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Our History

Ombudsman is a Swedish word that describes a person who acts as a link between the people and their government.

A similar role was performed by the Tribune in ancient Rome, and by the Control Yuan in China as early as 221 BC.

The first modern Ombudsman was established by the Swedish Parliament in 1809 to protect the interests of citizens and to ensure that they were governed fairly and according to law.

Ombudsman offices were created in all Australian states during the 1970s. The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman was established in 1977.

Tasmania's first Ombudsman, C R (Dick) Woodhouse, was appointed in May 1979. (His office received 588 complaints in the first year.) Mr Woodhouse remained Ombudsman until 1984. His deputy Michael Dixon was Acting Ombudsman before Roger Willee was appointed in 1985.

Since then, these people have occupied the office:

Neil Batt                                  1989 to 1991

R F X Green                             1991 to 1996

Damon Thomas                        1996 to 2000

Jan OGrady - Acting                  2000 to 2001

                 - Ombudsman         2001 to 2005

Richard Bingham - Acting          November 2005 to July 2006

Simon Allston                           2005 to 2012

Richard Connock - Acting           February 2012 to March 2012

Leon Atkinson-MacEwen            March 2012 to Present

1800 001 170

Contact Details

9.00am to 5pm (Hobart time) weekdays.

Free call from landline phones anywhere in Tasmania, but call charges may apply from a mobile phone.

Translating and Interpreting Service

Interpreter symbol Telephone 131 450

Visit the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) National website for more information