Triggs to Act As Indigenous Social Justice Commissioner
22 August 2016 at 12:15 pm
Australian Human Rights Commission president Professor Gillian Triggs has been appointed as the acting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner for three months while a selection process is undertaken to replace former commissioner Mick Gooda.
Indigenous advocate Gooda resigned to take up his appointment as one of two royal commissioners investigating child protection and youth detention systems of the Northern Territory.
Gooda and former justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland Margaret White AO were appointed to head up the royal commission into the Northern Territory’s juvenile justice system earlier this month after the resignation of former NT chief justice Brian Martin.
Gooda, who has served almost seven years as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner, was recommended by Indigenous advocacy groups including the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.
The royal commission was set up following a damning ABC Four Corners report into abuse in the juvenile detention system in the Northern Territory which revealed footage of a 17 year old strapped into a mechanical restraint chair in the Don Dale detention facility, along with a series of other videos, showing the repeated stripping, assault and mistreatment of him and other boys.
Attorney-General Senator George Brandis said he had also appointed Wiradjuri lawyer Robynne Quiggin to assist the president as deputy commissioner during the interim period.
“Quiggin has worked at the commission previously and was most recently senior advisor to Mick Gooda,” Brandis said.
She is also deputy-chair of Bangarra Dance Theatre, trustee of the Australian Museum, chair of Westpac’s Reconciliation Action Plan Committee, and a director of the board of the Lowitja Institute.