Long-serving OPA volunteer, Joan Scott, has been posthumously honoured with an Order of Australia Medal for her outstanding work as an advocate for vulnerable Victorians in the justice system.
The announcement was made as part of the 2021 Australia Day Honours List.
Joan joined the Independent Third Person Program in 1992 and was valued not only for her tremendous work - she attended more than 500 police interviews during her time with the program - but also for her support of other ITPs and OPA staff. For many years, until she was well into her 80s, she was on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Based in the Geelong area, Joan was well known to many people with disabilities and police members there.
Joan was celebrated and named in the Victorian Honour Roll of Women 2019 for her volunteering work.
As well as her huge commitment to the ITP Program, Joan was also a Justice of the Peace (JP) and an Independent Person with the Youth Referral and Independent Person Program (YRIPP). Her previous volunteer roles include Bail Justice (for 12 years) and as a Court Network volunteer.
Joan passed away in 2020, after an illness.