Strengthening Disability Advocacy conference 2014
Champions of change

4 & 5 August @ Melbourne & Olympic Park Convention Centre

Colleen Pearce

Photo of Colleen Pearce, Public Advocate

Public Advocate

Colleen Pearce is Victoria’s first female Public Advocate, a position she has held since September 2007. As Public Advocate, she is the guardian of last resort for adults with disabilities in Victoria. Under legislation, she is also chair of the Community Visitor boards.

Colleen fearlessly advocates for the human rights and interests of people with a disability and a mental illness, and is outspoken in the significant issues of abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Colleen has more than 30 years’ experience managing community and health services in both the government and non-government sectors. Her previous roles include the Director of the Victims support Agency in the Department of Justice, the Director of UnitingCare Victoria and Tasmania, Executive Director Moreland Hall and Chief Executive Officer of the North Richmond Community Health Centre.

In 2003, Colleen’s outstanding contribution to community services in Victoria was recognised with a Commonwealth Centenary Medal.

She is a board member of the Connecting Home, an organisation established in response to the recommendations arising from the Stolen Generations Taskforce Report, the Dax Centre Ethics Committee and a board member of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.


Captains of change: Q&A with Commissioners, Public Advocate and Senior Practitioner

Monday 4th August, 2014: 3:30am - 5:00am

This conversation, moderated by Graeme Innes, former Disability Discrimination Commissioner, challenges thinking on ways to influence change. Panellists are asked about the way they advocate for change and how they use their positions of authority to safeguard the rights of people with a disability. How does this help advocates in their work? And what do they see as the hot topics?