The position of Northern Territory Children's Commissioner is established by the Children's Commissioner Act 2013 (the Act). Significant amendments relating to the functions of the Children's Commissioner, were passed by the Legislative Assembly in April 2011 and December 2013. The present Commissioner officially took up his position in June 2008 and was subsequently re-appointed for a further term of five years from June 2012.

Under the Act, the Commissioner has responsibility for eight core functions:

  • To deal with complaints about services provided to vulnerable children (including the monitoring of how service providers respond to any reports);
  • The investigation of matters on the Commissioner’s own initiative that may form the grounds for making a complaint (irrespective of when the matter occurred and whether or not a complaint was made);
  • Undertaking inquiries related to the care and protection of vulnerable children;
  • Monitoring the implementation of government decisions relating to any inquiries into the care and protection of vulnerable children;
  • Reporting to the Minister on a matter relating to the Commissioner’s functions as requested by the Minister.
  • Monitoring the ways the child protection department deals with abuse in care allegations.

In addition to this, and as part of the review role the Commissioner plays in child protection, he/she must review the Care and Protection of Children Act at least once every three years.
Apart from the formal statutory functions under the Act, the Commissioner is appointed as Convenor of the Child Deaths Review and Prevention Committee and his office provides the secretariat functions for this Committee. The Commissioner is also called upon to respond from a Northern Territory perspective to a range of national policy issues, either independently or in collaboration with the Children’s Commissioners and Guardians from other Australian jurisdictions.

  The Commissioner provides an annual report on his activities to the NT Legislative Assembly through the Minister for Children and Families




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COLLEEN GWYNNE - Children’s Commissioner for the Northern Territory


Children’s Commissioner for the Northern Territory
Ms Colleen Gwynne Ms Colleen Gwynne has been appointed as the Children's Commissioner.