Open main menu

Kate Jenkins, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

Kate Jenkins (born 1968) is an Australian lawyer who has been Commissioner at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission since 2013.[1] Her appointment to the Australian Human Rights Commission as Sex Discrimination Commissioner was announced on 11 February 2016, and will take up the role on 18 April.[2] Jenkins is also on the Board of Berry Street Victoria – the state's largest independent child and family welfare organisation[3] – and a member of the boards of Heide Museum of Modern Art and Carlton Football Club.[4]

Law careerEdit

Before accepting the role of Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, Jenkins was the lead partner of Herbert Smith Freehills' Australian equal opportunity practice. There, she led the firm’s Melbourne Women in Business group for more than a decade and was the lead employment partner in the firm’s pro bono community program.[5]

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights CommissionEdit

Jenkins is the convener of the Victorian Male Champions of Change,[6] the Chair of the Independent Review into sex discrimination and sexual harassment, including predatory behaviour in Victoria Police[7][8] and the Co-Chair of Play by the Rules. She is also the Co-Chair of the Commission’s Disability Reference Group and a member of the Aboriginal Justice Forum.[1]

She was recognised in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards for 2015 for her contribution in addressing equal opportunity and human rights issues in Victoria.[9]

In October 2015 Jenkins was appointed to the board of Carlton Football Club, where she has promised to work towards creating a female team for the upcoming women's AFL competition.[10]

Jenkins was a signatory to a statement by the Australian Council of Human Rights Authorities defending the independence and supporting the work of the Australian Human Rights Commission.[11]


  1. ^ a b "The Commissioner - Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission". 18 October 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  2. ^ Judith Ireland (11 February 2016), Kate Jenkins named Australia's new Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Retrieved 11 February 2016
  3. ^ "Board Members". Berry Street. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Kate Jenkins joins Carlton Board". Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  5. ^ "HSF partner appointed Vic HR Commissioner". 2 September 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  6. ^ Shane Green. "Human rights commissioner Kate Jenkins names AFL chief Gill McLachlan among 19 male champions of women in the workplace". Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Police sex discrimination 'a serious problem'". 20 October 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  8. ^ "What Kate Jenkins, Human Rights commissioner, learned about discrimination". 24 September 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  9. ^ "2015 Event". 100 Women of Influence. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  10. ^ Caroline Wilson (19 October 2015). "Carlton put equal opportunity commissioner Kate Jenkins on board". Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  11. ^ Shane Green. "Victoria's human rights commissioner vigorously defends national watchdog's independence". Retrieved 9 November 2015.