The Public Advocate
About this page
Colleen Pearce is Victoria’s first female Public Advocate. She commenced the role on 10 Semptember 2007, when she replaced Julian Gardner, who was Public Advocate from 2 February 2000 to 30 April 2007.
With almost 30 years of experience in the community and health sectors, Colleen brings a wealth of knowledge to the role. She continues to devote her working life to helping society’s most disadvantaged people, advocating for their rights, and helping to ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect.
Immediately prior to taking up the role of Public Advocate, Colleen was the Director of the Victims Support Agency and Diversity Issues Unit within the Department of Justice, where she oversaw the Victim’s Helpline, Child Witness Service, and the Working with Children Check Unit.
From 1999 to 2004, Colleen was the Director of UnitingCare Victoria and Tasmania, an organisation providing services to more than 350,000 disadvantaged people.
Previously to that, she was the Executive Director at Moreland Hall, a drug and alcohol treatment service providing counselling, withdrawal, prison and court services, and state-wide drug education.
Colleen has also been a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Redevelopment of Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services; Nursing Home Regulation; and Multicultural health.
Prior to that, she was a Manager for the North Richmond Community Health Centre, a support worker for the Women’s Refuge Referral Service, and a community education worker at the Women’s Council on Homelessness and Addiction.
Colleen is currently on the Frontier Services Board of Governance, and was previously a member of the Northern Health Board, Corrections Health Board, and the UnitingCare National Aged Care Advisory Committee.