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Human Resources
Wednesday 18 March, 2015
Three office workers sitting around a computer

The Commission offers a range of pathways and opportunities for your career in various business areas.   

Corporate - IT, Finance, Human Resources, Payroll

We have a range of corporate roles providing support for the Commission’s  core functions. These include finance, human resources, information technology and office administration roles.

The corporate roles at the Australian Human Rights Commission provide services not only to the Commission but also to the Office of the Information Commissioner under a shared service arrangement.


The Policy section of the Commission fulfils a range of functions in relation to human rights including:

  • monitoring and reporting on human rights in Australia
  • business engagement
  • policy advice
  • respect for rights and freedoms
  • conducting national inquiries and other consultation-based processes
  • advocacy and agenda setting
  • community engagement, education and capacity building
  • key strategic projects.

The Policy section also provides assistance and advice to the Commissioners by drafting speeches, submissions, briefings and working with Legal Services in preparing recommendations in relation to statutory functions such as exemption processes under discrimination legislation and court interventions.

The Policy section is divided into a number of policy teams (listed below). These teams are each led by a Manager who is responsible for managing all activities and projects of the team, providing advice to the Commissioner, as well as managing staff and the allocated project budgets.

  • International Engagement
  • Education and Partnerships
  • Race Discrimination
  • Sex Discrimination
  • Children's Rights
  • Age Discrimination
  • Human Rights and Scrutiny
  • Disability Rights
  • ADF Collaboration project
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice

Investigation and Conciliation Services

The Investigation and Conciliation Services (ICS) is the largest staffing section and assists the President to investigate and resolve complaints. The President has the responsibility for the investigation and conciliation of complaints lodged under the Commission’s legislation. The Director ICS assists the President with their complaint handling functions and acts as their delegate.  The ICS also provides information to the public about the law and the complaint process through the Complaint Information Service and a range of community education and training activities.

The Investigation and Conciliation Section investigates and resolves complaints of discrimination, harassment and bullying based on a person’s:

  • sex, including pregnancy, marital status, sexual identity, breastfeeding, family responsibilities and sexual harassment
  • disability, including temporary and permanent disabilities; physical, intellectual, sensory, psychiatric disabilities, diseases or illnesses; medical conditions; work related injuries; past, present and future disabilities; and association with a person with a disability
  • race, including colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, immigrant status and racial hatred
  • age, covering young people and older people
  • sexual preference, criminal record, trade union activity, political opinion, religion or social origin (in employment only)

It is against the law to be discriminated against in many areas of public life, including employment, education, the provision of goods, services and facilities, accommodation, sport and the administration of Commonwealth laws and services.

The Commission can also investigate and resolve complaints about alleged breaches of human rights against the Commonwealth and its agencies.

Career paths in this area may progress from entry level as indicated below or more experienced candidates may enter at higher levels:

Hotline roles -> Investigation and Conciliation Officer -> Senior Investigation and Conciliation Officer -> Principal Investigation and Conciliation Officer


Policy areas regularly work with the Communications team on matters relating to external and internal messaging.

  • Media advisors are assigned to work with particular Commissioners and on particular issues: they are the primary source of advice on media related matters and draft media releases, opinion pieces, and provide input on speeches, fact sheets and other materials.
  • The events coordinator leads development of major commission events, including the annual Human Rights Awards and Rights Talks and provides advice on matters relating to events, sponsorship and partnerships.
  • The Website team administer the Commission’s website– this includes design of webpages for projects, administering the Commission’s social media presence and coordinating other electronic forms of communication
  • Communications also coordinate the production of general information / communication about the Commission – such as information brochures and the development of the Commission’s Annual Reports (which provide an overview of the Commission and its work during the financial year period).


The Legal section provides broad-ranging legal advisory services to the Commission. This includes:

  • intervention and Amicus Curiae
  • litigation
  • legal analysis for our policy work;
  • support on contracts and tenders; administering the Commission’s administrative law requirements – such as the Information Public Scheme requirements and FOI legislation;
  • advice on discrimination law and human rights matters; and
  • conducting AHRC complaint processes (relating primarily to ILO conventions and the ICCPR).

Introduction to the Commission

The Commission is developing a formal Graduate Program, in the meantime however graduates are encouraged to apply for vacant positions as they arise at the Commission.

For insurance reasons, the Commission is not able to employ people on a voluntary basis. People wishing to volunteer for human rights organisations may wish to contact agencies such as Amnesty International or other community groups such as those listed on the Links page of the website.

University students wishing to undertake an internship at the Commission should make their request through the Commission’s annual intake process. Appropriate insurance coverage is required through the relevant institution. Opportunities for internships at the Commission are limited.