Stuart Ward is acting as Chairperson of the Post Sentence Authority following Michele Williams KC’s resignation on 16 January 2024, pending the outcome of the recruitment process for a permanent Chairperson. He has been Deputy Chairperson of the Authority since 2019, and acted as Chairperson on numerous occasions.
Stuart has extensive experience in criminal law, legal management, and statutory decision-making. Having worked as a prosecutor and manager at the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) for 10 years, he returned to the OPP in 2007 as its inaugural Legal Practice Manager with executive responsibility for its legal practice and victim services. He was appointed as acting Solicitor for Public Prosecutions for 2008-2009.
Stuart served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Adult Parole Board from 2014-2019, where he was instrumental in reforming and modernising the organisation and the parole system. He has held statutory decision-making appointments with Business Licensing Authority (Deputy Chairperson, 1999-2007), Motor Car Traders’ Claims Committee (Chairperson, 2001-2007), and as acting Director of Liquor Licensing (2006).
Michele Williams KC resigned as Chairperson of the Post Sentence Authority on 16 January 2024.
Michele served as Chairperson with distinction for almost five years, following her initial appointment as Deputy Chair. During that time, she has presided over more than 2,000 matters and led the Authority through a crucial stage of its establishment, leaving it as a respected independent decision-making body making an important contribution to the protection of the Victorian community.
Prior to her appointment to the Authority, Michele worked as a barrister, practising in criminal law for over 30 years. She was appointed as one of Victoria's first female Crown Prosecutors in 2002, and then appointed as a Senior Crown Prosecutor. She “took silk’ in 2005 as Queen’s Counsel (now King’s Counsel).
Michele was responsible for prosecuting some of the state’s most serious sexual and violent offenders, and in 2006 she became the inaugural head of the Specialist Sex Offence Unit in the Office of Public Prosecutions. She retired as one of the most experienced Senior Crown Prosecutors in November 2016.