International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children Australia Ltd

ICMEC Australia News

World-leading child sexual assault detective joins ICMEC Australia Board

January 31, 2023

Establishing strong industry connections and partnerships is foundational to our ability to deliver on our mission of supporting organisations working on the frontline to report, detect and prosecute child sexual exploitation facilitated online.

So, we are thrilled to announce that we have appointed one of the world’s most recognised and influential figures in the fight against child sexual exploitation (CSE), Jon Rouse APM, to our board.

Jon’s career in law enforcement with the Queensland Police Service spans 39 years, spending 26 of those years leading Task Force Argos, the team featured in Australian-produced international documentary, ‘The Children In The Pictures’.

In addition to his tenure at QPS, Jon has been seconded for the last four years as the Operations Manager at the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE), has been the chair of the INTERPOL Covert Investigation Working Group and is Ambassador to the Daniel Morcombe and Carly Ryan Foundations, Bravehearts and Act for Kids.

His dedication to serve and protect vulnerable children across the globe has seen him accept the ‘Champion for Children’ award in 2018 from the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, the global arm of ICMEC Australia.

Jon was also awarded the Queensland Australian of the Year in 2019 and has been decorated with multiple Queensland and National police service medals.
Having announced his retirement from QPS in December 2022, Jon was clear that his work in this field was not yet complete.

“As my police career comes to an end, it’s incredibly important to me that I continue the fight to save children from sexual exploitation and abuse. There are projects that I commenced that I want to see through to completion,” he says.

“By joining the board of ICMEC Australia I can apply the knowledge and experience I’ve accumulated over many years in ways that will help shape the solutions needed to close the many gaps that perpetrators leverage to avoid detection and to continue to harm children around the world. I’m excited to continue this critical work.”

Our UCD Research Project, delivered by strategic and innovation design partner Tobias in 2022 demonstrated the challenges faced by the financial services industry in detecting and reporting suspicious transactions related to CSE. One of these challenges being that stakeholders across the industry work in siloes.

By having the knowledge and experience of such a remarkable and well-respected figure at our fingertips, we are able to increase our understanding of this complex problem and share that understanding with other stakeholders working in this field.

ICMEC Australia CEO, Anna Bowden, acknowledges the impact that Jon will have on the team.

“Joining the ICMEC Australia Board as he comes towards the end of his formidable police career is a significant endorsement by Jon of the work we do to support financial institutions, regulators, law enforcement agencies and other NGOs,” she says.

“It also strengthens our remit and mission by bringing law enforcement and direct sector experience inside the organisation, which will help to empower other data stakeholders, such as financial crime units, who are trying to eliminate this crime.”

Paul McCarney, Executive Chair, ICEMC Australia, reinforces Anna’s belief that Jon’s presence on the ICMEC Australia board will enable our team to draw on vital industry experience and develop key partnerships as we work to help the sector close the gaps identified in the research.

“It’s such a huge honour for Jon to be joining our board,” Paul said. “As one of the world leaders in the detection of child sexual exploitation, his deep understanding of the nature of this crime will add a practical dimension to the Board’s mission.”

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