About the

White Kite Drawing

Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland (CPPAQ)

Since 2010, we have been working to improve professional collaboration and raise the profile of child protection law

CPPAQ is committed to a child protection sector that

  • Honours the Charter of Rights for children in care
  • Recognises that the decisions made during litigation fundamentally affect the basic human right of a child or young person to live with his or her family
  • Acknowledges that families have primary responsibility for the upbringing, protection and development of their children
  • Acknowledges that the State has responsibility for the protection of children and young people where it is not possible for families to do so, and that this responsibility should be exercised in the least intrusive way possible in the circumstances
  • Ensures that decisions and actions are guided by the best interests of the child or young person involved
  • Gives effect to the rights of children, young people, their families and their carers to be kept informed of and participate in decisions that affect them, and to have their views considered in decision making
  • Is open, fair, and respects the rights of the people who are affected by decisions
  • Acknowledges and respects the importance of family and cultural ties, and gives proper consideration to placing children and young people with kin
  • Respects the distinct roles of the different professionals involved, while promoting collaboration and a focus on the best interests of the child or young person
  • Works to minimise the impact of systems abuse on children, young people and their families

Flying a kite is a study in patience, skill, teamwork and battling the elements. It can also be an uplifting and joyful experience. We chose this symbol for the Association because it is instantly recognisable to children and young people.

For those of us working as professionals in child protection, it is a symbol of opportunity and a metaphor for good practice.

CPPAQ's Priorities

  • Enhance collaborative professional relationships and practice in the child protection and legal system through networking and information sharing.
  • Support multidisciplinary professional development relevant to child protection law, policy and practice.
  • Encourage the involvement of highly skilled and specialist practitioners in child protection work.
  • Promote awareness and use of high quality research across all disciplines in the child protection system.
  • Lobby for the establishment and adequate funding of legal mechanisms to enable all children, young people and their families to have access to justice.
  • Advocate for systemic improvement in child protection law, policy and practice.

The Association is strongly supportive of the decision to publish decisions of the Childrens Court of Queensland on the Supreme Court of Queensland Library's website: www.sclqld.org.au/qchc/


Debbie Jones

Debbie Jones has worked in the Queensland Public Service for over twenty years, undertaking a variety of roles including policy development, project management, service delivery, management and staff development/capacity building. Debbie has a strong social justice background, including roles in prosecutions, corrections, and police.  Throughout her career, she has focussed on the needs and issues of vulnerable people including victims of crime, children in the youth justice and child protection systems, and Indigenous people, particularly Indigenous homelessness and suicide. Debbie has been involved in developing and delivering QPS responses to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and the Queensland Organised Crime Commission of Inquiry.  She has driven significant cultural change within the child harm investigation field, and has represented the QPS at national forums relating to child harm and technology facilitated child sexual abuse. Debbie is currently managing the implementation of recommendations from the Queensland Organised Crime Commission of Inquiry, with a particular focus on the 'blitz' on offenders sharing child exploitation material on peer to peer platforms. Debbie is committed to developing and delivering evidence-based policy in the field of policing responses to children and young people.  She has developed ties to the Griffith University School of Criminology and continues to support the supervision of students on professional placement within the QPS Child Safety & Sexual Crime Group.

James Scott

Professor James Scott is the Head of the Mental Health Research Programme at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and a practising Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Metro North Mental Health Service. James is a National Health and Medical Research Council Clinical Practitioner Fellow has worked extensively in child and youth mental health community and inpatient services, is chair of the binational RANZCP Youth Special Interest Group and editor of the Journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. He has co-authored over 180 peer publications, many in leading international journals and is an investigator and collaborator on local as well as global research projects. 

Leanne McDonald

Leanne has worked as a personal injury lawyer for 20 years and specialises in claims for survivors of childhood abuse, giving them a voice and guiding them through the relevant process.  Throughout her career she has been driven by social justice issues, including reform of legislation and processes for survivors of abuse across the country.  She represented the family of Annette Mason in their fight to find the truth about her murder as a child 30 years ago and is a passionate advocate for child safety issues. 

Dr India Bryce

Dr India Bryce is a Senior Lecturer in Counselling at University of Southern Queensland and a Forensic Social Worker. India began her career as early childhood educator and counsellor, before taking a position as a front-line Child Safety Officer in the Investigation and Assessment Team, in the then Queensland Department of Child Safety, Women and Youth. She is also a specialist consultant in the field of child maltreatment, specialising in cumulative harm. She has worked closely with government and non-government agencies in the design and implementation of family intervention, prevention and preservation programs and has delivered training in child maltreatment and cumulative harm to a broad range of helping professionals across the forensic sector. Indias current research explores cumulative harm, trauma informed pedagogy in higher education, trauma narratives and health, vocational behaviour, transgender youth and youth justice, and separated parents experiences of education systems. India has published books, book chapters, and journal articles from her research including two co-edited reference books, Child Abuse and Neglect: Forensic Issues in Evidence, Impact and Management, and Child Sexual Abuse: Forensic Issues in Evidence, Impact and Management. India has presented on topics related to her research nationally and internationally. India continues to work as a social worker in forensic settings including Emergency Departments in Queensland Health, and has a private practice clinic specialising in child and family assessments and therapeutic interventions. 

Dr Sarah Angel

Dr Sarah Angel is a registered Clinical Psychologist who has owned and operated a private practice in Brisbane for over 24 years.  Dr Angel conducts clinical assessments and treatment services predominantly for high conflict parents following separation and for children at risk within the field of family law.  Dr Angel is a founding board member for the association of the Therapeutic Family Law Professionals (TFLP). Dr Angel prepares Single Expert Witness family reports, provides individual adult and child therapy, conducts family therapy and acts as a child consultant for child informed mediations. She also prepares risk assessments and child wishes reports. Dr Angel is a passionate advocate in providing children with a right to protection from harm and for their wishes to be heard in high conflict family separations.

Michelle Emeleus

Michelle Emeleus is acting Director of Legal, Policy and Procedures at Court Services Queensland. Michelle’s experience includes Principal Legal Officer of the Children and Young People Team at the Office of the Public Guardian, civilian police prosecutor at Queensland Police Service, and criminal defence solicitor at Legal Aid Queensland. Her qualifications include Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Laws. Involvement as an advocate in the criminal justice system and in the child protection system built on Michelle’s strong interest in social justice, particularly for children and young people.

Heather Bryce

Heather Bryce is a child protection practitioner committed to fostering environments where children and young people can thrive. Currently engaged as the Child Safety Advocate with the Anglican Schools Commission (ASC) here in Queensland, Heather has worked in child protection for over 20 years.  This experience has included positions of leadership in frontline and regional service delivery, and positions focused on improving the service delivery system for children and their families across Queensland.  Heather’s current role is responsible for the stewardship of the ASC’s approach to child safety, inclusive of policy management and training; as well as providing guidance on specific child protection matters within each relevant Anglican School and Service. 

CPPAQ's Supporters

Founding Members:

• Bruce Doyle
• Murray Green
• Dr Scott Harden
• Gordon Harris
• Kendall Hawdon
• Robin Slade Jones
• Margie Kruger
• Kathryn McMillan SC
• Catherine Moynihan
• Nigel Miller
• Lisa O'Neill
• Dr Jillian Spencer
• Dr Stephen Stathis
• Angelica Monardez
• Barb Power OAM
• Kate Grant
• Melissa Wilson

CPPAQ's Supporters

  • Shine Lawyers provides us with the venue for our Board Meetings
  • Grant Thornton and Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers provided us with the venue for our Practice Paper Series and catering for these events until 2021. We are grateful for their support.
  • Ryan Kruger Lawyers provided us with the venue for our Board Meetings and AGM. They also provided administrative support. We are grateful for their support.
  • McCullough Robertson Lawyers provides us with legal advice.
  • Pilot Partners provides auditing services.
  • Penny Gordon & Associates provides facilitation services for our Annual Board Strategic Planning Day.
  • The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women provided financial support in 2017 and 2019