Dr Lynne Coulson Barr is Victoria's first Mental Health Complaints Commissioner.
Dr Coulson Barr has extensive experience and specialist expertise in independent complaint and review processes. She is committed to working with consumers, families, carers and services to ensure complaints are resolved in ways that safeguard people’s rights and support their recovery, and are seen as opportunities to improve public mental health services for all Victorians.
Previous roles held by Dr Coulson Barr include Victorian Deputy Disability Services Commissioner and President of the Victorian Intellectual Disability Review Panel. She has also served as a member of the Victorian Mental Health Review Board, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Victorian Multiple and Complex Needs Panel, and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Dr Coulson Barr also has extensive experience in leading and delivering support and crisis services, including mental health, disability, out of home care, and child and family services.
In these previous roles, Dr Coulson Barr's work included reviews of treatment and care plans, reviews of the adequacy of investigation processes, decision making on allegations of misconduct and abuse, and inquiries into the adequacy of responses to critical incidents in services. She also developed resources for service providers on effective approaches to complaint resolution, investigations, and safeguarding frameworks.
In 2013, Dr Coulson Barr was awarded a Weinstein International Fellowship to study international approaches to accessible and effective dispute resolution, and has completed doctoral research on statutory conciliation and complaint processes. She holds a Doctor of Juridical Science (Law), Master of Social Work and bachelors of Social Work and Arts from Monash University, and was accredited as a mediator and conciliator through the National Mediator Accreditation Scheme.
In recognition of her significant contribution to social justice, Dr Coulson Barr was welcomed into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in March 2014, and works to promote mental health and prevention of violence in her role as Ambassador for their Alumni and Ambassadors program.
In 2020, Dr Coulson Barr was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Australia Day Honours list for her service to community mental health and her roles in disability, dispute resolution and tribunals.