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Victoria appoints first disability worker commissioner

The CEO of the Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre has been named as the first disability worker commissioner in Victoria.

Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan has announced the appointment of Inner Melbourne Community Legal CEO Dan Stubbs as Victoria’s first disability worker commissioner.

As the new disability worker commissioner, Mr Stubbs will play a key role regulating unregistered disability workers and responding to complaints about all disability workers. He will also have the power to ban unregistered workers from the sector if they violate their Code of Conduct.

As commissioner, he will work closely with the Victorian Disability Worker Registration Board, which will be responsible for the voluntary registration and accreditation scheme for disability workers, improving the overall quality and safety of the registered disability workforce.

“The board includes a diverse range of high-calibre individuals representing those with disability, the disability workforce and the broader community. It will be chaired by Melanie Eagle, who has a long a history of service in the health, disability and community sectors,” Mr Donnellan said in a statement.

“Together, the commissioner and board will provide independent oversight and safeguards to ensure Victorians can confidently seek advice and make complaints about disability workers who don’t meet the standards or mistreat vulnerable people.”

The creation of the Victorian Disability Worker Commission was a key recommendation of the 2016 Parliamentary Inquiry into abuse in disability services, Mr Donnellan added, which highlighted the need for a culture of zero tolerance of neglect and abuse, supported by a capable, skilled and qualified disability workforce.

The new role reflects the Labor government’s ongoing work to improve quality of care and service standards for people with disability, Mr Donnellan said.

“The Disability Worker Commission and Disability Worker Registration Board are central in protecting the rights of those with disability and building confidence in the disability workforce,” he said.

“Dan Stubbs has a long history of public service in both the government and non-government sectors, and I congratulate him on his appointment as the first Victorian disability worker commissioner.”

Mr Stubbs added: “I am delighted to be appointed as Victoria’s inaugural disability worker commissioner, and look forward to leading the commission to ensure the rights and entitlements of Victorians with disability are protected.”