Former Sex Discrimination Commissioner: 2016 - 2023
Kate Jenkins was appointed for a five-year term as Sex Discrimination Commissioner in April 2016. Her term was extended to April 2023. During her term, her purpose was to advance gender equality and the rights of LGBTIQ+ communities, consistent with the Sex Discrimination Act and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Her work responded to national conversations, sparked cultural change, and improved law, policies, practices and funding to foster greater gender equality and address sexual harassment, particularly in Australian workplaces.
Highlights of Kate’s term leading the landmark Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces Report (2020), with the Federal Government committing to implementing all 55 recommendations of the report in full. She also conducted Time for Respect: the fifth national sexual harassment survey; chaired the Respect@Work Council; worked with a range of sporting codes to improve inclusion, including golf, cricket, Australian Rules football, netball and gymnastics; and she led the development of the Guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport. Kate also led the Commission’s collaborative projects on cultural reform with the Australian Defence Force, Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force. Other significant projects included: Change the Course: national survey sexual harassment and sexual assault at Australian universities (2017); Change the Routine: Review of Gymnastics in Australia (2021); and Set the Standard: Independent Review of Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces (2021).
Prior to joining the Commission, Kate spent three years as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, 20 years as lead equal opportunity partner with Herbert Smith Freehills and many years serving on the boards of Berry Street Victoria, Heide Museum of Modern Art and Carlton Football Club. She is also an Ambassador for the FIFA2023 Women’s World Cup.