Former Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission
Graeme Innes has been Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner since December 2005. During that time he has also served as Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner for three and a half years and as Race Discrimination Commissioner for two years.
Graeme is a Lawyer, Mediator and Company Director. He has been a Human Rights Practitioner for 30 years in NSW, WA and nationally.
As Commissioner, Graeme has led or contributed to the success of a number of initiatives. These have included the Same Sex: Same Entitlements inquiry, which resulted in removal of discrimination across federal law; the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and its ratification by Australia.
Graeme was also crucial to the development of the National Disability Strategy and the Disability (Access to Premises – buildings) Standards 2010; as well as the establishment of Livable Housing Australia.
Graeme has also been an active high profile advocate for the implementation of cinema captioning and audio descriptions and, as Human Rights Commissioner, undertook three annual inspections of Australia’s Immigration Detention facilities.
Graeme has been a Member of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal; the NSW Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal; and the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. He has also been a Hearing Commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
Graeme was Chair of the Disability Advisory Council of Australia, and the first Chair of Australia’s national blindness agency, Vision Australia.
In 1995 Graeme was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). In 2003, he was a finalist for Australian of the Year.
Graeme is married with an adult son and a daughter in high school. He enjoys cricket (as a spectator) and sailing (as a participant), and relaxes by drinking fine Australian white wine.
•Captains of Change: Q&A with Commissioners, the Public Advocate and Senior Practitioner
Keynote address: Advocates are champions
Monday 4th August, 2014: 12:00am - 1:00am
Graeme Innes speaks about the critical role that advocates can play when championing the rights of people with a disability. This keynote address is only weeks after his final address to the National Press Club as Disability discrimination Commissioner.
Captains of change: Q&A with Commissioners, Public Advocate and Senior Practitioner
Monday 4th August, 2014: 3:30am - 5:00am
This conversation, moderated by Graeme Innes, former Disability Discrimination Commissioner, challenges thinking on ways to influence change. Panellists are asked about the way they advocate for change and how they use their positions of authority to safeguard the rights of people with a disability. How does this help advocates in their work? And what do they see as the hot topics?