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The Commissioner—Dr Nikola Stepanov

Dr Nikola Stepanov is the 5th Queensland Integrity Commissioner, and the first female Commissioner.

Dr Stepanov is an ethicist, lawyer, and mediator. She holds six degrees including a Juris Doctor (JD) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). She was also automatically re-registered as health practitioner due to COVID-19.

Her background is in children’s rights; professional conduct standards; ethics and governance; research and research regulation; medical ethics and law; mediation and dispute resolution; and board governance.

Dr Stepanov has particular expertise in bias in decision-makers, conflicts of interest, duty on duty conflicts, and lobbying regulation and standards. She also has a strong interest in grand corruption, administrative and public law, and complex criminal law (inc. white collar crime).

As Integrity Commissioner, Dr Stepanov is the Chair and Convenor of Queensland’s Integrity Committee, and Co-Patron of the Public Safety and Integrity Agencies Women’s Network. She also sits on a number of Government reference committees and groups including the Government Reference Group of the Public Trustee, and the Queensland Family and Child Commission’s Strategic Cross-Agency Oversight Group.

Her professional accreditations, and professional memberships, and voluntary work,  include:

  • Adjunct Professor, Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University
  • Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia (FGIA)
  • President and Board Chair at the Brisbane Youth Service
  • Governing Board Member, ‘ALIVE’- a landmark National Mental Health Research Centre funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council
  • accreditation as a Mediator under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS)
  • former accreditation by the Federal Attorney General’s Department as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP)
  • Elder Mediator (EMAN)
  • Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD)
  • Member, Women Lawyers Association of Queensland (WLAQ)
  • Member, Childrens Health Queensland Clinical Ethics Committee (CCHEL)
  • Member Steering Committee, Health Ethics and Law Network (HEaL), and
  • Professional Member with the Resolution Institute (PRI).

In her four years, Dr Stepanov has overseen a four to six-fold increase in ethics and integrity advice requests, and a ten-fold increase in requests and complaints about registered and unregistered lobbying.

In her spare time, as well as her voluntary community work, Dr Stepanov continues to supervise PhD and master’s students, and to research and publish on a wide range of matters including: grand corruption, financial and complex crimes, administrative and public law, children’s rights, and medical ethics and law.  

Director—Mr Michael Vickers

Michael Vickers was appointed Director with the office of the Queensland Integrity Commissioner in July 2018. He started with the Commission on secondment from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in February 2018 when the Commission’s workloads were increasing substantially.

He was admitted as a solicitor in 1992 and has over 25 years’ experience dealing mainly with legal issues across government and the private sector.

He pays for triathlon club membership every year, but rarely trains enough to compete.

Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0)
Last updated
5 May, 2021

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