The Commission recognises we are visitors to the country we travel across and work in and that many of our Local Commissioners are Traditional Owners and Elders of their communities. The Commission acknowledges and pays our respects to the Traditional Owners, Elders and Teachers of these lands; to those of the past whose unseen hands guide the actions and decisions of the Commissioners today; to those of the present working for their communities setting the example for the next generation and to those of the future, the Elders not yet born who will inherit the legacy of our efforts.
Deputy Commissioner Rod Curtin was born and raised in Cairns and completed his secondary education at St Augustine’s College. He attained a Bachelor of Law degree through the Queensland University of Technology and was appointed a Barrister-at-Law to the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia in 1987. Deputy Commissioner Curtin’s practice has been predominately in the jurisdictions of Family Law and Criminal Law. His experience has involved the conduct of circuits in the Cape York Peninsula and Torres Strait regions for more than 25 years. Over the years he has been called on to conduct many seminars and training sessions for students at James Cook University, the Department of Education and Family Court counsellors on family law and domestic violence issues. Deputy Commissioner Curtin has also mentored young solicitors and field officers attached to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service.
Deputy Commissioner Curtin is passionate in the pursuit of access to justice services for Indigenous people. He advocates for the advancement of programs to provide better resources and achieve better outcomes for Indigenous people who appear before the courts. Deputy Commissioner Curtin has been involved with the Cape York Peninsula Youth Justice Program and has been a strong advocate for Juvenile Justice issues. His service to the Indigenous communities has been acknowledged as dedicated and compassionate, having an in-depth knowledge of the cultural and social issues of people within those communities. Rod’s original appointment as Deputy Commissioner from July 2010 expired in December 2019. He was reappointed to the role in July 2020. Deputy Commissioner Curtin advises that he thoroughly enjoys his work, the most rewarding aspect of which has been his association with the Local Commissioners. Their dedication and tireless persistence in striving toward creating a better community and setting a wonderful example for the next generation has been inspirational.