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Commission welcomes new appointments

Rights and Freedoms
New Commissioners: Dr Kat Patterson, Alistair McEwin and Edward Santow

The Australian Human Rights Commission today welcomes three new appointments to the Age, Disability and Human Rights portfolios.

The announcement was made by Attorney-General, Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC.

Dr Kay Patterson will become the Age Discrimination Commissioner while Mr Alastair McEwin will become the Disability Discrimination Commissioner. Susan Ryan, who is currently the Commissioner for both Age and Disability Discrimination, will step down in August.

Edward Santow will become Human Rights Commissioner. The position was vacated by Tim Wilson in February.

Dr Patterson, a former Cabinet minister, senator and academic, is currently the Commissioner of the National Mental Health Commission.  She is also a psychologist and advocate for older Australians.

Mr McEwin’s experience include CEO of People with Disability Australia and manager of the Australian Centre for Disability Law. He is passionate about disability rights and access to justice.

As Human Rights Commissioner, Mr Santow will bring extensive academic and practical human rights experience to the position. He is currently CEO of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

“I speak on behalf of all of my colleagues in warmly welcoming Kay, Alastair and Edward to our dedicated and passionate team here at the Australian Human Rights Commission,” said Commission President, Professor Gillian Triggs.