Dr Cody started as Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner in August 2023.
Before this, Dr Cody had a distinguished career as an academic, as a lawyer specialising in discrimination and as a passionate advocate for human rights.
Dr Cody was previously the Dean of the School of Law and Professor at Western Sydney University for 4.5 years, leading education and research impact within the School to better reflect the diversity of the community and the intersection of law and justice.
Before this she was the Director of the Kingsford Legal Centre at the University of New South Wales, where she worked for over 20 years, providing leadership in clinical legal education, discrimination law and human rights.
Prior to commencing as Commissioner, Dr Cody was the Chair of Community Legal Centres Australia and a Director of the NSW Legal Aid Commission Board and Advisory committee of Law Access. She was also a Board member of Western Sydney University Early Learning. From 2011 to 2013 Anna was the Chair of CLCNSW and member of the Board of Law Access. She was also the Deputy Chair of the NSW Legal Assistance Forum. Areas of research which have been undertaken by Dr Cody include education – particularly clinical legal education – as well as human rights and ethics. Her work over the years has included substantial advocacy to various United Nations human rights committees when they have reviewed Australia’s fulfilment of its human rights obligations and other nations.
Anna Cody has worked in human rights in Mexico, specialising in disability and migrant rights, in international development work in East Timor and Indonesia, and for 2 years was with the Centre for Economic and Social Rights in New York developing their program on the right to health, focussing on mining and human rights issues. Dr Cody has previously worked with Indigenous women in Alice Springs establishing a domestic violence service, and in community legal education in El Salvador.
Dr Cody has a PhD in Law from UNSW, awarded with ‘excellence’ and a Masters in Law from Harvard University and Bachelor of Arts and Law from University of New South Wales. Dr Cody was the recipient of the 2016 Australian Human Rights Commission Law Award and 2007 Community Lawyer Award from the Women Lawyers Association NSW. She has also won numerous teaching awards including a 2010 Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. During her time at UNSW the Centre won various awards including the 2001 Australian Awards for University Teaching, Law and Legal Studies and the UNSW Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching.