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Kate Jenkins named new sex discrimination commissioner

George Brandis, Kate Jenkins and Michaelia Cash.

Former Herbert Smith Freehills partner and current Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kate Jenkins has been named Australia’s new sex discrimination commissioner.

Attorney General George Brandis announced at Senate Estimates earlier this week that a replacement had been found for Elizabeth Broderick, who left the role in September, but kept her identity secret until Thursday.

Jenkins has held the role at the head of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission since 2013. During her time there she has worked on a range of gender-related projects, including the Independent Review into sex discrimination and sexual harassment, including predatory behaviour, within Victoria Police; establishing the Victorian-based the Male Champions of Change program and the upcoming review into equity and gender within the MFB and CFA.

Other work has included chairing the Disability Reference Group to address issues of discrimination for people with disabilities, overseeing the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission’s Beyond Doubt report, working with the Aboriginal Justice Forum, developing guidelines for transgender people in sport and co-chairing Play By The Rules.

VEOHRC chair John Searle thanked her for her work. “On behalf of the Commission, I wish Kate Jenkins all the very best for her new role as Sex Discrimination Commissioner. With its committed and exceptional staff, the Commission will continue to lead the way in the fight for equality and human rights for all Victorians,” he said.

She also sits on the Carlton Football Club board.

Author Bio

David Donaldson

David Donaldson is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Melbourne.