The woman set to replace Kate Jenkins as Sex Discrimination Commissioner is Doctor Anna Cody.
Dr Cody will take up the role in September, filling the vacancy left by Ms Jenkins, whose term finished in April.
Australia’s new Sex Discrimination Commissioner
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus announced Dr Cody’s appointment to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).
He said it was made following a merit-based selection process.
“Dr Cody brings to the role a career in advocating for women and fighting discrimination,” Mr Dreyfus said.
“Through her work in Community Legal Centres, on the board of the Legal Aid Commission of NSW and her role now as dean of the school of law at Western Sydney University, Dr Cody has a deep understanding of the systemic discrimination Australian women still face.”
Since 2019, Dr Cody has acted as dean of Western Sydney University’s law school.
Previously, from 2004-2019, she worked as director of the Kingsford Legal Centre.
In 2016, she won the Australian Human Rights Award (Law).
Respect@Work a priority
Dr Cody comes to the position with the responsibility of implementing the most significant workplace reforms in a generation.
Mr Dryfus said her priority as commissioner will be to deliver the recommendations of the ‘Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment national inquiry report’.
“In this role she will promote and advance the rights of Australians by tackling discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status. In addition to all other protected attributes in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984,” Mr Dreyfus said.
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Following the announcement of Cody’s appointment, Ms Jenkins shared her congratulations on social media.
She described Dr Cody as an “eminently qualified” pick.
“I’m excited for all of us about what Anna will achieve,” Jenkins said.
Former Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow also shared his congratulations.
“Anna’s entire career has been dedicated to equality and human rights,” Santow said.
“I’ve always admired Anna: she has deep expertise in addition to a wonderful track record of achieving real, practical change for women and girls.”
AHRC welcomes appointment
Meanwhile, AHRC President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, welcomed Dr Cody’s appointment to the role.
“On behalf of Commissioners and staff, I warmly welcome Professor Cody to the Commission. She has a distinguished career as an academic, as a lawyer specialising in discrimination and also as a passionate advocate for human rights,” Professor Croucher said.
“She will also play a pivotal role in implementing the significant Respect at Work reforms to prevent workplace sexual harassment.
“We are delighted to have someone of her calibre join the Commission to advance the work of gender equality and defend the rights of LGBTQIA+ people under the Sex Discrimination Act,” Professor Croucher said.
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