Appointments to the Australian Human Rights Commission

5 September 2014

I today announce that the Government has reappointed Ms Elizabeth Broderick as the Sex Discrimination Commissioner and appointed the Hon Susan Ryan AO as the Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

Ms Elizabeth Broderick has been reappointed for a period of 12 months as the Sex Discrimination Commissioner. Ms Broderick has been Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner since 2007. She was also the Commissioner responsible for Age Discrimination from 2007 to 2011.

The Hon Susan Ryan AO has been appointed as the Disability Discrimination Commissioner for a period of 12 months. Ms Ryan is currently the acting Disability Discrimination Commissioner and, since 2011, has been the Age Discrimination Commissioner. Ms Ryan's distinguished career as a Minister and Parliamentarian, along with her work in the private, academic and non-government sectors gives me great confidence in her ability to fulfil this role.

Ms Broderick has been a leader in advocating for gender equality. She has been a strong advocate for paid parental leave, and was a key spokesperson on women’s issues while working in her capacity as a partner and board member in private legal practice.

As part of her work as Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Ms Broderick has led the Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Australian Defence Force. During the review, Ms Broderick identified further work to embed cultural reform in the Defence Force. Ms Broderick’s reappointment enables her to continue this work.

As Acting Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Ms Ryan recently announced plans to hold a National Disability Forum to reinvigorate a national discussion about improving the lives for Australians with disabilities. This is a welcome contribution to the work of the Commission's in protecting the rights of people with disability.

I am confident that the Australian Human Rights Commission will continue to provide a strong voice for the community under the new arrangements.