A shared commitment to equality for all Victorians drives the Commission’s team. Our leadership group brings together expertise in the law, education, policy, dispute resolution, communication and effective delivery of public services.
Our team brings together experienced staff across policy, the law, dispute resolution, education and communications. Our Board of Governance comprises up to seven members appointed by the Governor-in-Council on the recommendation of the Attorney-General.
The Executive Branch provides strategic and administrative support to the Commissioner and Executive Director, manages relationships with key government stakeholders, coordinates work flow and provides a secretariat function to the board.
Education and Engagement
The Education and Engagement Branch provides a range of services, including tailored and innovative digital information and education, face-to-face training and consultancy, community capacity building and workplace solutions. These services aim to reduce discrimination, overcome systemic and attitudinal barriers and incorporate an approach to service delivery and decision-making that is based on human rights.
Legal and Dispute Resolution
The Legal and Dispute Resolution Branch leads our dispute resolution service, its court and tribunal intervention, Charter of Human Rights reporting and investigation functions. It also provides expert legal advice to other teams within the Commission.
Policy and Research
The Policy and Research Branch identifies and addresses systemic equal opportunity and human rights issues in Victoria by providing policy advice and conducting best-practice research. The branch also leads the Commission’s reviews of organisational programs and practices to determine compliance with the Equal Opportunity Act and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.
Communications and Campaigns
The Communications and Campaigns Branch manages campaigns to increase awareness, build compliance, and maintain a strong public voice on human rights and equal opportunity issues. The branch manages media liaison and provides specialist expertise and communication services across all of our functions.
The Corporate Services Branch supports and enables a professional, engaged and high-performing workforce and culture, and provides organisational support for our finance, people and culture, information management and technology, and office administration functions.
Ro Allen – Commissioner
Ro commenced their role as Victoria’s Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner on 1 June 2021. Ro brings more than 25 years of experience in community services, governance and social justice. Responsible for setting a high-impact policy agenda, Ro leads the Commission and works with the board and leadership team to define and progress the organisation’s strategic objectives.
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Catherine Dixon – Executive Director
Human rights and the prevention of discrimination have been consistent threads across Catherine’s 17-year career in legal, policy and management roles, in both the public and private sectors. As Executive Director at the Commission, Catherine oversees strategy and operations across our five branches.
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Bonnie Halsall - Strategic Advisor
Bonnie brings to the Commission broad experience in legal and policy roles in both the public and private sectors. As Strategic Advisor, she provides expert advice and support to the Executive Branch on the implementation of the Commission's strategic objectives.
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Lauren Matthews - Acting Director, Education and Engagement
Lauren leads the Education and Engagement Branch, focused on providing clear, accessible legal information and helping individuals and organisations to understand their rights and responsibilities, via training sessions, consultancy and our Enquiry Line.
Find out more about our Education services
Emily Howie – Head of Legal and Dispute Resolution
Emily is committed to ensuring that the law remedies entrenched inequalities and promotes peoples’ freedom, dignity and human rights. The Legal and Dispute Resolution Branch resolves individual complaints of discrimination, vilification and sexual harassment, and investigates more serious systemic instances. It also promotes human rights and non-discrimination through advocacy in the courts and broader law reform initiatives.
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Simone Cusack – Head of Policy and Research
Developing evidence-based policy solutions to protect and promote human rights is at the heart of Simone’s work in our Policy and Research Branch. The branch undertakes major reviews, projects and advocates for changes to law and policy to improve human rights outcomes for Victorians.
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Aram Hosie – Head of Strategic Communications
Aram brings a wealth of experience in health and social justice advocacy and communications to lead our Communications and Campaigns Branch. The branch manages campaigns and media liaison to increase awareness, build compliance, and maintain a strong public voice on human rights and equal opportunity issues.
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Nathan Hall – Head of Corporate Services
Nathan has a strong background in the public sector in a range of finance and corporate services roles. He leads the Corporate Services Branch in providing organisational support for our finance, people and culture, information management and technology, and office administration functions.
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