We finally have a new Sex Discrimination Commissioner. And it only took five months.

After much speculation, the nation’s newest advocate for women experiencing discrimination has been announced.

Former Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kate Jenkins has been appointed as the new Sex Discrimination Commissioner.

The much-anticipated government announcement follows a five-month period where no one held the job after Elizabeth Broderick left the role last September.


Cabinet only approved Ms Jenkins’ appointment on Monday.

The former corporate lawyer, who headed up the equal opportunity practice at top law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, was chosen out of 70 candidates by a panel of seven people.

According to the Human Rights Commission website, Ms Jenkins was the convener the Victorian Male Champions of Change, the Chair of the Independent Review into sex discrimination and sexual harassment, including predatory behaviour in Victoria Police, and the Co-Chair of Play by the Rules.

Ms Jenkins, also a mother, is heavily involved in organisations addressing issues relating to disability, indigenous justice and child and family welfare.

The Carlton Football Club board member joins the impressive group of women who have held the position, including former Governor-General Quentin Bryce.

Australian Human Rights Commission President Professor Gillian Triggs said she was “delighted” by the appointment.

“She brings a wealth of expertise to the Commission, especially in employment law, and I am confident that she will continue to contribute greatly to our work in advancing gender equality in Australia,” Professor Triggs said.

“I have admired Ms Jenkins’ leadership of the Victorian Commission over the last few years and believe that her appointment at the Federal level will enable her to promote a truly national approach to the equality of all Australians, especially in employment.

“We look forward to having Kate take on this important work.”

*Feature image via Twitter.

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