Govt Appoints Acting Disability Commissioner
1 July 2014 at 4:59 pm
Former Hawke Government Minister and current Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan has been appointed as acting Disability Discrimination Commissioner.
Attorney-General Senator George Brandis says the appointment will ensure that the Commission’s important work to protect the rights of people with disability continues when the appointment of Graeme Innes expires on July 11.
“I also expect that all Commissioners, as part of their current responsibilities, will continue to address disability discrimination issues that arise within their own portfolios,” Brandis said.
Susan Ryan is currently the Age Discrimination Commissioner, a role she has held since 2011.
“Susan Ryan’s distinguished career as a Minister and Parliamentarian, along with her work in the private, academic and non-government sectors gives me confidence that she will fulfil the role to a very high standard,” he said.
“This appointment is in keeping with the common practice of appointing Commissioners to dual portfolios.
“For all but three of the last 15 years, the person who has held the Disability Discrimination Commissioner role has also been responsible for another portfolio. This includes the entire time Mr Shorten had responsibility for the disabilities portfolio in the Rudd-Gillard governments.”
The Attorney-General thanked Graeme Innes for his long and dedicated service to the Australian Human Rights Commission in the roles of Disability Discrimination Commissioner (2005-2014), Human Rights Commissioner (2005?2009) and Race Discrimination Commissioner (2009-2011).
Susan Ryan was appointed as Australia’s first Age Discrimination Commissioner on July 30, 2011 for a five-year term.
Up until her appointment as Commissioner, she had been Women’s Ambassador for ActionAid Australia and chaired the Australian Human Rights Group since 2008. She had also chaired the Australian Human Rights Act Campaign Inc since 2005.
From 1975 to 1988, Ryan was Senator for the ACT, becoming the first woman to hold a Cabinet post in a Federal Labor Government. She served in senior portfolios in the Hawke Government as Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women and Special Minister of State.
Ryan’s appointment will commence on July 12.