Friday, 05 April 2019

Appointment of Disability Discrimination Commissioner

Media release

Mr Ben Gauntlett has been appointed as Australia's new Disability Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission for a five year term.

Mr Gauntlett has extensive legal experience as a barrister in Victoria and Western Australia and will bring a range of skills and experience to the role, including lived experience with disability.

Prior to his role as a barrister, Mr Gauntlett worked at Freehills for four years in Dispute Resolution. He was an associate to The Honourable Justice Kenneth Hayne AC at the High Court of Australia and also Counsel Assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth.

I am confident that Mr Gauntlett will do an outstanding job as Disability Discrimination Commissioner, working collaboratively with government and the disability sector to remove discrimination and promote the rights of people with disability.

This appointment fills the vacancy created by Mr Alastair McEwin's appointment as Commissioner for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (Disability Royal Commission). I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr McEwin for his outstanding work as Disability Discrimination Commissioner, where he has worked passionately with stakeholders to promote and protect the human rights of all people with disability in Australia.

Mr Gauntlett will commence as Disability Discrimination Commissioner on 7 May 2019. In the interim, recognising the importance of this role, I have appointed the President of the Commission, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, as acting Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

I congratulate both Mr Gauntlett and Mr McEwin on their new roles.