National Children’s Commissioner, Ms Megan Mitchell

Former National Children’s Commissioner joins UOW Early Start Committee

Former National Children’s Commissioner joins UOW Early Start Committee

Human rights advocate Megan Mitchell brings strategic thinking and leadership to Committee

The University of Wollongong (UOW) is pleased to announce the appointment of Megan Mitchell as the Advisory Board member of Early Start’s Inclusion and Outreach Committee. Ms Mitchell will join the Committee in November.

Ms Mitchell was Australia’s National Children’s Commissioner from 25 February 2013 - 24 March 2020, and has had extensive experience in child protection, foster and kinship care, juvenile justice, children’s services, child care, disabilities, and early intervention and prevention services.

UOW Early Start CEO Ms Anita Kumar said she was looking forward to welcoming Ms Mitchell on the Committee.

“We are delighted to have Megan on board and are looking forward to working with her on a range of issues to further support early childhood education and research,” Ms Kumar said.

“Megan’s expertise and vast experience in dealing with issues and policies facing children will assist us with strategic thinking and leadership in how Early Start can support children in regional and remote communities, and children dealing with vulnerabilities, as well advocating for the rights and interests of children and the policies and programs that impact on them.”

Since joining the Office of the Commissioner in 2013, Ms Mitchell has focussed on the rights and interests of children, and the laws, policies and programs that impact on them. Her contribution to protecting the rights and interests of children marked a significant step in the protection of children in Australia.

During her time as the Commissioner, Ms Mitchell was responsible for the development of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations which were endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments in February 2019. The findings of her landmark reports on suicide and self-harm, family violence, and the implications of OPCAT in custodial detention have shaped policy and advocacy in promoting the rights of Australian children.

In September 2019, Ms Mitchell’s report, In Their Own Right, submitted to the United Nations, highlighted how well children’s rights are protected and promoted across Australia and suggested reforms needed for protecting them better.

Ms Mitchell said: “I’m delighted to join the Early Start’s Advisory Board and looking forward to supporting the causes that are very close to my heart.

“UOW’s Early Start is headed in the right direction supporting early childhood education and research, and I’m glad to be a part of this journey.”

Ms Mitchell holds qualifications in social policy, psychology and education, having completed a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney (1979), a Diploma of Education from the Sydney Teachers College (1980), a Master of Arts (Psychology) from the University of Sydney (1982) and a Master of Arts (Social Policy) from the University of York (1989).