New CEO for child advocacy organistation


A former lawyer and child abuse detective has been appointed as the new chief executive of child advocacy organisation, Child Matters.

Jane Searle was appointed to the role in March after spending two years as general manager of Child Matters. She takes the reins from Anthea Simcock, who established the Hamilton-based organisation in 1994 and helped develop it into the highly-respected child advocacy group it is today.

Child Matters is also a world-class provider of training, policy and consulting services, providing quality advice for people working with children.

After working as a barrister and solicitor, practising criminal and family law, Mrs Searle joined the New Zealand Police where she worked on the child abuse team as a detective. Mrs Searle also led a fraud detection and investigation specialist team in the United Kingdom.

She attributes Mrs Simcock with a tremendous job over the past 20 years, fighting for the rights of vulnerable children in New Zealand.

“However, there’s still plenty to be done. New Zealand is moving into a new era, which includes the Ministry for Vulnerable Children – Oranga Tamariki.

“It’s important that we all work together and our revitalised focus means that we’ll continue to support the new ministry, as well as form strategic partnerships with other key organisations to be an innovative and effective voice for children within our communities.

“As individuals and communities, we all have a critical role in keeping children safe and together we can genuinely make a difference.”


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