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Australian Human Rights Commission – Sex Discrimination Commissioner

Information about the Australian Human Rights Commission

The Australian Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory authority and Australia's national human rights institution, established under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (AHRC Act). The Commission has a range of duties, functions and powers with respect to human rights under the AHRC Act and Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation, including promoting community awareness of human rights, investigating human rights issues of national importance, conciliating anti-discrimination complaints, reviewing legislation for compliance with human rights, and advising the Government on legislation and policy relating to human rights.

The Commission currently consists of the President and seven Commissioners. As a member of the Commission, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner will be expected to contribute to the performance of the range of functions of the Commission. Further information about the Commission’s strategic and operating framework is available in the Commission’s latest Corporate Plan.

The Commission’s offices are located in Sydney. Further information about the Commission is available on the Commission's website.

Role of the Sex Discrimination Commissioner

The Sex Discrimination Commissioner is responsible for the promotion and advancement of rights on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, and protected attributes in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Sex Discrimination Act; full suite of functions conferred on the Commission is available at section 48). The Commissioner undertakes this work through research, education, and inquiries. The Commissioner would also have a role in supporting the implementation of the Respect@Work Report, including chairing the Respect@Work Council. The Commissioner is also required to perform other statutory functions, including under the Fair Work Act 2009.


Applicants for the position of Sex Discrimination Commissioner will have appropriate qualifications, knowledge or experience, as required under subsection 96(2) of the Sex Discrimination Act.

Selection Criteria

In addition to meeting eligibility requirements, applicants for the position of Sex Discrimination Commissioner will meet the following selection criteria consistent with the APSC Merit and Transparency Guidelines for APS statutory office holder appointments:

    • Shapes strategic thinking
      • Inspires a sense of purpose and direction
      • Focuses strategically
      • Harnesses information and opportunities
      • Shows judgement, intelligence and common sense
    • Achieves results
      • Builds organisational capability and responsiveness
      • Marshals professional expertise
      • Steers and implements change and deals with uncertainty
      • Ensures closure and delivers on intended results
    • Cultivates productive working relationships
      • Nurtures internal and external relationships
      • Facilitates cooperation and partnerships
      • Values individual differences and diversity
      • Guides, mentors and develops people
    • Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
      • Demonstrates professionalism and probity
      • Engages with risk and shows personal courage
      • Commits to action
      • Displays resilience
      • Demonstrates self-awareness and a commitment to personal development
    • Communicates with influence.
      • Communicates clearly
      • Listens, understands and adapts to audience
      • Negotiates persuasively

To successfully undertake the role of Sex Discrimination Commissioner, an applicant will:

    • be a strong leader, with the ability to build coalitions for change within the government, corporate and non-government organisation sectors, while maintaining an independent advocacy role
    • be able to communicate with influence, to listen to any audience and to develop measured, considered and evidence-based solutions to public policy challenges
    • have a strong presence and be comfortable with a significant media and public profile
    • have a detailed knowledge and understanding of Australian human rights and sex discrimination law, the international human rights framework and government policies relating to all protected attributes under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, or the ability to acquire such knowledge and understanding quickly, and
    • have the ability to operate collegiately as a member of the Commission, and to provide managerial, strategic and professional leadership of the highest order to Commission staff.

Terms and conditions

The appointment will be for up to five years and the anticipated start date is April 2023. The Commission’s offices are in Sydney. Remuneration and allowances for the position are set by the Remuneration Tribunal. Remuneration Tribunal (Remuneration and Allowances for Holders of Full‑time Public Office) Determination 2022 can be viewed on the Remuneration Tribunal website.

How to apply

Applications must include:

  • an expression of interest, of no more than 4 pages, including a statement of claims against the eligibility and selection criteria as outlined
  • a resume of no more than 6 pages outlining qualifications, experience and expertise
  • the names and contact details of at least two referees who have direct and relevant experience of the applicant’s work. Applicants will be notified prior to referees being contacted.

Applications should be emailed to by 5.00pm (AEDT) on 16 December 2022.


Enquiries about the position or application can be emailed to

Assessment process

Applicants will be initially assessed by a panel on their written application. Shortlisted applicants will be further assessed by the panel at interview.


All advice and communication will be sent to applicants via email. Please ensure the email address provided is correct.