Australia: Former Ashurst partner named new Anti-Discrimination Board president

A former partner at BigLaw firm Ashurst has been appointed as the new president of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, in a move the Attorney-General said will improve the board’s business strategy.

Employment lawyer and legal leader Helen McKenzie officially commenced her three-year term as president on Monday (21 February) and brought with her over three decades of experience in the profession.

While working for Ashurst, Ms McKenzie held a range of leadership positions, including as board member, practice head and deputy managing partner of the Australian firm.

The NSW Anti-Discrimination Board provides the strategic direction of Anti-Discrimination NSW – and Attorney-General Mark Speakman said Ms McKenzie’s experience would bring tremendous value to the board.

“Ms McKenzie is an outstanding lawyer with an international reputation as one of Australia’s most highly regarded employment lawyers,” Mr Speakman said.

“She has been a trusted advisor to many of the country’s largest organisations in both the private and public sectors and holds an impressive record in business transformation, strategy development and risk management.”

Ms McKenzie replaced former president the Honourable Dr Annabelle Bennett AC SC FAA, who Mr Speakman thanked for her “outstanding service to the agency” in addition to acknowledging Elizabeth Wing for her work as acting president.

“Dr Bennett has provided excellent leadership to Anti-Discrimination NSW for the past four and a half years. Her commitment to fairness and equality has strengthened the agency and she leaves a lasting legacy,” he added.