Australian Institute of Criminology

Skip to content

Criminology Research Advisory Council

The Criminology Research Act 1971 provides that the Council is to consist of nine members, comprising a representative of the Commonwealth and of each state and territory.

Council Members

As at 1 March 2017

Chair: Ms Julia Griffith - Victoria

Julia Griffith is the Deputy Secretary, Corrections, in the Victorian Department of Justice.  She is responsible for providing high-level advice in the areas of corrections policy, operations, health services, and crime prevention policy.

Ms Griffith has previously been involved in managing Victoria’s juvenile justice system, monitoring the State’s correctional services and redeveloping its child protection placement and support services. During her career, Ms Griffith has also been responsible for implementing the Victorian Government’s employment programs focusing on assisting the most disadvantaged job seekers in our community.
Her career achievements have been built on a strong background in youth work, research, training and community development, as well as roles in the private sector.  Ms Griffith holds a Bachelor of Arts (Youth Affairs) and a Diploma (Youth Work).

Deputy Chair: Ms Jenny Lang - Queensland

Jennifer Lang is the Acting Deputy Director-General, Justice Services in the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General. She is responsible for a diverse range of business units including the courts, tribunals and commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management, Dispute Resolution Branch, Justices of the Peace Branch and Victim Assist Queensland. 

Prior to her current role, Ms Lang was the Assistant Director-General, Strategic Policy and Legal Services in the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.  In this role Ms Lang was responsible for providing policy advice to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice on a range of issues, overseeing an extensive legislative policy agenda and for the implementation of key Government commitments. 

Ms Lang holds a Bachelor of Laws with honours and a graduate diploma in legal practice and is admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court and High Court. She has almost 10 years’ experience as a solicitor in private practice as well as over 15 years’ experience in the public sector.

Ms Alison Playford - Australian Captial Territory

Alison Playford has 20 years experience in the Commonwealth public sector in a range of positions in the Department of Finance, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Attorney General’s Department.  These included the areas of native title, indigenous litigation, family law, administrative law, federal courts and tribunals.  She has been in the ACT Justice and Community Safety Directorate as a Deputy Director-General since 2010 and as the Director-General since 2014.

Ms Catherine Hawkins - Commonwealth

Catherine Hawkins is the First Assistant Secretary, Criminal Justice Policy and Programmes Division, in the Attorney-General’s Department.

Mr Greg Shanahan - Northern Territory

Greg Shanahan commenced work in the NT Attorney-General’s Department in 1996 as a commercial lawyer. He was appointed Registrar-General in September 1998 and Public Trustee for the NT in March 1999. He was made Executive Director of the Court Support Services division in 2002 and subsequently became Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the department.

Mr Shanahan became Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Justice in July 2006, and continued as Chief Executive of the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice when it was formed in September 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Economics from Flinders University and a Bachelor of Laws awarded from the University of Queensland.

Mr Brendan Thomas - New South Wales

Brendan Thomas was appointed to his current role, Assistant Director General for Crime Prevention and Community Programs in September 2007. Brendan is responsible for Criminal Diversion and Crime Prevention activity for the Department, including oversight of the Crime Prevention Division, Anti-Discrimination Board, the Aboriginal Programs Division, the Diversity Services and the Victims Services Division.

Mr Thomas has worked in crime prevention and criminal justice for more than 17 years and has written widely on crime prevention and Aboriginal justice issues.

Ms Ingrid Haythorpe - South Australia

Ingrid Haythorpe is the Chief Executive of the Attorney General’s Department.

Previously Ingrid was a Deputy Chief Executive in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, where she had a lead role in major negotiations between the SA Government and the Australian Government on significant matters of policy and funding, covering a broad range of social and economic matters.

Executive leadership roles in SA Health and the Attorney General’s Department provided Ingrid with extensive experience in legislative reform, policy development, strategic planning, governance and criminal statistics and research.

Ingrid holds a Bachelor of Arts (Jurisprudence), a Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) and post graduate qualifications.  Ingrid began her career in the Crown Solicitor's Office, during which time she appeared as counsel in most court jurisdictions in South Australia, and appeared as junior to the Solicitor-General in several High Court matters.

Tasmania - appointment vacant

Acting: Mr Simon Overland, Secretary, Department of Justice, Tasmania

Dr Adam Tomison - Western Australia

Dr Tomison was appointed as the Director General of the Department of the Attorney General (recently became WA Department of Justice) in December 2016 for a five year term. Prior to this position he was the Director and Chief Executive of the Australian Institute of Criminology from 2009 to 2015 and had previously held various senior executive positions within the Northern Territory Department of Health and Families, including time as the Director of the NT’s statutory child protection and family support services.

Dr Adam Tomison is internationally recognised as an expert in the prevention of child abuse and family violence, and the development of child protection and family support systems. He is an Honorary Professor at Australian Catholic University (ACU) and serves as a board member of the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (Canada) and NAPCAN Australia.