There are currently 14 Ambassadors representing the health and wellbeing of children and young people in WA.
Appointment of Ambassadors
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.
Visions for the future
In a series of feature articles published in 2013 and 2014, the Ambassadors spoke about their current work and their future priorities for enhancing the wellbeing of children and young people over the next five years. Read more about the Ambassadors visions for the future
Soon after the appointment of the Ambassadors for Children and Young People in October 2012, The West Australian published a series of opinion pieces written by Ambassadors. Read the opinion pieces
Meet the Ambassadors
Professor Donna Cross
Donna'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. Read more.
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. Read more.
Professor Colleen Hayward AM
Colleen 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. Read more.
Mr Jonathan Holloway
Jonathan's drive and passion for promoting creativity and the arts to children and young people saw him develop an intensive Creative Partnerships program as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival in the UK. As director of the 2012-2015 season of the Perth International Arts Festival, he is working to bring artistic events to Perth and spur children and young people to be creative. Read more.
Mrs Tonya McCusker
As Trustee and Administrator of the McCusker Charitable Foundation, Tonya provides much-needed funding to many organisations working to improve the lives of Western Australians. She 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. Read more.
Ms June Oscar AO
Ms 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. Read more.
Professor Trevor Parry AM
Trevor's influence on diagnosis and treatment of childhood developmental issues has had a profound impact in WA. Devoted to ensuring that WA children 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. Read more.
His Honour Judge Denis Reynolds
As President of the WA Children’s Court, His Honour Judge Denis Reynolds sees how children and young people can be affected by their social conditions. He strongly supports alternative paths for young people in the justice system and works to involve families in addressing justice outcomes. His leadership in the juvenile justice system has fostered debate around the way in which WA deals with young offenders. Read more.
Hon. Barbara Scott
Barbara's influence on WA children and her work in shaping the legislation which established the WA Commissioner for Children and Young People is profound. Her dedication to early education saw her work as a leader in the sector and later as a member of the WA Legislative Council, ensuring that all children have the opportunity to access kindergarten and pre-primary education and get the best start in life. Read more.
Professor Fiona Stanley AC
Fiona'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. Read more.
Associate Professor Ted Wilkes AO
Ted has devoted much of his working life to public health and his work has been instrumental in influencing research and studies, particularly on the 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. Read more.
Mr David Wirrpanda
David'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. Read more.
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. Read more.
Winthrop Professor Stephen Zubrick
Stephen 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. Read more.
Mr Sam Walsh AO (former Ambassador)
Sam 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. Read more.