The announcement that Dr Russell Wills will stand down as Children’s Commissioner at the end of his 5 year term left many a sad heart.
During his time Dr Wills worked tirelessly to reduce child poverty and to bring a child’s perspective to government policy and funding decisions. There is no doubt that his legacy is the establishment of the Expert Advisory Group to report on solutions to child poverty in New Zealand (2012).
While there may have been some initial trepidation about who would fill Dr Wills large boots, the announcement that Principal Youth Court Judge, Andrew Beacroft would be the next Children’s Commissioner soon put this to rest. It would not be an understatement to say that there has been overwhelming support for his appointment.
In his role as a judge, Andrew Beacroft has decades of experience dealing with vulnerable and at-risk young people, and seeing the all too real impact of poverty and neglect on their lives.
There is a lot happening in the soon to be former CYF space, and Andrew Beacroft is likely to make a valuable contribution to this work.
If you’d like to read more about Andrew Beacroft, Rise contains a very insightful article about the person, his values and his personal journey to becoming a judge. Well worth a read!
Related: Read Dr Russell Wills swansong Are we there yet? Five years on the road to addressing child poverty