Attorney-General departure a sad loss to justice system

December 16, 2020 |

The Federation of Community Legal Centres is deeply saddened to hear of the resignation of Attorney General Jill Hennessy from her Ministerial responsibilities.

Ms Hennessy has been a tireless supporter of the community legal sector. Her empathy, compassion and determination have led to a more just and equitable justice system.

She has listened and helped champion the rights of those most vulnerable to discrimination and inequality, and therefore most often impacted by injustice.

Federation of Community Legal Centres CEO Serina McDuff said the struggle between home and working life was one many Victorians felt.

“As a parent myself, I understand the challenges of managing parenting responsibilities with constant and demanding work pressures. This is often even more difficult for our elected members,” she said.

“It is a very real struggle and one that I hope we, as a community, can continue to improve upon.”

Ms Hennessy was instrumental in securing Australia’s first wage theft laws and her commitment to victim survivors of family violence, particularly during the pandemic, has resulted in improved outcomes for many women.

More recently she has begun passage of the abolition of Victoria’s outdated public drunkenness laws and change or suppression conversion therapy.

She has shown strong leadership throughout the pandemic, balancing the priorities of a healthcare response and a fair justice system.

Ms McDuff said Ms Hennessy had always shown great respect toward Community Legal Centres and their work.

“We have been fortunate to work closely with the Attorney General and under her watch have benefited from greater investment for the legal sector which has had a great impact on those Victorians experiencing complex legal and social problems. Her input and support has helped deliver a fairer and more just Victoria.

“I am saddened by Ms Hennessy’s announcement today, however I also completely understand the struggle she must have faced. If this year has shown us anything, it is the importance of family and togetherness.

 “I am heartened to see Ms Hennessy will remain in Parliament as the Member for Altona District.”

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