Independent Ministerial Advisory Council
The Independent Ministerial Advisory Council (IMAC) has been established to put victims’ voices at the heart of criminal justice system reform.
Role of the IMAC
The IMAC will provide government with advice, guidance and the perspective of victims on how we can reform the criminal justice system and support for victims, particularly in relation to youth crime.
Members will have regular opportunities to meet directly with relevant ministers and the Premier through the Justice Reform Committee. The IMAC will meet up to 4 times a year.
The IMAC will also provide advice and guidance relevant to the work plan of the newly established Justice Reform Office (JRO). The JRO is leading evidence-based reform of the criminal justice system across government with a focus on improving programs to divert people away from the criminal justice system, helping people to break the cycle of reoffending and reducing demand on courts and prisons.
IMAC membership includes victims of crime, representatives from the legal sector and peak advocacy bodies, First Nations representatives and expert practitioners. The IMAC is co-chaired by His Honour Judge John Robertson and Beck O’Connor.
- His Honour John Robertson (IMAC Co-Chair) was a judge of the Childrens Court of Queensland for his whole judicial career and President of that Court from 1999 to 2001. He is presently a part-time judicial member at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and was recently Chair of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council from 2018 to 2023.
- Beck O’Connor (IMAC Co-Chair) has over 20 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in the community and human services sector. Beck is the Chief Executive Officer of DVConnect where she also leads VictimConnect, Queensland's 24/7 victims of crime support service.
- Matilda Alexander is the CEO of Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion and a human rights lawyer with a lengthy history in the community legal sector. Matilda has won multiple awards for her work with vulnerable communities and holds an enduring passion for justice. Matilda is also on the management committee of the LGBTIQ+ Legal Service.
- Julie Arthur is the manager of the Cloncurry Justice Association, where her work focuses on court innovation and working closely with the criminal justice system to support victims and offenders.
- Ben Cannon is a victim representative who created the community group Voice for Victims following a violent home invasion at his neighbour’s property. Ben is advocating for more support for victims and improved solutions to fix youth crime.
- Christine Castley is CEO of Multicultural Australia and is a passionate advocate for equal access to justice and services for everyone. She regularly interacts with criminal justice agencies on the challenges faced in multicultural communities by both victims and offenders on a broad range of criminal matters.
- Zac Davidson is a Youth Parliamentarian with firsthand insight into the complexities surrounding youth-related crime. Zac believes bringing a youth perspective in addressing the youth crime crisis is of paramount importance.
- Professor Susan Dennison is a Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the Griffith Criminology Institute at Griffith University. She is currently Director of the Transforming Corrections to Transform Lives Centre, leading a transformative system of practice to better support mothers who experience incarceration, and their children.
- Timothy Grau is a practicing barrister at the private Bar in Queensland. His practice is based in Cairns and he works with clients from as far afield as the Torres Strait, Cape York, Cairns and Townsville and surrounding regions.
- Robert (Keith) Hamburger AM was Queensland’s first Director-General of the then Queensland Corrective Services Commission and led significant reform across Queensland’s prisons. Keith is a Queensland patron of the Justice Reform Initiative, established in September 2020 with a goal to reduce Australia’s reliance on incarceration.
- Ian Leavers APM has served the people of Queensland as a Police Officer since 1989. Ian is the General President and CEO of the Queensland Police Union and the current National President of the Police Federation of Australia.
- Professor Lorraine Mazerolle is an international expert in policing and crime prevention. She is a member of the Youth Justice Reference Group, helping to advance evidence-based policies and practices in the government’s youth justice strategy.
- Elvie Sandow is the first female mayor of Cherbourg and previously served as Chairperson of Youth and Community Combined Action, a juvenile crime prevention initiative.
- Andrea Storey is a victim representative, as a survivor of attempted murder by her estranged husband. Andrea will bring her experience of navigating the criminal justice system as a victim-survivor of domestic violence to advocate for reform.
- Brett Thompson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Homicide Victims’ Support Group. His role is focused on victim support, interagency systemic improvement, and advocacy for justice system reform.
In addition, 2 other members with lived experience as victims of crime have been appointed as members to the IMAC.