Key figures at the ACT Human Rights Commission (ACTHRC) have been reappointed in their roles.
ACTHRC president Dr Helen Watchirs will stay on in the role she took up in 2016 for a further two years. She was appointed as Commissioner in 2004.
ACT Minister for Human Rights Tara Cheyne welcomed the continuing role Dr Watchirs will play in defending the rights all residents in the ACT under the Territory’s Human Rights Act 2004.
My Public Sector
Ms Cheyne also announced the reappointments of Karen Toohey as Discrimination, Health Services, Disability and Community Services Commissioner, and Jodie Griffiths-Cook as Public Advocate and Children and Young People Commissioner for five years.
“The experience of these Commissioners is invaluable to protect and promote the human rights of all members of the Canberra community, particularly as challenges arise from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ms Cheyne.
“The reappointments also mean there is continuity as the Human Rights Commission works to fully implement the recommendations of the Protection of Rights Services Review.”
In 2016, a range of changes were made to protection of rights agencies in the ACT, including expanding the ACT Human Rights Commission to include the Public Advocate, Victims of Crime Commissioner and Victim Support ACT, as well as providing the Public Trustee and Guardian with Guardianship functions.
The legislation provided that there would be a review of how these changes were working, and this was conducted by Insight Consulting Australia.
The three reappointments take effect in October 2021.