The head of legal practice at Victoria Legal Aid has been named as the state’s new equal opportunity and human rights commissioner.
Kristen Hilton will step in to run the VEOHRC from June 1, replacing Kate Jenkins who was recently recruited as the Commonwealth’s new sex discrimination commissioner.
Hilton has a background in community justice, including running a public interest law clearing house now known as Justice Connect and a homeless persons legal clinic.
In a statement today, she said the appointment was an honour:
“I look forward to working with the community, government and business to ensure we are creating a society where there is equality, tolerance, compassion and sense of value for all people.”
Thrilled to be appointed as Victoria’s Equality Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner working towards true equality and inclusion.
— Kristen Hilton (@kristenahilton) May 9, 2016
Her boss at Victoria Legal Aid, managing director Bevan Warner described the appointment as “marvellous”:”
‘We are particularly pleased that Kristen’s passion for remedying injustice will continue to be expressed through her work as Victoria’s new Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner …
“Kristen’s unwavering focus on rights and freedoms for all Victorians was evident in her work at Victoria Legal Aid where she established our Equality Law Program, expanded our Mental Health and Disability Advocacy Program and established an independent advocacy service (IMHA) for people facing compulsory mental health treatment.
“Kristen also led the expansion of VLA’s multilingual Legal Help service that takes calls in over 20 languages and our work to strengthen and expand the community legal sector to further its efforts to bring about systemic change and to provide quality advocacy for vulnerable people.
“More recently, Kristen has been leading our thinking and our effort to find better ways of engaging the private profession in our work.”