Jacqueline McGowan-Jones began her appointment as Commissioner for Children and Young People in January 2022.
Jacqueline is passionate about the future for our children and young people and believes the role of Commissioner brings high expectations from our young people so they have a strong voice to advocate their views across government.
She has a long history working in education, child protection and Indigenous affairs. Jacqueline was most recently the CEO of Thirrili, an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation delivering critical supports and services to families following a loss to suicide or other fatal traumatic incident.
Jacqueline's experience includes senior executive roles across the public (Commonwealth, Victorian and Western Australian), private and NGO sectors. She has strong connections throughout Western Australia and has worked in the Departments of Education, Aboriginal Affairs, Premier and Cabinet and Child Protection & Family Support.
Her involvement across these portfolios, and in roles in Disability and Indigenous Law & Justice in the Commonwealth, has given her the opportunity to work with children, young people, families and communities across Western Australia and understand the challenges they face.
She has lived in Geraldton, Broome and Perth and has developed very strong relationships across the community, and the non-government and government sectors.
While in the role of Executive Director, Office of Aboriginal Education, Jacqueline led the development and implementation of the Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework for Culturally Responsive Schools. She has previously contributed to the Office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People through membership of the Youth Justice Reference Group.
Jacqueline is committed to strengthening the systems that improve the opportunities available to all children and young people. Her experience and heritage (cultural connections to Arrente and Warumungu country in the Northern Territory) has given her a strong focus on the interests and needs of Aboriginal children and young people, as well those from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds.
She believes that all young people have a right to be heard and she strives to bring a new level of understanding and engagement to issues impacting our children and young people.
Snapshot - Role of the Commissioner
- Commissioner Dr Colin Pettit - November 2015 to January 2022
- Acting Commissioner Jenni Perkins – December 2013 to November 2015
- Commissioner Michelle Scott – December 2007 to December 2013