Vic: Equality Commissioner and Board announced

Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls has announced a new Commissioner and four board members for the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

The announcement of a new board follows the passage of legislation to put in place a new governance structure for the Commission to ensure it has a broader focus on human rights and managing systemic discrimination. The new structure provides clearer lines of responsibility and direction and responds to the expansion in the role and work of the Commission.

"I am pleased to announce that Dr Helen Szoke, Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, has been appointed as the new Commissioner," Mr Hulls said.

"Helen is an exceptional candidate who is driven and committed to equal opportunities and human rights in Victoria. She has done an outstanding job in leading the Commission's development in response to reforms outlined in the Government's Justice Statements over the last four and a half years," he said.

Under the changes to the governance structure, proposed in the review of the Equal Opportunity Act by former Public Advocate Julian Gardner, the Commissioner will be responsible for the day-to-day administration and affairs of the Commission, while the board members will work together to devise policies, priorities and strategies for the Commission.

Mr Hulls said the four new board members were:

  • Joumanah El Matrah, Executive Director of the Islamic Women's Welfare Council of Victoria;
  • Jason Mifsud, CEO of Australian Football League Foundation;
  • Paula Gerber, Monash University Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law; and
  • Brendan Gale, CEO of Richmond Football Club.

The new board begins on 1 October, in line with the commencement of the Equal Opportunities (Governance) Act 2009.

1 October, 2009

Findlaw

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