Caritas Australia congratulates its Chair on Australian Human Rights Commission appointment

Caritas Australia Chair, Robert Fitzgerald AM

The Australian Attorney General Mark Dreyfus has announced the appointment of Caritas Australia Chair, Robert Fitzgerald AM, as a Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights Commission in the role of Age Discrimination Commissioner, commencing from April 2024.  

A lawyer by profession, Robert Fitzgerald was the first lay person appointed as Chair of the Caritas Australia board in March 2020, and currently serves as Ageing and Disability Commissioner in NSW.  

Robert has dedicated much of his adult life to promoting the rights of all Australians, especially those most vulnerable. His stewardship of Caritas Australia sees his enduring passion for dismantling inequality applied to the international aid and development sector. 

Kirsty Robertson CEO of Caritas Australia said of the appointment “Robert’s commitment to defending the vulnerable and upholding their rights, dignity, and freedoms, truly knows no bounds. 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.” 

Robert Fitzgerald AM said “The rights of all people to live free of discrimination and abuse should be central to our nation’s identity. Such rights need to be embedded in public policy, legislation, service provision and our communities and institutions. This role will enable me to continue to promote these rights both in Australia and internationally, especially for older people.’ 

Robert 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 faith-based and other non-government organisations including as NSW State President of the St Vincent de Paul Society, member of the NSW Catholic Commission for Employment Relations, Deputy Chair Benevolent Society and President of the Australian Council of Social Services. He was also the inaugural chair of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Advisory Board.