Liana Buchanan is Victoria's Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People, her appointment having commenced on 4 April 2016. She was formerly the Executive Officer of the Federation of Community Legal Centres. Ms Buchanan has worked as a community lawyer and in a range of law reform and legal policy roles, including at the Women’s Legal Service (SA), the Equal Opportunity Commission, the Victorian Law Reform Commission and as an adviser to the former Victorian Attorney-General, Rob Hulls. She was senior adviser to the Secretary, Department of Justice from 2007 to 2009 and was responsible for monitoring and review of Victoria’s corrections system as Director, Office of Correctional Services Review from 2009 to 2013. She was appointed to the Victorian Law Reform Commission in February 2015.
Helen Fatouros is the Director of Criminal Law Services head office, Victoria Legal Aid. She was the legal prosecution specialist with the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions, appearing on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions in indictable matters across the Magistrates’, County and Supreme Courts. Ms Fatouros has an extensive criminal law background and was previously the Directorate Manager of the Specialist Sex Offences Unit at the OPP. She led the profession-wide implementation of the Sexual Offences Interactive Legal Education Program in 2012, earning her the Law Institute of Victoria’s 2013 President’s Award for Government Lawyer of the Year. She was appointed a Council Director of the Sentencing Advisory Council by the Victorian Attorney-General in mid-2013 and a Commissioner to the Victorian Law Reform Commission in September 2014.
Bruce Gardner has had 33 years’ experience in the Crown Solicitor’s Office and the Office of Public Prosecutions. Since 1994, Mr Gardner has held a range of policy-related positions, and is now Senior Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions. He was appointed as a Commissioner in April 2012.
Ian Hardingham QC is a leading barrister in a number of areas, including succession, property and equity law. Appointed Queens Counsel in 1997, Dr Hardingham has led a distinguished career at the bar, appearing and advising in many significant cases. As well as authoring and contributing to a number of important texts, Dr Hardingham has contributed to several law reform projects, and was central to the Victorian Parliamentary Law Reform Committee’s 1994 review of the law of wills. He joined the Commission in June 2012 as the specialist Commissioner to the review on succession laws, and was reappointed to the Commission in September 2013.
His Honour David Jones AM has held a wide range of positions in the legal sector, including 16 years as a judge of the County Court and a reserve judge for two years. Mr Jones was a member of the Adult Parole Board for 12 years. He led an independent inquiry into arrangements for CFA volunteers in 2011, and was Special Investigations Monitor between 2004 and 2009. He is Chair of the AFL Tribunal. He was appointed a member of the Commission in February 2012 and was acting Chair from February to August 2012.
Alison PK O'Brien has 19 years' experience working in government, including 17 years with the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office where she is the Assistant Victorian Government Solicitor, Government and Public Law. She provides advice to the state government on constitutional and other public law matters, including legislative development, and has been involved in cases which have developed critical areas of the law. In 2011 Ms O'Brien was awarded the Law Institute of Victoria Government Lawyer of the Year Award. She was appointed to the Commission in September 2013.
Gemma Varley was Chief Parliamentary Counsel for Victoria from 2008 until 2016. She was Second Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel from 2004 until 2008 and has more than 37 years experience as a legislative drafter in the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel. Mrs Varley is in private practice as a Consulting legislative drafter. She was appointed to the Commission in August 2016.
The Hon. Frank Vincent AO QC served 16 years as a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria followed by a further eight years as a judge of the Court of Appeal. He was Deputy Chair and then Chair of the Victorian Adult Parole Board, a position he occupied for 17 years. He has served as a consultant to the Australian Law Reform Commission and Chairman of the Victorian Criminal Bar Association, and since his retirement he has been appointed by successive Attorneys General to conduct inquiries into matters of public importance. From 2001 to 2009 he was the second Chancellor of Victoria University. He conducted a review of the legislative framework for witness protection in Victoria, and was Senior Legal Advisor to the recent State Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into the sexual and physical abuse of children in non-government organisations. He was appointed to the Commission in July 2012.