New appointments to the Adult Parole Board

Five new members, including one full-time member and four community members, were appointed to the Adult Parole Board on Tuesday, 19 December 2017. This is in addition to two new judicial members who were appointed on Wednesday, 22 November 2017.

His Honour Peter Couzens, Chairperson, said that ‘the Board is strengthened by the appointment of the new members, who will bring with them to deliberations, and generally, a diversity of experience and knowledge.’

Full-time member – new appointment

Colleen Bell has been appointed as a full time member.

Colleen is a lawyer who has been employed by the Office of Public Prosecutions since 2005, and before that was an Associate to two Justices of the Supreme Court of Victoria (the Honourable Justice Rosemary Balmford and the Honourable Justice Katharine Williams). Colleen spent four years at the OPP preparing and running complex criminal proceedings in the General Prosecutions section and Organised Crime Unit before moving to the Civil and Administrative Branch. From 2010 until 2016 she was the Principal Solicitor in the Continued Detention Unit at the OPP with responsibility to ensure that the Director of Public Prosecutions discharges his functions under the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009. She has provided advice on, and prepared and conducted, detention order applications and breaches of supervision orders, and has represented the DPP on the Detention and Supervision Order Review Board (DSORB), an inter-agency body that makes recommendations to the Secretary of the Department of Justice and Regulation about whether to apply for post-sentence detention or supervision. From April 2016 she has been the team leader of the Policy and Specialised Legal Division of the OPP, managing a team of lawyers specialising in the post-sentence jurisdiction and administrative law.

Judicial members – new appointments

Her Honour Jacinta Heffey has been appointed as a judicial member.

Her Honour was appointed as a magistrate in 1986 after 15 years practice as a solicitor in Victoria and London. Her extensive judicial experience includes sitting in the Magistrates’ Court, the Children’s Court and the Coroner’s Court. After retiring as a magistrate in 2010, she was appointed as a coroner in 2011 to focus on complex regional inquests until she retired in 2015.

Her Honour Michelle Hodgson has been appointed as a judicial member.

Her Honour commenced her legal career as a solicitor in 1993, and went to the bar in 1998. For 18 months she was in house counsel in the office of the Commonwealth DPP. She was appointed as a magistrate in 2008, and was the Regional Coordinating Magistrate for the Grampians Region in 2013-15. She has experience sitting in criminal and civil jurisdictions, as well as on the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal and the Children’s Court.

Community members – new appointments

Kristy McKellar has been appointed as a community member.

Kristy is qualified with a Bachelor of Social Science and Bachelor of Social Work, and since 2013 has practised as a Family Violence and Social Change Consultant. As a survivor advocate, she has provided consultancy services to the Victorian Attorney-General with regard to legislation; to the Department of Premier and Cabinet regarding the Royal Commission into Family Violence and addressing members of both houses of the Victorian Parliament; to Victoria Police to develop projects to prevent family violence against women and children; to the Human Rights Commission; and to the AFL.

Prior to 2013, Kristy worked for a number of organisations including in roles running programs for children and families requiring support. In 2001 she worked as a Community Corrections Officer at Dandenong Community Correctional Services.

In 2016 Kristy was named in the 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac, and in 2017 she was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

Charlene Micallef has been appointed as a community member.

Charlene was the Manager of the Victims Strategy and Services Directorate at the Office of Public Prosecutions for 10 years, until recently resigning to take up a role with a palliative care service. The group she managed at the OPP comprised social workers providing support for victims of crime and witnesses through the prosecution of indictable criminal cases, including assisting victims in legal conferencing and in preparing for, and supporting them, to give evidence. As Manager, Charlene represented the OPP and DPP on many committees and workgroups, including the Attorney General’s Victims of Crime Consultative Committee (on which the Board is also represented), and provided general advice and on the role of victims in the criminal trial.

Charlene has worked with the Department of Justice and Regulation Victims Support Agency and was a community representative on the DJR Sexual Assault Advisory Committee. She has worked for a number of support services including Relationships Australia, Salvation Army Crisis Services, and Gordon Care for Children.

She holds Bachelor degrees in Social Work and Science (Biomedical).

Chris Trotter has been appointed as a community member.

Chris is a Professor in the Department of Social Work at Monash University and Director of the Monash Criminal Justice Research Consortium which comprises a multi-disciplinary group of academics engaging in criminal justice research.

Prior to commencing with Monash University in 1991, Chris worked as a Probation and Parole Officer from 1976 to 1981, and as a Regional Manager for the Office of Corrections (as it was then known).

Chris’ interest has focussed on effective ways of working with offenders and, in particular, effective methods of reducing recidivism among offenders on parole and community based orders. He has authored or co-authored 7 books, with 2 more due for publication, written many chapters and refereed journal articles, and presented internationally. He has also contributed to a number of Government Reports.

Chris was awarded his Doctor of Philosophy from La Trobe University in 1994 on a thesis titled: The Effective Supervision of Offenders – A study undertaken in probation in Victoria, and has been appointed as a visiting professor at universities at Minnesota, Oxford, Dublin and New Hampshire.

Heidi Tucker has been appointed as a community member.

In 2015 Heidi was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Anchor Inc, an independent not-for-profit organisation providing housing and support services for children, young persons, and families in the outer east region of Melbourne. Prior to her current appointment, Heidi has held senior management roles with Berry Street and Life Without Barriers.

From 1990 to 2003 Heidi held management positions with the NSW Department of Community Services and then the NSW Department of Juvenile Justice.

Heidi has a Bachelor of Social Science and is a qualified company director.