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Commission welcomes new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice
Incoming Social Justice Commissioner Katie Kiss
Content type: Media Release
Topic(s): Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice / Indigenous Social Justice

The Australian Human Rights Commission welcomes the appointment of Katie Kiss as the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.

Ms Kiss is a proud Kaanju and Birri/Widi woman who grew up in Rockhampton, Central Queensland on the lands of the Darumbal People. She is currently the Executive Director of the Interim Truth and Treaty Body supporting Queensland’s Path to Treaty.

“This is a wonderful appointment. On the behalf of Commissioners and staff, I warmly welcome Katie Kiss to the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner,” said Commission President, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM.

“At the heart of Ms Kiss’s impressive career is an unwavering commitment to promote and protect the rights of First Nations Peoples. She brings decades of experience in public policy and international human rights law, and has served First Nations communities, including her own, with high distinction. Her integrity, and the respect and trust she has garnered across Australia and globally will be hugely beneficial in this role.”

Prior to her role at the Interim Truth and Treaty Body, Ms Kiss held senior positions in the Queensland Government, including Chief of Staff to the Minister for Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, and Senior Advisor to the Deputy Premier. She previously worked for eight years at the Australian Human Rights Commission, where she was the Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Team. Ms Kiss was the Director of Strategic Projects at the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and was a Senior Manager at PwC’s Indigenous Consulting.

The incoming Commissioner has also served as a Board Member and Chamber Three Delegate of the National Congress, Board Member of Ngroo Education Inc., and participated at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“The depth of knowledge and expertise the Commissioner brings cannot be overstated, whether that be in social justice, constitutional reform, cultural heritage and protection, community development, or addressing structural inequality,” said President Croucher.

“This is a delicate and critical time. Following the disappointment of last year’s Voice referendum, it has become even more imperative for Australia to heal and find solutions to support and empower its First Nations communities.

“We are delighted Commissioner Kiss can return to the Commission, to both carry on the important work of outgoing Commissioner June Oscar AO, and help chart a new course forward for First Nations’ rights.”

Commissioner Kiss commences in the role on Wednesday, April 3, the day following the end of Commissioner Oscar’s term.

ENDS | Media contact: Omar Dehen, 0474 837 577