Jackie is a social worker with extensive experience in direct practice, policy and service development roles in the Victorian education, justice and welfare systems. She is passionate about supporting children and young people to access the opportunities and resources they need to thrive. It was Jackie’s experience leading the Education Justice Initiative (EJI), an innovative program providing information, advice and advocacy to support the educational (re-)engagement of young people in the justice system, that motivated her application for a Churchill Fellowship in 2015. Through the fellowship, Jackie researched models of education-youth justice system collaboration and developed connections with leading practitioners and researchers in this area in the US, Scotland and Denmark. She presented her findings to audiences including the South Pacific Council of Youth and Children’s Courts. The learnings from Jackie’s fellowship have continued to inform her recent work at Victoria Legal Aid, where as Manager, Child Protection Projects, she leads a range of initiatives aimed at creating more accessible, high quality and client-centred services for families involved with the child protection system. Jackie is on the Board of L2R, a not-for-profit organisation providing free dance programs and artistic development pathways for children and young people across Melbourne's west who face financial and other barriers to participation in arts opportunities. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work from RMIT University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne.
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