Independent Decision Makers

Independent Decision Makers consider applications for redress, make decisions and conduct reviews. Independent Decision Makers are highly experienced people from a range of backgrounds.

Independent Decision Makers are selected through a multi-stage process. They are nominated by State, Territory and Commonwealth Governments, they go through screening and vetting processes including police checks, they are approved by the Redress Ministers’ Board and are then appointed to the position of Independent Decision Maker.

Independent Decision Makers are required to disclose any actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest in relation to their work before they are selected, and at any time through the course of their role should a conflict arise.

More Independent Decision Makers will be appointed over time.

National Redress Scheme Independent Decision Makers:

Ms Ruth Baker

Ms Baker has had over 27 years of experience in working with individuals who have experienced child abuse in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia. She has worked as a social worker, a plaintiff lawyer for individuals and recently completed a four year term with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as a Commission Officer and Acting Team Leader. Ms Baker worked with the Commissioners of the Royal Commission in the private sessions and was involved in drafting, analysing and assessing systemic issues to assist in the preparation for the Public Hearings and Case Study Reports.

Dr Peter Frost

Dr Frost has had substantial leadership experience in public administration, education, and international development. For ten years, he worked at the Victorian Auditor-General's Office, becoming successively, Chief Executive, Deputy Auditor-General and for three years, Acting Auditor-General. Dr Frost also had extensive experience in the Victorian public service, including as Deputy Secretary in the Department of Premier and Cabinet. A highlight in Dr Frost's career was his humanitarian work in Sri Lanka, where, as Director of Tsunami Reconstruction, he delivered new houses for 100 families, a school for 3000 pupils, two operating theatres and emergency care training for nurses and doctors and a fishnet factory in Jaffna, employing up to 200 widows.

Mr John Hinchey PSM

Mr Hinchey has thirty years of experience working with offenders and victims in the ACT criminal justice system. He managed the ACT Sentence Administration Board and the ACT Victims Register. He established the ACT restorative justice scheme, which facilitates conferences between victims and offenders.  Mr Hinchey was appointed as the ACT’s first Victims of Crime Commissioner, an independent statutory position and the ACT’s most senior victim advocate. Mr Hinchey has also been a Board member of the ACT Domestic Violence Crisis Service and the ACT Victims Advisory Board, a Council Member on the Domestic Violence Prevention Council and chair of the ACT Family Violence Intervention Program Coordinating Committee.

Ms Helen Lac

Ms Lac has worked as an assessor and senior assessor at New South Wales Victim Services in the Department of Justice. She has over five years’ experience in considering sensitive applications from victims of crime. Ms Lac has undertaken extensive training on therapeutic and trauma-informed practices as part of her work with victims of crime.  Additionally, Ms Lac has chaired discussions on non-disclosure in child sexual abuse cases, the impact of childhood trauma, and legislative and policy responses to childhood sexual abuse at the International Victimology Symposium. Ms Lac also has experience working with Indigenous community groups and organisations in the Northern Territory and regional New South Wales, having assisted those who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse through the Strong Aboriginal Women's Conferences. Before working in public and community service, Ms Lac worked as a solicitor dealing with workers compensation, product liability, professional indemnity, migration and administrative law.

Words used on this page

Independent Decision Maker
Independent Decision makers will consider applications for redress. They are highly experienced people from a range of backgrounds.
If you do not agree with a decision we make, you can ask us to look at it again. This is done by a different Independent Decision Maker.