Robert Fitzgerald AM has been appointed NSW’s first Ageing and Disability Commissioner, tasked with protecting adults with disability and older people.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Mr Fitzgerald brings enormous knowledge and experience to the role.
“We will not tolerate the abuse, neglect and exploitation of our most vulnerable citizens which is why we have introduced a new Ageing and Disability Commissioner,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Robert Fitzgerald will lead the Commission and ensure adults with disability and seniors across NSW are protected.”
Mr Fitzgerald served on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse from 2013 to 2017. He has also spent time as Productivity Commissioner and Community and Disability Services Commissioner.
Mr Fitzgerald said he is proud to have be given the opportunity to lead the Commission to protect adults with disability and older people in community settings.
“I have spent my career helping to protect vulnerable people,” Mr Fitzgerald said. “I look forward to ensuring the Commission responds effectively where there has been harm and helping to create an environment where people feel safe in their community.”
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the Commission will be strong and independent.
“Mr Fitzgerald’s deep experience and powerful intellect make him exceptionally qualified for this challenging task,” Mr Ward said. “I look forward to working with Mr Fitzgerald to support and protect vulnerable people and secure the best possible outcomes for older people and adults with disability.”
Minister for Seniors John Sidoti said the Commissioner will play an important role.
“The Commissioner will have the power to initiate investigations but also the capacity to help the community spot cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation through education and awareness programs,” Mr Sidoti said.
The Ageing and Disability Commissioner is another example of the NSW Government’s commitment to reform that changes the lives of vulnerable people in across the State.