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
9.00am to 5pm (Hobart time) weekdays.
Free call from landline phones anywhere in Tasmania, but call charges may apply from a mobile phone.