Treasurer Jennings has been appointed as the new Victorian Mental Health Complaints Commissioner and the Disability Services Commissioner.
Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley, and Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, Luke Donnellan, announced Ms Jennings will take on the two roles for a five-year term. Ms Jennings is the former Public Transport Ombudsman and Deputy Chairperson of the Independent Office for School Dispute Resolution Victoria and is an expert in consumer complaints schemes and working with vulnerable communities.
Minister Foley says, “We’re providing a strong voice for mental health and disability consumers, and I’m pleased to have someone of Treasure Jennings calibre take on these two roles.”
The Mental Health Complaints Commissioner and Disability Services Commissioner share similar functions and powers, including the power to investigate and resolve complaints, providing advice on matters relating to complaints, as well as education and advice about prevention of abuse.
In her new roles as Mental Health Complaints Commissioner and Disability Services Commissioner, Ms Jennings will be supported by the Deputy Commissioners and staff at each independent body. There is no change in funding allocation to either body, and staff will be largely unaffected by having one individual in both Commissioner roles.
Minister Donnellan says, “Ms Jennings brings a wealth of experience to her new dual role and I look forward to working closely with her advocating for better outcomes for some of Victoria’s most vulnerable residents.”
Outgoing Disability Services Commissioner, Arthur Rogers, and Mental Health Complaints Commissioner, Dr Lynne Coulson Barr, have been thanked by the Government for their hard work and dedication in their roles at both independent bodies.
Clients, carers and family members will continue to use the same channels to contact either Commission.