Ambassadors for Children and Young People

In this section
The former Commissioner for Children and Young People Michelle Scott appointed her inaugural Ambassadors for Children and Young People at a Children's Week event at Government House on 25 October 2012.

The appointment of Ambassadors for Children and Young People recognises eminent Western Australians who have a significant role in the community and commitment to supporting children and young people and their families.

The Ambassadors continue to work with the acting Commissioner Jenni Perkins to increase community awareness and understanding of factors which impact children and young people’s wellbeing.

The Commissioner invited Year 11 and 12 Technology and Enterprise students from Swan View Senior High School to develop lapel pins that represent children and young people and their wellbeing. These designs and the stories behind them can be found on the Commissioner's website.

For further information on the role of the Ambassadors, contact the Commissioner’s office.



Meet the Ambassadors


Professor Donna Cross's research on the wellbeing of children and young people has been instrumental in the development of anti-bullying programs in schools. She is committed to promoting positive, holistic approaches to strengthen children and help develop their resilience and improve mental wellbeing.

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Mrs Annie Fogarty. As Founder of the Fogarty Foundation, Mrs Annie Fogarty reaches out to children and young people to improve their wellbeing and help them achieve their best through education. Mrs Fogarty and the foundation work with schools to support leadership, strengthen community networks and thereby improve the effectiveness of education.

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Professor Colleen Hayward AM has a long and distinguished career in advocating for Aboriginal health, education and wellbeing in WA, in particular for young Aboriginal people. Her extensive work in promoting better outcomes for Aboriginal people has seen her nationally recognised and awarded.

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Mr Jonathan Holloway's drive and passion for promoting creativity and the arts to children and young people saw him developing an intensive Creative Partnerships program as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival in the UK. Now as director of the 2012-2015 season of the Perth International Arts Festival, he is working to bring artistic events to the people of Perth, and spur children and young people to tap into their own creativity.

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Mrs Tonya McCusker. In her role as Trustee and Administrator of the McCusker Charitable Foundation, Mrs Tonya McCusker provides much-needed funding to many organisations working to improve the lives of Western Australians. Mrs McCusker also serves on the Advisory Board for the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth, and as a Patron or advisor to many organisations related to the welfare and wellbeing of children, young people and families.

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Ms June Oscar's successful campaign for a ban on full-strength takeaway alcohol in the Fitzroy Crossing region lead to significant improvements in the protection and wellbeing of Fitzroy Crossing children, and provided the impetus for other WA Aboriginal communities to take action. Ms Oscar is dedicated to addressing the incidence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the Aboriginal community.

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Professor Trevor Parry AM's influence on diagnosis and treatment of childhood developmental issues has had profound impacts for all young Western Australians. Devoted to ensuring that WA children are able to have the best start in life, he created the WA branch of National Investment in the Early Years (NIFTeY). His experience as a medical professional adds to many boards and institutes dedicated to research into and support of childhood development.

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His Honour Judge Denis Reynolds. As President of the WA Children’s Court, His Honour Judge Denis Reynolds is in a position to see how children and young people can be affected by their social conditions. Judge Reynolds strongly supports alternative paths for young people in the justice system, and works to involve families in addressing justice outcomes for that young person. His leadership in the juvenile justice system has fostered debate around the way in which WA deals with young offenders.
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Hon. Barbara Scott's
influence on WA children is profound, no more so than her work in shaping the legislation which established the WA Commissioner for Children and Young People. Her dedication to early education saw her work as a leader in the sector, and later as a member of the WA Legislative Council, to ensure that all children have the opportunity to access kindergarten and pre-primary education and get the best start in life.

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Professor Fiona Stanley AC's lifelong devotion to the health and wellbeing of children and young people has seen her receive numerous accolades and awards, including being named a National Living Treasure. Her passion and leadership in paediatric research has seen the Telethon Institute that she founded become a world-renowned research facility on child health.

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Associate Professor Ted Wilkes AO has devoted much of his working life to public health, particularly for Aboriginal children and young people. Professor Wilkes’s work has been instrumental in influencing research and studies on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people in WA. He is strongly committed to the education of Aboriginal young people and in the development of effective programs for young offenders to divert them from the justice system.

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Mr David Wirrpanda's career with the Eagles made him a role model for many children and young people in WA, especially for WA’s Aboriginal children. His drive on the field is matched by his dedication off the field to ensuring that Aboriginal children and young people have strong mentors and role models. Through the David Wirrpanda Foundation, he brings together Aboriginal role models and mentors with young people to deliver tailored programs to help them succeed.

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Mr Russell Woolf. In his position in the media, Russell Woolf works to ensure children and young people are given a voice and are heard in the community. Russell has been supportive of the work of the Commissioner for Children and Young People and he interviews children and young people, and those that work to support and nurture their wellbeing, regularly on his ‘Drive’ program.

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Winthrop Professor Stephen Zubrick has led ground-breaking studies of children’s health, education and wellbeing in WA. He is a leading authority on the epidemiology of child health and much of the national policy and services for children and families is strongly influenced by his work. His work is driven by his passion to help children grow into healthy adults.

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Former Ambassadors


Mr Sam Walsh AO led mining giant Rio Tinto Australia, not only in business, but also as a supporter of community education and arts programs and activities. Through the Rio Tinto Future Fund, Mr Walsh made great contributions to a stronger and more sustainable community, and provided huge support for education, arts and cultural programs in WA that made a real difference to the lives of children and young people. Sam Walsh resigned as an Ambassador in 2013 after he moved to London as Chief Executive of Rio Tinto.

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Ambassadors for Children and Young People - booklet containing the profiles of all Ambassadors. (PDF 2.1MB)



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Page last updated 27 Mar 2014
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