New Mental Health And Disability Services Commissioner

Treasure Jennings has been appointed as the new 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 beginning from 1 July 2020 for a five-year term.

Victorians will continue to be well supported by two independent bodies that safeguard rights, resolve complaints and provide advice on improving the mental health and disability sectors.

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.

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 well 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.

Outgoing Disability Services Commissioner Arthur Rogers and Mental Health Complaints Commissioner Dr Lynne Coulson Barr have given great direction for both independent bodies and the Government sincerely thanks them for their hard work and dedication in their roles.

As most quality and safeguarding functions from the Disability Services Commission are transferring to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, it is important to provide certainty for stakeholders and staff with this appointment.

Clients, carers and family members will continue to use the same channels to contact either Commission.

For more information and to engage with the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner visit mhcc.vic.gov.au. For the Disability Services Commissioner, visit odsc.vic.gov.au.

Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“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.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Disability Luke Donnellan

“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.”