Professor Anna Cody named as new Sex Discrimination Commissioner


Congratulations to human rights law expert Professor Anna Cody on her appointment as Australia’s next Sex Discrimination Commissioner. 


Professor Cody replaces Kate Jenkins, whose term in the role finished in April. She is charged with the responsibility of leading some of the most significant Australian workplace reforms to be undertaken in a generation. 

In announcing the appointment, the Australian Human Rights Commission Presidents, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, said Professor Cody will play a pivotal role in implementing the significant Respect at Work reforms to prevent workplace sexual harassment.

“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 Professor Croucher.

Professor Cody is currently serving as Dean of the School of Law at Western Sydney University since she was appointed in 2019 and was previously an Associate Professor and Director of the Kingsford Legal Centre (KLC) at the University of New South Wales. She was with KLC 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.

“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.

Professor Cody will start in the position at the beginning of September. “It has been wonderful to be part of a broader University community that is equally as passionate about social justice, inclusion and gender equality and developing a more sustainable, equitable future for all,” said Professor Cody. “I wish the School of Law and the University every success in its future endeavours, as I look forward to this next exciting challenge.”

Former Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow said on LinkedIn that it was wonderful to have Dr Cody in the “vital role”.

“Anna's entire career has been dedicated to equality and human rights. I've always admired Anna: she has deep expertise and a wonderful track record of achieving real, practical change for women and girls.”

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