Mr Robert Fitzgerald AM has been announced as the next Age Discrimination Commissioner under the Human Rights Commission.
Commission President, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, said, “We are extremely delighted by this appointment. On behalf of staff and Commissioners, I warmly welcome Robert Fitzgerald as Age Discrimination Commissioner.”
or much of his adult life, and with high distinction, Mr Fitzgerald has served his communities, state, and country to better the lives of the most vulnerable. As a highly respected lawyer, human rights and social justice advocate, and a leading figure in the anti-discrimination space who has held several significant Commissioner positions, he is the perfect person to take on this role to help advance the rights of older people.”
Mr Fitzgerald has been the NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner since 2019, and was previously an Australian Productivity Commissioner, NSW Community and Disability Services Commissioner, and Deputy Ombudsman.
Dementia Australia welcomed the appointment. Dementia Australia Executive Director, Services, Advocacy and Research Dr Kaele Stokes said the appointment was well deserved.
“Mr Fitzgerald has long championed the rights of older people, including those with a cognitive impairment, and this new appointment acknowledges his commitment to serving this community,” Dr Stokes said.
“In 2024 there are more than 421,000 people living with all forms of dementia in Australia. Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people is expected to increase to more than 812,500 by 2054.
“Older people living with dementia are more susceptible to elder abuse, including physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, social and financial abuse as well as neglect.
“Dementia Australia looks forward to working with Mr Fitzgerald to protect older Australians, especially people living with dementia or cognitive impairment who are more vulnerable within the community.”