Media Centre

Tackling Sexual Harassment In Our Courts And Tribunals

19th Apr 2021 The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed the report of the Review of Sexual Harassment in Victorian Courts – marking another important step forward in stamping out sexual harassment in the workplace. Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes said the review provided a clear path forward to address sexual harassment in the sector and pledged to work with relevant agencies, heads of jurisdiction and Ministers to ensure its recommendations are addressed. Led by former Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, Dr Helen Szoke AO, the landmark report outlines 20 recommendations to eliminate this unacceptable behaviour and build a safe, positive and accountable workplace culture throughout Victorian courts and VCAT. Key recommendations include amending legislation to ensure everyone working in Victorian courts and VCAT is protected against sexual harassment, and exploring further legislative changes to address systemic issues of sexual harassment, discrimination and victimisation. The report also calls on the courts to provide multiple ways for workers to report sexual harassment, adopt victim-survivor-centred responses and provide targeted, expert training to all court staff. Drawing on the lived experience of those who have been subjected to sexual harassment, the report reveals a culture where inappropriate behaviour has been normalised or ignored – making it difficult to speak up. The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission helped courts staff to confidentially share their experiences with the review and access support, providing detailed online submissions or interviews. The Government response will contribute to its broader efforts to prevent and better respond to sexual harassment in all Victorian workplaces, including through its recently established Ministerial Taskforce on Workplace Sexual Harassment. The full report can be found at shreview.courts.vic.gov.au/about-the-review. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes “This report puts sexual harassment in Victorian courts and the harm it causes in the spotlight where it can’t be ignored any longer.” “I welcome this clear path to building a better and safer culture and an aim of stamping out this unacceptable behaviour for good.” Quote attributable to Chief Justice of Victoria the Honourable Anne Ferguson “To all those who came forward to share their stories with the review – we have heard you. We are already taking concrete action to implement the report’s recommendations to ensure a strong and safe culture of respect, fairness and inclusion across our courts and VCAT.” Quote attributable to Review author Dr Helen Szoke AO “Sexual harassment in our courts has to stop. It causes great harm to victim-survivors, and to the community’s confidence in the system. Urgent action on all twenty recommendations is how we change behaviour and culture.”

Tackling Sexual Harassment In Our Courts And Tribunals

19th Apr 2021 The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed the report of the Review of Sexual Harassment in Victorian Courts – marking another important step forward in stamping out sexual harassment in the workplace. Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes said the review provided a clear path forward to address sexual harassment in the sector and pledged to work with relevant agencies, heads of jurisdiction and Ministers to ensure its recommendations are addressed. Led by former Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, Dr Helen Szoke AO, the landmark report outlines 20 recommendations to eliminate this unacceptable behaviour and build a safe, positive and accountable workplace culture throughout Victorian courts and VCAT. Key recommendations include amending legislation to ensure everyone working in Victorian courts and VCAT is protected against sexual harassment, and exploring further legislative changes to address systemic issues of sexual harassment, discrimination and victimisation. The report also calls on the courts to provide multiple ways for workers to report sexual harassment, adopt victim-survivor-centred responses and provide targeted, expert training to all court staff. Drawing on the lived experience of those who have been subjected to sexual harassment, the report reveals a culture where inappropriate behaviour has been normalised or ignored – making it difficult to speak up. The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission helped courts staff to confidentially share their experiences with the review and access support, providing detailed online submissions or interviews. The Government response will contribute to its broader efforts to prevent and better respond to sexual harassment in all Victorian workplaces, including through its recently established Ministerial Taskforce on Workplace Sexual Harassment. The full report can be found at shreview.courts.vic.gov.au/about-the-review. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes “This report puts sexual harassment in Victorian courts and the harm it causes in the spotlight where it can’t be ignored any longer.” “I welcome this clear path to building a better and safer culture and an aim of stamping out this unacceptable behaviour for good.” Quote attributable to Chief Justice of Victoria the Honourable Anne Ferguson “To all those who came forward to share their stories with the review – we have heard you. We are already taking concrete action to implement the report’s recommendations to ensure a strong and safe culture of respect, fairness and inclusion across our courts and VCAT.” Quote attributable to Review author Dr Helen Szoke AO “Sexual harassment in our courts has to stop. It causes great harm to victim-survivors, and to the community’s confidence in the system. Urgent action on all twenty recommendations is how we change behaviour and culture.”

WORK GETTING SET TO START ON TOOBORAC PRIMARY SCHOOL UPGRADE

Friday, 16 April 2021 Students at Tooborac Primary School are a step closer to getting the facilities they need for a great start in life, with an architect appointed to design the school’s exciting upgrade. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced that 1:1 Architects has been appointed to design the school’s $1,117,000 upgrade. The project aims to modernise the school and the architects will work with school leaders to ensure the upgrade helps achieve their educational goals and that improvements are targeted where it is needed most. In the past five years, the Labor Government has invested more than $9 billion in more than 1,600 school upgrades – creating more than 10,000 construction jobs – and is now ahead of schedule its commitment to open 100 new schools by 2026, with 48 new schools opening between 2019 and 2022. The Labor Government is building the Education State to ensure that every student can access a great local school and get a quality education. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “We’re making sure that our schools have great facilities, our classrooms have the best teachers and that every child is given every chance to succeed.” “Tooborac families are a step closer to getting the great local school facilities their kids need to thrive.”      

WORK GETTING SET TO START ON TOOBORAC PRIMARY SCHOOL UPGRADE

Friday, 16 April 2021 Students at Tooborac Primary School are a step closer to getting the facilities they need for a great start in life, with an architect appointed to design the school’s exciting upgrade. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced that 1:1 Architects has been appointed to design the school’s $1,117,000 upgrade. The project aims to modernise the school and the architects will work with school leaders to ensure the upgrade helps achieve their educational goals and that improvements are targeted where it is needed most. In the past five years, the Labor Government has invested more than $9 billion in more than 1,600 school upgrades – creating more than 10,000 construction jobs – and is now ahead of schedule its commitment to open 100 new schools by 2026, with 48 new schools opening between 2019 and 2022. The Labor Government is building the Education State to ensure that every student can access a great local school and get a quality education. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “We’re making sure that our schools have great facilities, our classrooms have the best teachers and that every child is given every chance to succeed.” “Tooborac families are a step closer to getting the great local school facilities their kids need to thrive.”      

Better Court Outcomes For Aboriginal Families In Shepparton

Display problems? View this email in your browser. 16th Apr 2021 The cultural identity and needs of Aboriginal children and families involved in the child protection system will be placed at the centre of court proceedings with support from the Andrews Labor Government. Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes joined President of the Children’s Court Judge Jack Vandersteen to launch the Marram-Ngala Ganbu Koori Family Hearing Day at the Shepparton Children’s Court today. Marram-Ngala Ganbu means “we are one” in Woiwurrung language – reflecting the goal of the program to encourage Aboriginal children’s cultural connections to their family and community. The program was established in 2016 at the Children’s Court in Broadmeadows to enable Aboriginal children, parents and others to participate in child protection proceedings in a respectful way – empowering them to participate meaningfully in court processes and supporting families to stay together. The program has supported more than 470 Aboriginal families since it began. Its expansion to Shepparton means that even more families will have access to more effective and culturally appropriate responses and outcomes. Prioritising Aboriginal-centred, therapeutic justice, Marram-Ngala Ganbu promotes Aboriginal self-determination by adapting courtroom setup and communication styles to make court a more welcoming and culturally safe place. Families are empowered to actively participate in decision-making and discuss their matter directly with the Magistrate – all parties have a seat around the bar table to create an environment where children and families feel more comfortable and less intimidated by the court process. Extended family are also welcomed to attend hearings, promoting an inclusive environment. Aboriginal staff support families to navigate the court process and provide information and referrals to relevant services. The Broadmeadows program has proven successful with the dedicated support of Magistrates and Aboriginal staff, meaning families are more likely to attend Marram-Ngala Ganbu hearings and follow court orders. This has meant more Aboriginal families staying together and being reunited, and more Aboriginal children being placed in kinship care when out-of-home care is required – ensuring vital cultural connections are maintained. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes “This program provides an inclusive and culturally safe environment for Aboriginal families, helping children feel more comfortable during what can be a scary process.” “We’ve seen great success so far in keeping families together and preserving cultural and community connections – that’s why we’re expanding the program to support even more Aboriginal children.” View this media release on premier.vic.gov.au | Unsubscribe

Better Court Outcomes For Aboriginal Families In Shepparton

Display problems? View this email in your browser. 16th Apr 2021 The cultural identity and needs of Aboriginal children and families involved in the child protection system will be placed at the centre of court proceedings with support from the Andrews Labor Government. Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes joined President of the Children’s Court Judge Jack Vandersteen to launch the Marram-Ngala Ganbu Koori Family Hearing Day at the Shepparton Children’s Court today. Marram-Ngala Ganbu means “we are one” in Woiwurrung language – reflecting the goal of the program to encourage Aboriginal children’s cultural connections to their family and community. The program was established in 2016 at the Children’s Court in Broadmeadows to enable Aboriginal children, parents and others to participate in child protection proceedings in a respectful way – empowering them to participate meaningfully in court processes and supporting families to stay together. The program has supported more than 470 Aboriginal families since it began. Its expansion to Shepparton means that even more families will have access to more effective and culturally appropriate responses and outcomes. Prioritising Aboriginal-centred, therapeutic justice, Marram-Ngala Ganbu promotes Aboriginal self-determination by adapting courtroom setup and communication styles to make court a more welcoming and culturally safe place. Families are empowered to actively participate in decision-making and discuss their matter directly with the Magistrate – all parties have a seat around the bar table to create an environment where children and families feel more comfortable and less intimidated by the court process. Extended family are also welcomed to attend hearings, promoting an inclusive environment. Aboriginal staff support families to navigate the court process and provide information and referrals to relevant services. The Broadmeadows program has proven successful with the dedicated support of Magistrates and Aboriginal staff, meaning families are more likely to attend Marram-Ngala Ganbu hearings and follow court orders. This has meant more Aboriginal families staying together and being reunited, and more Aboriginal children being placed in kinship care when out-of-home care is required – ensuring vital cultural connections are maintained. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes “This program provides an inclusive and culturally safe environment for Aboriginal families, helping children feel more comfortable during what can be a scary process.” “We’ve seen great success so far in keeping families together and preserving cultural and community connections – that’s why we’re expanding the program to support even more Aboriginal children.” View this media release on premier.vic.gov.au | Unsubscribe

Better Care And Jobs: Work Begins On Wangaratta Hospital

Display problems? View this email in your browser. 15th Apr 2021 Work is underway on a bigger and better Wangaratta Hospital, which will deliver around 60 new jobs and ensure people living in Victoria’s northeast can access the high-quality and safe care they need, closer to home. Minister for Health Martin Foley and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes today announced the $22.9 million project is on track to be completed in November 2022. Operated by Northeast Health Wangaratta, the project will deliver a 12-bed critical care unit, an eight-bed short stay unit, a new paediatric ward and additional medical beds to create two 20-bed medical units. To meet future demand and ensure shorter waiting times for patients needing urgent care, the redevelopment will also deliver an upgraded Emergency Department with additional treatment spaces as well as an isolation room and behavioural assessment room. This significant redevelopment has been made possible through the Andrews Labor Government’s $470 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF). Local company, Zauner Construction, have been appointed as the builder. The RHIF was established by the Labor Government in 2016-17 to help regional and rural health services improve the safety and quality of services, service capacity, models of care, patient and staff amenity and service efficiency. Since 2016, the RHIF has funded more than 380 health infrastructure projects. It is now the largest program of its type in Victoria. An additional $10 million has been funded by the Labor Government to deliver maternity and critical infrastructure upgrades at Wangaratta Hospital. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “This significant redevelopment will ensure Wangaratta Hospital can meet the needs of a growing community with increased capacity, reducing the need for patients to travel to Melbourne for care.” “A bigger and better Wangaratta Hospital will ensure our dedicated health workers have the modern facilities they need to continue to provide safe and effective care to the local community, closer to home.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Wangaratta locals and all those in the North East deserve first class health services and the jobs they bring – and that’s exactly what we’re delivering.” View this media release on premier.vic.gov.au | Unsubscribe

Better Care And Jobs: Work Begins On Wangaratta Hospital

Display problems? View this email in your browser. 15th Apr 2021 Work is underway on a bigger and better Wangaratta Hospital, which will deliver around 60 new jobs and ensure people living in Victoria’s northeast can access the high-quality and safe care they need, closer to home. Minister for Health Martin Foley and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes today announced the $22.9 million project is on track to be completed in November 2022. Operated by Northeast Health Wangaratta, the project will deliver a 12-bed critical care unit, an eight-bed short stay unit, a new paediatric ward and additional medical beds to create two 20-bed medical units. To meet future demand and ensure shorter waiting times for patients needing urgent care, the redevelopment will also deliver an upgraded Emergency Department with additional treatment spaces as well as an isolation room and behavioural assessment room. This significant redevelopment has been made possible through the Andrews Labor Government’s $470 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF). Local company, Zauner Construction, have been appointed as the builder. The RHIF was established by the Labor Government in 2016-17 to help regional and rural health services improve the safety and quality of services, service capacity, models of care, patient and staff amenity and service efficiency. Since 2016, the RHIF has funded more than 380 health infrastructure projects. It is now the largest program of its type in Victoria. An additional $10 million has been funded by the Labor Government to deliver maternity and critical infrastructure upgrades at Wangaratta Hospital. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “This significant redevelopment will ensure Wangaratta Hospital can meet the needs of a growing community with increased capacity, reducing the need for patients to travel to Melbourne for care.” “A bigger and better Wangaratta Hospital will ensure our dedicated health workers have the modern facilities they need to continue to provide safe and effective care to the local community, closer to home.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Wangaratta locals and all those in the North East deserve first class health services and the jobs they bring – and that’s exactly what we’re delivering.” View this media release on premier.vic.gov.au | Unsubscribe

 

Statement On The 30th Anniversary Of The Royal Commission Into Aboriginal Deaths In Custody

15th Apr 2021 Today marks thirty years since the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was tabled in Federal Parliament. It was a seminal moment in our nation’s history. It was supposed to lay out a clear path to reconciliation, and to justice reform. It was supposed to save lives. Instead too many Aboriginal Victorians are still dying in custody.  Too many Aboriginal Victorians are in custody in the first place. For families and communities, the recent death of an Aboriginal person at Ravenhall Correctional Centre is a tragedy and yet another reminder that more work is needed. Reforms to the justice system, such as the abolition of the crime of public drunkenness and the creation of a spent convictions scheme were long overdue, but we are getting on with implementing them. We are pursuing a Treaty to recognise and celebrate the unique status, rights, cultures and histories of Aboriginal Victorians, and finally close the gap in outcomes. Importantly, the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission, afforded the full powers of a Royal Commission, will investigate both historic and contemporary injustices, in a holistic way, so we can continue to make meaningful, systemic and lasting change. We have made these ongoing and necessary reforms in partnership with the Aboriginal community, the Aboriginal Justice Caucus and the First Peoples’ Assembly.  We will continue to work together under the principle of self-determination to reduce the overrepresentation of Aboriginal Victorians in the justice system. The recommendations of the Royal Commission are just as important today as they were 30 years ago – and we will implement them, alongside our partnership with community under Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja - the Aboriginal Justice Agreement Phase 4. We can do better. We will do better.

Statement On The 30th Anniversary Of The Royal Commission Into Aboriginal Deaths In Custody

15th Apr 2021 Today marks thirty years since the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was tabled in Federal Parliament. It was a seminal moment in our nation’s history. It was supposed to lay out a clear path to reconciliation, and to justice reform. It was supposed to save lives. Instead too many Aboriginal Victorians are still dying in custody.  Too many Aboriginal Victorians are in custody in the first place. For families and communities, the recent death of an Aboriginal person at Ravenhall Correctional Centre is a tragedy and yet another reminder that more work is needed. Reforms to the justice system, such as the abolition of the crime of public drunkenness and the creation of a spent convictions scheme were long overdue, but we are getting on with implementing them. We are pursuing a Treaty to recognise and celebrate the unique status, rights, cultures and histories of Aboriginal Victorians, and finally close the gap in outcomes. Importantly, the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission, afforded the full powers of a Royal Commission, will investigate both historic and contemporary injustices, in a holistic way, so we can continue to make meaningful, systemic and lasting change. We have made these ongoing and necessary reforms in partnership with the Aboriginal community, the Aboriginal Justice Caucus and the First Peoples’ Assembly.  We will continue to work together under the principle of self-determination to reduce the overrepresentation of Aboriginal Victorians in the justice system. The recommendations of the Royal Commission are just as important today as they were 30 years ago – and we will implement them, alongside our partnership with community under Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja - the Aboriginal Justice Agreement Phase 4. We can do better. We will do better.

Funding Boost To Keep More Women And Children Safe

14th Apr 2021 More women living with or at risk of family violence in Melbourne’s east will be able to access the support and legal advice they need thanks to funding from the Andrews Labor Government. Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes announced the Eastern Community Legal Centre would receive $464,000 for a pilot to expand the crucial early intervention services for women and children to the Knox Local Government Area. The program is currently only available in the Maroondah and Yarra Ranges Local Government areas. The program is a unique partnership between family violence lawyers and health services, providing a safe and confidential environment for mothers to seek help with family violence issues. Research shows that women who are pregnant or who have babies are at an increased risk of experiencing family violence. The program supports women at this highly vulnerable time, arming them with information and linking them to specialist legal assistance and other family violence services. This unique model – combining health services and family violence legal assistance – meant that women were able to continue accessing the program while public health restrictions were in place last year, through their regular health appointments. Demand for the program increased by up to 30 per cent on the previous year during this time, mirroring the increased demand for family violence services seen across the state. The program is delivered in partnership with the Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service. Quote attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes “Seeking help for family violence can be incredibly intimidating – this program gives women a safe, comfortable and non-judgemental environment to take those first steps and get the support they need.” Quote attributable to Minister for Women and the Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams “This vital program ensures women can understand their options and access the advice and assistance they need – as early as possible.”          Quote attributable to Member for Bayswater Jackson Taylor “This program has helped many women in our community experiencing family violence, particularly during the challenges arising from the pandemic – and it’s fantastic to see this support extended to the Knox community.”   Quote attributable to CEO of Eastern Community Legal Centre Michael Smith “We’re proud to be providing vital support to women at a particularly vulnerable time – empowering them to seek help. We’re looking forward to expanding the program to benefit even more families.”

Funding Boost To Keep More Women And Children Safe

14th Apr 2021 More women living with or at risk of family violence in Melbourne’s east will be able to access the support and legal advice they need thanks to funding from the Andrews Labor Government. Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes announced the Eastern Community Legal Centre would receive $464,000 for a pilot to expand the crucial early intervention services for women and children to the Knox Local Government Area. The program is currently only available in the Maroondah and Yarra Ranges Local Government areas. The program is a unique partnership between family violence lawyers and health services, providing a safe and confidential environment for mothers to seek help with family violence issues. Research shows that women who are pregnant or who have babies are at an increased risk of experiencing family violence. The program supports women at this highly vulnerable time, arming them with information and linking them to specialist legal assistance and other family violence services. This unique model – combining health services and family violence legal assistance – meant that women were able to continue accessing the program while public health restrictions were in place last year, through their regular health appointments. Demand for the program increased by up to 30 per cent on the previous year during this time, mirroring the increased demand for family violence services seen across the state. The program is delivered in partnership with the Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service. Quote attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes “Seeking help for family violence can be incredibly intimidating – this program gives women a safe, comfortable and non-judgemental environment to take those first steps and get the support they need.” Quote attributable to Minister for Women and the Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams “This vital program ensures women can understand their options and access the advice and assistance they need – as early as possible.”          Quote attributable to Member for Bayswater Jackson Taylor “This program has helped many women in our community experiencing family violence, particularly during the challenges arising from the pandemic – and it’s fantastic to see this support extended to the Knox community.”   Quote attributable to CEO of Eastern Community Legal Centre Michael Smith “We’re proud to be providing vital support to women at a particularly vulnerable time – empowering them to seek help. We’re looking forward to expanding the program to benefit even more families.”

New Appointment To Victoria’s Highest Court

13th Apr 2021 The Andrews Labor Government today announced the appointment of Solicitor-General Kristen Walker QC as a judge of the Court of Appeal. Ms Walker’s appointment as a judge of appeal follows a distinguished career of more than 25 years in the legal profession – most recently providing expert advice to the Government on significant legal issues as Solicitor-General since 2017. A specialist in constitutional law, administrative law and human rights law, Ms Walker has been a QC for more than six years and has practised extensively across several jurisdictions including the High Court, Federal Court, and Victorian and ACT Supreme Courts. This experience includes appearing in more than 30 High Court cases, including matters involving the right to vote under the Australian Constitution and a number of high-profile cases on refugee law. Ms Walker has also appeared in important cases concerning the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and the ACT Human Rights Act. Ms Walker’s extensive advice practice includes working as a legal adviser to the Independent Media Inquiry in 2011‑2012 and as counsel assisting the Nauruan Parliament in relation to constitutional reform in 2009-2010. As the top student in her graduating year at Melbourne Law School, Ms Walker was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1993 before becoming an associate at the High Court to Sir Anthony Mason, the Chief Justice of Australia. Ms Walker went on to receive a Master of Laws from both the University of Melbourne and Columbia University Law School in New York, after which she worked as Adjunct Professor at Columbia and Visiting Professor at the University of Arizona. Ms Walker also worked as an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne, teaching subjects including international and constitutional law, where she remains a Principal Fellow. She has also published in the areas of constitutional law, international law and human rights law. Ms Walker’s appointment will start on 3 May 2021. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes    “Kristen Walker QC has made an exceptional mark on her field and is well respected in the legal and academic communities. I congratulate her on her well-deserved appointment.” “Ms Walker’s distinguished career spans across jurisdictions and in significant and complex legal issues. This expertise and knowledge puts her in an excellent place to make a strong contribution to the Court of Appeal.” “As Victorian Solicitor-General, Ms Walker has worked tirelessly to provide independent advice to the Government on many significant matters – I thank her for her contributions and guidance.”

New Appointment To Victoria’s Highest Court

13th Apr 2021 The Andrews Labor Government today announced the appointment of Solicitor-General Kristen Walker QC as a judge of the Court of Appeal. Ms Walker’s appointment as a judge of appeal follows a distinguished career of more than 25 years in the legal profession – most recently providing expert advice to the Government on significant legal issues as Solicitor-General since 2017. A specialist in constitutional law, administrative law and human rights law, Ms Walker has been a QC for more than six years and has practised extensively across several jurisdictions including the High Court, Federal Court, and Victorian and ACT Supreme Courts. This experience includes appearing in more than 30 High Court cases, including matters involving the right to vote under the Australian Constitution and a number of high-profile cases on refugee law. Ms Walker has also appeared in important cases concerning the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and the ACT Human Rights Act. Ms Walker’s extensive advice practice includes working as a legal adviser to the Independent Media Inquiry in 2011‑2012 and as counsel assisting the Nauruan Parliament in relation to constitutional reform in 2009-2010. As the top student in her graduating year at Melbourne Law School, Ms Walker was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1993 before becoming an associate at the High Court to Sir Anthony Mason, the Chief Justice of Australia. Ms Walker went on to receive a Master of Laws from both the University of Melbourne and Columbia University Law School in New York, after which she worked as Adjunct Professor at Columbia and Visiting Professor at the University of Arizona. Ms Walker also worked as an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne, teaching subjects including international and constitutional law, where she remains a Principal Fellow. She has also published in the areas of constitutional law, international law and human rights law. Ms Walker’s appointment will start on 3 May 2021. Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes    “Kristen Walker QC has made an exceptional mark on her field and is well respected in the legal and academic communities. I congratulate her on her well-deserved appointment.” “Ms Walker’s distinguished career spans across jurisdictions and in significant and complex legal issues. This expertise and knowledge puts her in an excellent place to make a strong contribution to the Court of Appeal.” “As Victorian Solicitor-General, Ms Walker has worked tirelessly to provide independent advice to the Government on many significant matters – I thank her for her contributions and guidance.”

BROADFORD GETS BIG BOOST IN HEALTHCARE ACCESS

Friday, 26 March 2021 Victorians living in the Mitchell Shire now have access to more community health services with a $3.7 million revamp of Broadford’s Nexus Community Health Centre now complete, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes toured the new facility which has more than tripled capacity, ensuring locals have greater access to the community health services they need, when they need them. The revamp, which has increased consulting spaces from seven to 23, includes general practice treatment rooms, multi-use consulting rooms, and a procedure room for wound clinics. A new children’s waiting room will provide increased comfort for families attending the centre, with purpose-built therapeutic spaces available for children. New dedicated consulting rooms have also enabled mental health and legal services to be offered for the first time. Features of the revamp also include an improved reception and waiting area, wheelchair accessible security doors, more toilets, and a large multipurpose activity and meeting room and a contemporary office with 20 additional workstations for staff. The redevelopment was funded by the Victorian Government’s landmark $470 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF). Since 2016, the RHIF has funded more than 380 infrastructure projects across Victoria. Funding from the RHIF is allowing regional facilities to improve capacity, amenity, outdoor spaces, kitchen and dining facilities and medical equipment. The revamp was delivered by Nexus Primary Health in partnership with the Victorian Health building Authority.  Quotes attributable to the Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This $3.7 million revamp of Broadford’s Community Health Centre has transformed an outdated facility into a bright and welcoming space that’s fit for purpose.” “The Broadford Community Health Centre is now better for kids, families, staff … and better for Broadford. And we are proud to be getting it done.”

BROADFORD GETS BIG BOOST IN HEALTHCARE ACCESS

Friday, 26 March 2021 Victorians living in the Mitchell Shire now have access to more community health services with a $3.7 million revamp of Broadford’s Nexus Community Health Centre now complete, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes toured the new facility which has more than tripled capacity, ensuring locals have greater access to the community health services they need, when they need them. The revamp, which has increased consulting spaces from seven to 23, includes general practice treatment rooms, multi-use consulting rooms, and a procedure room for wound clinics. A new children’s waiting room will provide increased comfort for families attending the centre, with purpose-built therapeutic spaces available for children. New dedicated consulting rooms have also enabled mental health and legal services to be offered for the first time. Features of the revamp also include an improved reception and waiting area, wheelchair accessible security doors, more toilets, and a large multipurpose activity and meeting room and a contemporary office with 20 additional workstations for staff. The redevelopment was funded by the Victorian Government’s landmark $470 million Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF). Since 2016, the RHIF has funded more than 380 infrastructure projects across Victoria. Funding from the RHIF is allowing regional facilities to improve capacity, amenity, outdoor spaces, kitchen and dining facilities and medical equipment. The revamp was delivered by Nexus Primary Health in partnership with the Victorian Health building Authority.  Quotes attributable to the Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This $3.7 million revamp of Broadford’s Community Health Centre has transformed an outdated facility into a bright and welcoming space that’s fit for purpose.” “The Broadford Community Health Centre is now better for kids, families, staff … and better for Broadford. And we are proud to be getting it done.”