Top female police officer takes new role


p2347 Jeanette Kerr 1Territory Families has appointed top-ranking police officer Jeanette Kerr (pictured, in the uniform of her former role) to lead its frontline operations as the new Acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Operations for Territory Families as part of the agency’s commitment to building a robust and connected whole of government family service.
Chief Executive of Territory Families, Ken Davies said Ms Kerr’s appointment is a significant development in the NT Government’s targeted response to support for vulnerable children and families as this new role brings together domestic violence, child protection and youth justice under one coordinated umbrella.
“Territory Families welcomes Ms Kerr to take up this important role in progressing the ‘Safety is Everyone’s Right Strategy’ to which Territory Families remains committed. She will also be responsible for a body of work to enhance the integrated response to domestic violence in accordance with coronial outcomes and stakeholder feedback,” Mr Davies said.
Ms Kerr, who became the Territory’s first female Assistant Police Commissioner last year, has served 28 years as a police officer – right across the Territory, including Katherine, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and Darwin.  She holds numerous degrees, including a Bachelor of Policing – Investigations (Distinction), and a Masters of Leadership and Management.
In 2013, Ms Kerr was awarded a Wakefield Scholarship to attend Cambridge University where she completed a Masters in Criminology and Executive Management. The title of her thesis was: A descriptive analysis of the characteristics, seriousness and frequency of Aboriginal intimate partner violence in the Northern Territory, Australia: a strategy for targeting high harm cases.
That academic work resulted in an Excellence in Research on Improving Law Enforcement for Women Award at the Australasian Council of Women and Policing Excellence Awards. Her work was cited by NT Coroner Greg Cavanagh after he called Ms Kerr as an expert witness in a case involving the death of two Aboriginal women in Alice Springs as a result of domestic violence.
Northern Territory Families Minister Dale Wakefield said: “We are delighted to have someone of Jeanette’s calibre taking the lead on one of the biggest issues facing the Territory – domestic violence.  Not only does Jeanette have outstanding academic and research qualifications to manage the Government’s focus on an integrated and whole-of-government approach to domestic violence strategy and reform but she also has years of experience working on the ground across the Territory, in the areas of domestic violence, youth justice and child protection, criminal investigations.”
Source:  Territory Families, departmental media release.


  1. Such an excellent idea.
    Working along side the Children’s Commissioner (Colleen Gwynne) and Minister for Children Nicole Manison MLA, the opportunities to promote domestic and family HARMONY are critical to empowering the community going forward over the next few decades.
    As a commUNITY, we have the capacity to individually and collectively build the sustainability of a more resilient ‘village’.


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