report Recommendations of the Queensland Police Service in 1993. In 1989, he attended the three month FBI National Academy Course at Quantico, Virginia USA. He later also completed the FBIs National Executive Institute program in 2002. Following his retirement in 2012, Mr Atkinson was appointed as one of six Commissioners for the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse. The final report was handed down in December 2017, some five years after the inquiry commenced. In 2018, Mr Atkinson accepted the role of Special Advisor to Minister Farmer, Youth Justice Taskforce, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women which published the Report on Youth Justice (77 Recommendations).
Mr Atkinson is currently Chair of the Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Taskforce and is now serving as co-chair of the Domestic and Family Violence Council. He hopes to maintain an involvement in child safety issues and in this regard is also an Ambassador for Bravehearts.
Robert Fitzgerald AM
Robert Fitzgerald AM was a Commissioner on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for 5 years. For over ten years he was a Commissioner with the Productivity Commission and was recently appointed as the inaugural NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner.
Previously Robert was the NSW Community and Disability Services Commissioner and Deputy Ombudsman and practised as a commercial Solicitor for over 20 years. Robert has conducted over 18 government commissioned national inquiries into regulatory, economic and social policy areas. He has served on numerous NGO boards including previously as President Australian Council of Social Service, and currently a Board Member of Social Ventures Australia. Robert was the inaugural Chair of the Advisory Board, Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission.
Robert holds degrees in commerce and law from the University of NSW and an honorary doctorate from the Australian Catholic University and is currently an Adjunct Professor with the University of Western Australia. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1994. Robert is patron of Justice Connect and SAMSN (Survivors and Mates Support Network).
Detective Sergeant Cameron Woodall
Detective Sergeant Cameron Woodall has been an operational police officer with the Queensland Police Service for the past 19 years. Cameron’s work service has predominantly involved working in the Criminal Investigation and Child Protection areas. In April 2006, Cameron moved to the Indooroopilly Child Protection and Investigation Unit where he worked in both Child Abuse and Youth Justice teams. In 2009, Cameron moved to Argos at Police Headquarters. Since that time he has conducted predominantly online but also Peer-To-Peer file sharing investigations. Cameron is currently a Team Leader of a number of Law Enforcement Participants purporting to be either child victims or adult offenders on the internet.
Task Force Argos
Argos was established as a multi-disciplinary task force in February 1997. The Unit is principally responsible for the investigation of organised paedophilia, child exploitation and computer facilitated child exploitation. In particular the unit is involved in the investigation of serial or organised paedophilia crossing state or jurisdictional boundaries, Proactive investigation of child sex offenders utilising the internet, Reactive response to possession/production and distribution of child exploitation material and Victim Identification coordination with state, national and international jurisdictions.
Professor Daryl Higgins
Director - Institute of Child Protections Studies
Australian Catholic University
Professor Daryl Higgins commenced as the Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies in February 2017. His research focuses on public health approaches to protecting children, and child-safe organisational strategies. A registered psychologist, Prof Higgins has been researching child abuse impacts and prevention, family violence and family functioning for 25 years.
Prior to joining ACU, Prof Higgins was the Deputy Director (Research) at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, where he had responsibility for the research program, knowledge translation and exchange functions focusing on issues affecting families in Australia.
Prof Higgins has contributed to over 240 publications (including 75 peer-review journal articles) and more than 400 presentations and media engagements. He has extensive experience in managing and supervising research, and has led projects looking at child abuse and neglect, child protection, children in out-of-home care, child-safe organisations, family law and allegations of child abuse, disability and family care, welfare reform, family and interpersonal violence, jobless families, past adoption and forced family separation practices, and community development approaches to child and family welfare issues.
Professor Tamara Walsh
Professor Law - University of Queensland
Tamara Walsh is a Professor of Law at the University of Queensland. She trained as a solicitor and a social worker, and the focus of her research is social welfare law. Her studies examine the impact of the law on vulnerable people including children and young people, people experiencing homelessness, prisoners, and people with disabilities. Her work examines the influence that the law has on complex social problems.
Tamara has established a number of projects aimed at engaging law students in public interest advocacy and research. In 2008, Tamara designed and established the UQ Pro Bono Centre, which facilitates student and staff participation in pro bono legal activities. In 2010, Tamara established the Manning Street Project, a joint initiative between the UQ School of Law and Caxton Legal Centre, which engages students in action-research on a volunteer basis with community legal centres. In 2016, Tamara established the UQ Deaths in Custody Project, which she runs in partnership with a team of pro bono law students and IT staff. In 2020, Tamara partnered with Caxton Legal Centre to establish the Human Rights Case Law Project which administers an online database of cases that mention Queensland’s new Human Rights Act.
Tamara is currently leading a study on the criminalisation of homelessness across Australia (ARC Linkage Project). She recently completed projects on the use of solitary confinement in Queensland prisons, and the intersection between the child protection law and youth justice.
Garth Blake AM SC
Garth Blake is a Senior Member of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal of New South Wales. He previously was a barrister, and was appointed a senior counsel in 2002.
His roles in the Anglican Church of Australia since 1998 have particularly related to the protection of children and professional standards.
His roles in the Anglican Communion since 2007 have included membership of the Anglican Consultative Council from 2012 to 2019. Since 2017, he has been the chair of the Safe Church Commission.
In 2018, he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the Anglican Church of Australia, particularly to child protection policy and professional standards, and to the law.
Vicky is a practitioner with over 30 years’ experience working with vulnerable children and their families and communities. She has worked over time in both community sector and government organisations in a variety of front line service deliver and leadership positions. Vicky is currently the Region Director (Darling Downs) within the South West Region of the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs.