Our Executive team
Public Guardian: Shayna Smith
Shayna Smith is the Public Guardian and Chief Executive of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Shayna joined the OPG as Deputy Public Guardian in 2015 and was appointed as the Public Guardian in June 2021. The Public Guardian is an independent statutory appointment of the Queensland Government and is vested with promoting and protecting the rights and interests of children and adults with impaired decision-making capacity under the Public Guardian Act 2014, the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 and the Powers of Attorney Act 1998.
Shayna is a senior government executive and her distinguished career spans more than 25 years across the public and private sectors, both in Australia and internationally, particularly across the areas of justice, education and consumer protection. Shayna holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland. She is an admitted solicitor to both the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia and is a member of the Queensland Carers Advisory Council and the Queensland Law Society Health and Disability Law Committee.
Deputy Public Guardian: Lisa Pritchard
Lisa Pritchard is the Deputy Public Guardian and joined the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) in November 2021. Lisa is a senior executive with 30 years experience in the United Kingdom and Queensland public sectors in the areas of policy and legislation development and implementation, operational service delivery, health and human services consumer protection and professional regulation, and compliance and complaints management.
Lisa led the Professional Standards Unit at the Office of the Queensland Medical Board prior to the transition to the national regulatory scheme for health practitioners and was Director of the Ethical Standards Unit at Queensland Health for three years.
In 2014 Lisa was appointed as the Executive Director, Assessment and Resolution at the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) where she played a key role in the establishment of the OHO. Immediately prior to joining OPG, Lisa held the role of Executive Director Corporate and Strategic Services at the OHO.
Lisa holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons I) from the Queensland University of Technology and is admitted as a Lawyer in the Supreme Court of Queensland. She is a member of the Queensland Carers Advisory Council.
Deputy Public Guardian: Nicholas Dwyer
Nicholas Dwyer is the Deputy Public Guardian and joined the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) in October 2022. Nicholas has over 23 years’ experience working in the human services sector across youth justice, child safety and communities. This includes over ten years in senior leadership roles, including working alongside Queensland Police on Youth Justice Taskforce initiatives. He has worked in a variety of senior leadership roles that have directly contributed to the development and implementation of one of the most significant set of reforms and investment to have occurred in youth justice service delivery in Australia through the action plan, Youth Justice Task Force and numerous budget lead reforms. Nicholas worked on the organisational change emerging from the Bob Atkinson review of the Youth Justice Strategy Action Plan, the work of the Youth Justice Cabinet Committee and the taskforce.
Acting Director, Community Visiting and Advocacy: Catherine Moynihan
Catherine Moynihan is currently the Acting Director of Community Visiting and Advocacy and is responsible for supporting the protection of human rights, choice, interests, views and wishes of adults, children and young people residing at visitable locations. Catherine leads a team of more than 140 staff which includes over 100 Community Visitors who operate across Queensland, covering a geographic area of 1.7 million kilometres.
Catherine has a Bachelor of Laws and Masters of Business (Public Management) both from QUT. Catherine has practised as a lawyer for marginalised clients working for a private criminal law firm, a community legal centre and at Legal Aid Queensland. At Legal Aid Queensland she worked as a general advice lawyer, a Separate and Direct Representative for children and young people in child protection proceedings and was in the Youth Advocate position which also had a systemic advocacy and policy/law reform focus. Catherine has worked in the UK as a lawyer representing a Local Authority (an equivalent of Child Safety) in child protection proceedings.
Catherine has worked as policy officer for the Department of Premier and Cabinet in the area of child protection legislative reform post the 2004 Crime and Misconduct Commission Inquiry and as a ministerial advisor to the Minister for Justice and Attorney General. Catherine was a Director of the research team that supported the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.
Catherine is a Churchill Fellow and has completed a study tour on advocacy and legal representation for children and young people in care which took her to the UK and US. She was a founding board member of the Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland and is a member of the Queensland Law Society Childrens’ Law Committee.
Catherine joined the Office of the Public Guardian in 2015 and until commencing her current acting role in CVA was the Official Solicitor and Director of Legal Services/Investigations at the OPG.
Director, Corporate and Strategic Services: Kate Webber
Kate Webber was appointed as Director, Corporate and Strategic Services in August 2022. Corporate and Strategic Services is responsible for business support to the Office of the Public Guardian’s front line staff and executive management team. These support areas include Information Technology and Reporting, People and Engagement, Finance, Strategic Policy, Communications and Engagement, Client services and Corporate Administration.
Kate is a senior executive with over 25 years experience in legal, risk, governance and shared services functions across the public and private sectors. Kate holds a Bachelor of Laws, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (History), and completed her MBA with the Macquarie Graduate School of Management. She holds post-graduate qualifications in Corporate Governance, and Applied Finance and Investment and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Kate is a previous winner of the NSW Corporate Volunteer of the Year award, as a result of her efforts with a number of not for profit organisations supporting children and young people.
Acting Director, Legal Services and Investigations: Samantha Shipman
Samantha Shipman is A/Director Legal Services and Investigations at the Office of the Public Guardian. Samantha manages three teams of legal officers and investigators:
- Children and Young People Team – perform individual child advocacy function for children and young people in the child protection system, including in courts and tribunals.
- Adult Team – legally trained guardians who advocate and make decisions for adults with impaired decision-making capacity in areas of law such as criminal, mental health, child protection and domestic violence.
- Investigations Team – investigate allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation regarding the decision maker for adults with impaired decision making capacity.
Samantha has qualifications in leadership, investigations, including a Diploma in Policing, completion of Detective Training and Graduate Certificate in Business (Public Sector Management).
Samantha has a particular interest in upholding the human rights of vulnerable people. She has more than 20 years investigations experience including numerous years conducting criminal investigations relating to abuse of children and vulnerable adults with the Queensland Police Service and Ethical Standards Unit investigations with Department of Education. Samantha joined the Office of the Public Guardian in 2018.
Director, Guardianship: Amelia Barker
Amelia Barker is the Director of Guardianship at the Office of the Public Guardian overseeing the delivery of guardianship services to around 2,400 adults across the state for whom the Public Guardian has been appointed as substitute decision-maker for personal and/or health care decisions. Amelia oversees the delivery of these services spread across four regional offices located in Brisbane, Ipswich, Townsville and Cairns. The Guardianship program also encompasses the Health Care Team, the Positive Behaviour Support Team and the Queensland Civil and Administrative Pre-Advocacy Team.
Amelia has a Bachelor of Laws and was admitted as a Lawyer in the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2014. Amelia also holds a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice from Griffith University. Amelia is passionate about innovation and best practice and advocating for the human rights of vulnerable Queenslanders. Amelia has always worked within the Queensland Public Service commencing with Legal Aid Queensland then the Queensland Courts in various positions including Deputy Registrar. Since 2013, Amelia has worked with the Office of the Public Guardian as a Senior Guardian, Team Leader, Regional Manager and Executive Officer to the Public Guardian.
In 2016, Amelia was employed as the Executive Officer on the Barrett Adolescent Centre Commission of Inquiry and was responsible for managing the systems and processes that were necessary to support the conduct of the Inquiry. As a result of this Inquiry, the Government committed to improving mental health services for young people in this State and accepted all six recommendations made by the Commissioner, including the development of a new bed-based service for young people with severe and complex mental illness.
In August 2017, Amelia was permanently appointed to the role of Director Guardianship.