ACT Human Rights Commission

Welcome to the website of the ACT Human Rights Commission

The ACT Human Rights Commission (the Commission) is an independent statutory agency established by the Human Rights Commission Act 2005 (the HRC Act).

The HRC Act establishes five members of the Commission:

  • The Children & Young People Commissioner
  • The Disability & Community Services Commissioner
  • The Discrimination Commissioner
  • The Health Services Commissioner
  • The Human Rights Commissioner

Three people are currently appointed to cover the work of the five positions:

  • Mary Durkin: Disability & Community Services Commissioner, and Health Services Commissioner
  • Alasdair Roy: Children & Young People Commissioner
  • Helen Watchirs: Discrimination Commissioner, and Human Rights Commissioner

The Commission operates from a model of collegiality, and does not have an administrative head.  All three Commissioners have equal seniority and decision making authority within the Commission.

Each of the three Commissioners has statutory responsibilities in accordance with their titles, and the Health Services Commissioner also has responsibility in relation to services for older people.  At this time, the HRC Act does not prescribe any functions for the Community Services Commissioner.
 

 

Children & Young People
The Children & Young People Commissioner?s job is to help make the ACT a better place for children and young people. We listen to children and young people, resolve complaints, and provide advice to government agencies and service providers.
Disability & Community Services
The role of the Disability and Community Services Commissioner is to take complaints about disability services, and also to promote improvements in these services. The Commissioner?s role is also raise awareness of the rights and responsibilities of users and providers of disability services.
Discrimination
The Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner handles discrimination complaints, promotes equality of opportunity, and provides community education and information about rights under discrimination law, such as freedom from sexual harassment. The Commissioner makes recommendations to government and the community on laws, policies, practices and services affecting vulnerable groups, as well as promoting understanding and compliance with the Discrimination Act 1991.
Health Services
The Health Services Commissioner deals with complaints about the provision of health services and services for older people, and complaints about contraventions of the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997. The Commissioner?s role is also to promote improvements in these services, and raise awareness of the rights and responsibilities of users and providers of health services and services for older people.
Human Rights
The Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner promotes human rights, identifies and examines issues, fosters public debate, and provides community education and information about human rights. The Commissioner reviews the effect of laws on human rights, as well as advising the Attorney-General on anything relevant to the operation of the Human Rights Act 2004. She has the power to request leave by courts to intervene in relevant human rights cases, as well as inspection powers under the Corrections Management Act 2008.
Older People
The Health Service Commissioner deals with complaints about services for older people, in addition to complaints about health services. The Commissioner's role is also to promote improvements in these services, and raise awareness of the rights and responsibilities of users and providers of these.
ACT Human Rights Commission
The ACT Human Rights Commission was established to promote the human rights and welfare of people living in the Australian Capital Territory and to deal with complaints about services relevant to the Commission's jurisdictions. The Commission is an independent statutory agency established by the Human Rights Commission Act 2005.
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Last updated 30 March 2010