About the ACT Human Rights & Discrimination Commissioner
The ACT Human Rights & Discrimination Commissioner is one of three Commissioners within the ACT Human Rights Commission.
The current Human Rights & Discrimination Commissioner is Helen Watchirs.
The Commissioner's role under the Discrimination Act is to take complaints of unlawful discrimination under the Act. Unlawful discrimination occurs when someone is:
- Treated unfavourably
- Because of a protected attribute; and
- This occurs in public life
An example of unlawful discrimination is when someone is refused service at a restaurant because of his or her race.
If you believe you have been unlawfully discriminated against, you can make a complaint.
The Commissioner's role is also to
- Promote an understanding and acceptance of, and compliance with the Act
- Undertake research and develop educational and other programs to promote the objectives of the Act
- Review the consistency of ACT laws with the Act and report to the Attorney-General; respond to requests by the Attorney-General to examine possible inconsistencies in proposed laws with the Act
- Advise the Attorney-General on any matter relevant to the Act's operation
As well as the Human Rights & Discrimination Commissioner, there are two other Commissioners within the Commission:
- Mary Durkin: Disability & Community Services Commissioner, and Health Services Commissioner
- Alasdair Roy: Children & Young People 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.
Last updated 17 Apr 2013