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Robert Fitzgerald (Caritas Australia)

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has appointed Caritas Australia chair Robert Fitzgerald to the Australian Human Rights Commission for a five-year term as Age Discrimination Commissioner. Source: Caritas Australia.

Announcing the appointment yesterday, Mr Dreyfus said Mr Fitzgerald would lead the HRC’s work to address barriers to equality for older people and protect them from discrimination in education, employment, accommodation and the provision of good and services.

Mr Fitzgerald said his new role will allow him to continue to promote the rights of all people to live free from discrimination based on age across Australia and internationally.

“In particular, the role will advance the rights of older people to live free from discrimination and abuse in all aspects of their life,” he said in a statement.

A lawyer by profession, Mr Fitzgerald was the first lay person appointed as chair of the Caritas Australia board in March 2020. He will leave his current role as New South Wales Ageing and Disability Commissioner to join the HRC in April.

Caritas chief executive Kirsty Robertson said Mr Fitzgerald had dedicated much of his adult life to promoting the rights of all Australians, especially those most vulnerable.

“Robert’s commitment to defending the vulnerable and upholding their rights, dignity, and freedoms, truly knows no bounds,” Ms Robertson said. 

“Through his stewardship of Caritas Australia, his passion directly impacts those in need across the world. Here in Australia, Robert has committed much of his life to defending the rights of older people and those living with disability, making him an exceptional asset to this role and the aged community across Australia.”

Mr Fitzgerald previously served as a Commissioner on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the Productivity Commission, as well as Community and Disability Services NSW. He has also served numerous Catholic and other non-government organisations 


Caritas Australia congratulates its Chair on Human Rights Commission appointment (Caritas Australia)

Fitzgerald resigns NSW post for new job with Human Rights Commission (Government News)