The Australian Human Rights Commission has welcomed the appointment of Professor Anna Cody to the role of Sex Discrimination Commissioner by the Attorney General, replacing outgoing commissioner Kate Jenkins whose seven year term in the role ended in April.
“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,” Commission President, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM said, announcing the appointment.
Cody was previously an associate professor and director of the Kingsford Legal Centre at the University of NSW for over 20 years, providing leadership in clinical legal education, discrimination law and human rights.
“Professor Cody’s extensive experience has brought her into contact with women and girls from diverse backgrounds and perspectives including First Nations women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, women with disability and LGBTQIA+ women,” 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 Cody will commence in the position on September 4 and is currently serving as Dean of the School of Law at Western Sydney University since she was appointed in 2019.
The Australian Human Rights Commission does not have a commissioner dedicated to LGBTIQ issues but in 2013 the Gillard Labor Government added marital or relationship status, sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status as protected attributes to the existing Sex Discrimination Act.
However religious private schools and religious owned hospitals and other businesses are still exempt from gender identity and sexual orientation provisions in the Act.
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