Yoorrook Justice Commission confirms Cindy Penrose as its new CEO

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July 11, 2024

Cindy Penrose has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of Victoria’s truth telling process, the Yoorrook Justice Commission.

Ms Penrose will commence in the role on July 22, replacing Hugh de Kretser who was recently appointed the next President of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Ms Penrose is the former Chief Operating Officer and Chair of the justice portfolio of the Paul Ramsay Foundation. She has been involved in Aboriginal justice reforms in the Northern Territory including raising the age of criminal responsibility, and has worked with people in remote Northern Territory communities.

Ms Penrose has also served as the CEO of the Australian Bar Association, and is a Member of the NSW Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s Advisory Panel.

Ms Penrose is a proven leader and passionate advocate for human rights who has a strong understanding of issues affecting First Peoples. She also has inquiry experience, having worked as Assistant Director of the Australian Government’s Defence Abuse Response Taskforce.

Chair of Yoorrook, Professor Eleanor Bourke said:

“I welcome the appointment of Cindy Penrose to Yoorrook during the final year of the Commission.

“Cindy will bring invaluable experience and leadership at a time when Yoorrook is writing the final report, developing an Official Public Record and preparing for hearings with descendants of colonisers in the coming months. This will be followed by accountability hearings later in the year. Commissioners look forward to working with Cindy during this critical phase.

“I also want to take the opportunity to thank outgoing CEO Hugh de Kretser for his contribution to Yoorrook, and his hard work and dedication towards truth telling in Victoria.”

Incoming CEO of Yoorrook, Cindy Penrose said:

“It is a privilege to join the incredible team at Yoorrook, whose work I have followed closely since the Commission was first established. I look forward to working closely with Commissioners and staff over the coming 12 months in the Commission’s final phase to achieve its terms of reference and create transformational change for First Peoples.”

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