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First Domestic Violence Commissioner appointed

New Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner Micaela Cronin

New Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner Micaela Cronin Photo: AAP

Former Australian Council of Social Service president Micaela Cronin has been appointed the country’s first Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner.

The former Australian Council of Social Service president has been appointed the country’s first Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner, as the nation becomes just the world’s third to have someone in such a role.

The other two countries are Britain and Malta.

Ms Cronin, who started her career as a crisis counsellor at a women’s refuge referral service and has also been an executive officer at the St Vincent de Paul Society, said she’d bring passion and knowledge to the gig.

“I am a daughter, a mother, an aunty, a friend and colleague of many women who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing violence and I want to make a difference,” she said.

“I am very passionate about prevention, early intervention, response and recovery from gender-based violence.

“I have a great deal of experience in trauma-informed recovery, and am in the early stages of beginning a PhD in trauma-informed and compassionate leadership approaches.”

Paid domestic violence leave enshrined in law

Ms Cronin will be responsible for measuring the success of Australia’s plan to end violence against women and children within a generation, announced by the Labor government earlier this month.

Some $27 million in funding has been given to back the commission she will head, starting from November 1.

The former Coalition government had picked Catherine Fitzpatrick for the role. Labor rescinded that appointment, citing the need for an open and competitive selection process.

Ms Fitzpatrick will remain on the national plan advisory group.

The appointment came as parliament approved new laws to provide 10 days of paid domestic violence leave.

The entitlement will be available for most employees from February 1. Small businesses will have an extra six months to adjust to the change.

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