Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
Plans to create a position of a National Children’s Commissioner have been welcomed by Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand.

Dr Rhonda Cumberland said the organisation, which focuses particularly on disadvantaged young women and girls across the country, had long campaigned for the position to be created.

‘Hidden Exploitation, recently released research from Good Shepherd, highlighted the need to achieve consistency across Australia in areas of child protection,” she said.

“Currently there is no national coordinated approach to policy or service provision in relation to children in employment. There is also a lack of data about the nature of child employment occurring in Australia and on the impact it has on children.”

Dr Cumberland said that a Federal Children’s Commissioner would ensure an overarching strategy to monitor and protect the rights of children.

“We are especially concerned about the welfare of indigenous children. On every key indicator from high school retention, child protection, mortality – indigenous children do much worse than other Australian children.”

“Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand will be working to ensure that legislation is put in place to enshrine the Commissioner’s independence to ensure children and young people’s voices are heard and heeded,” she said.

Federal Attorney General Nicola Roxon has indicated the position would be established under the Australian Human Rights Commission. The announcement comes ahead of a review of children’s rights in Australia by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child this year.

As a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Australia is regularly reviewed by an international committee of experts.

More information is available from Hidden Exploitation: Women in forced labour, marriage and migration,

Contact Profile

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand,

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand is an organisation established by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, a religious order in the Catholic Church, to ensure the continuity and growth of the Good Shepherd mission in Australia and New Zealand after 150 years of history. Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, which is made up of Good Shepherd Sisters and mission partners, is the parent body for those organisations and projects that work as part of the Good Shepherd network around Australia and New Zealand.
Penny Underwood
P: 03 9818 8540


Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, National Children's Commissioner, Rights of the Child



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