Information Commissioner appointed in WA

By Shannon Jenkins

Wednesday July 17, 2019

Catherine Fletcher has been named Information Commissioner for a five-year term commencing 16 July.

The commissioner reports directly to the State Parliament and reviews decisions made by government agencies under the Freedom of Information Act 1992.

Providing assistance to public and government agencies on matters relevant to the act, as well as raising awareness about the public’s rights and agency responsibilities under the act are among the commissioner’s duties.

Fletcher has been the Acting Information Commissioner since July 2018, when the previous acting commissioner Lisa Ward took up a magistrate role at WA’s Magistrates Court. The last permanent commissioner was Sven Bluemmel, who was appointed to the same role in Victoria in 2017.

Fletcher has more than 25 years of legal experience, making her “eminently suitable” for the role, according to Attorney General John Quigley. 

She joined the Crown Solicitor’s Office as an articled clerk in 1990 and was admitted to practice in WA the following year.

Between 1994 and 1995, Fletcher worked as a Duty Lawyer in the Children’s Court of WA. Since then, she has taken on a number of senior positions with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, including Principal Legal Officer and Senior Legal Officer.

Fletcher has also worked as a Criminal Duty Lawyer at Legal Aid Western Australia, and since 2008, has performed many roles at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Teacher also appears on Fletcher’s extensive resume, as she has taught and tutored law at the Notre Dame University in Fremantle, as well as the University of Western Australia — where she originally obtained a Bachelor of Jurisprudence, a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Management.

Dedicated to her field, Fletcher has been an active member on legal boards and committees over many years, including the Women Lawyers of WA, the Law Society of WA and the Notre Dame University Law School Advisory Board.

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