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Susan Ryan appointed Disability Discrimination Commissioner

Disability Disability Rights

Age Discrimination Commissioner, Susan Ryan, has been appointed acting Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

In a statement this week, Federal Attorney-General George Brandis QC said Commissioner Ryan’s new role will commence on 12 July 2014.

Commissioner Ryan will retain her current role as Age Discrimination Commissioner, a position she has held since 2011.

The Attorney-General said he expects all Commissioners, as part of their current responsibilities, will continue to address disability discrimination issues that arise within their own portfolios.

"Ms Ryan’s distinguished career as a Minister and Parliamentarian, along with her work in the private, academic and non-government sectors gives me confidence that she will fulfil the role to a very high standard.

“I thank Mr Innes for his long and dedicated service to the Australian Human Rights Commission in the roles of Disability Discrimination Commissioner (2005-2014), Human Rights Commissioner (2005-2009) and Race Discrimination Commissioner (2009-2011),” the Attorney-General said.

Commissioner Ryan's appointment comes as the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, delivers a swansong speech today at the National Press Club in Canberra.

During his nine-year term as Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Mr Innes has consistently and effectively advocated for the rights of people with disability. Positive changes over the past decade include the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the introduction of Access to Premises Standards, and the introduction of Accessible Transport Standards.

Last year, Commissioner Innes marked the 20th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act by launching Twenty Years: Twenty Stories, a collection of stories demonstrating how the lives of people with disability have changed - or not - under the Disability Discrimination Act.