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VCOSS farewells Bernie Geary, a tireless advocate for children and young people

The retirement of Bernie Geary OAM from the role of Victorian Children and Young People’s Commissioner is a timely moment to acknowledge his pioneering career as a tireless advocate for vulnerable people, says the Victorian Council of Social Service.

“Bernie Geary has been a powerful advocate for the rights of children, young people and their families for over 40 years and he leaves a profound legacy in his commitment to improve the lives of vulnerable people,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS.

“In his role as Victoria’s first Commissioner for Children and Young People since 2013 Bernie Geary has put the rights and needs of some of the most vulnerable of our community at the forefront of public policy debate. This role, the first of its kind in Australia, followed on from his appointment as Child Safety Commissioner in 2005.”

“As Commissioner he has contributed to important reforms and improvements to services over the past decade, particularly in out of home care, juvenile justice and for children and young people in unstable home environments.”

“VCOSS and our members have worked closely with Bernie over many years to identify emerging problems, improve services for young people and advocate for policies that put children’s needs and rights first and foremost.”

“Bernie Geary’s tireless work to keep children and young people safe has been commendable and is a testament to the strength of his commitment to protecting the most vulnerable and a-risk children in this state.”

“VCOSS also welcomes the appointment of Retired Supreme Court Judge Frank Vincent, QC – who will commence as Acting Principal Commissioner once Bernie Geary retires next month.”

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