COLLEEN PEARCE has been appointed Victoria’s first ever female public advocate.
The public advocate supports the rights of people with disabilities and protects them from exploitation and abuse.
Pearce has almost 30 years’ experience in the community and health sectors, which Attorney-General Rob Hulls said made her the ideal candidate.
“This role requires an astute and compassionate individual who well understands the experiences of people with disabilities,” Hulls said in a statement.
“Ms Pearce has devoted her working life to helping society’s most disadvantaged people, and advocating for a better deal on their behalf.”
Ms Pearce was recently the director of the Victims Support Agency and Diversity Issues Unit within the Department of Justice, overseeing the Victims of Crime Helpline, Child Witness Service and the Working with Children Check unit.
She will replace Julian Gardner who was the public advocate from 2000 to 2007.