Human Rights Commission welcomes Anna Cody as new sex discrimination commissioner
The Australian Human Rights Commission has announced the appointment of Dr Anna Cody as the sex discrimination commissioner.
Dr Cody brings to the role extensive experience in advocating for women and fighting discrimination. Her experience includes working in Community Legal Centres and serving on the Legal Aid Commission of NSW board. She has been the dean of the School of Law at Western Sydney University since 2019.
Before her appointment, Dr Cody was director of the Kingsford Legal Centre between 2004 to 2019 and senior solicitor from 1995 to 2000. She has also been a program coordinator at Caritas Australia and the Centre for Economic and Social Rights, New York. She has served on several boards, including Community Legal Centres Australia, the Legal Aid Commission NSW and Western Sydney University Early Learning. She won the Australian Human Rights Award (Law) in 2016.
As the sex discrimination commissioner, Dr Cody will be responsible for promoting and advancing the rights of Australians, with a particular focus on tackling discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, and other protected attributes outlined in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.
Additionally, Dr Cody will play a critical role in the Commission's implementation of the recommendations of the Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report (2020). This report aims to bring about some of the most significant workplace reforms to be undertaken in a generation.
“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 as a passionate advocate for human rights,” said commission president, emeritus professor Rosalind Croucher AM.
Dr Cody's appointment will begin on 4 September, and is expected to last for five years. Her appointment to the Australian Human Rights Commission was made following a merit-based selection process. She will replace Kate Jenkins, whose seven-year term ended on April 14.