The leadership team

Justine Vaisutis – Head of Education and Engagement

Justine Vaisutis

Justine Vaisutis started as the Head of Education and Engagement in 2016. In this role Justine and her talented team provide advice and training to individuals, organisations and businesses on discrimination and human rights.

Justine and her team’s work with organisations focuses on how they can overcome systemic and attitudinal barriers to eliminate discrimination and uphold human rights, including by bringing a human rights-based approach to their service delivery and decision-making.

Justine has 10 years’ experience in organisational change and is passionate about creating more diverse and equitable workplaces. She has led initiatives in large organisations to advance Indigenous representation and gender equity and to promote and enforce ethical behaviour.

Justine has also worked in many roles requiring complex cultural reviews of workplaces, assessing under-performing business functions, facilitating dispute resolutions and developing workplace policies for a range of employers, including government departments, universities, ASX-listed companies, international non-government organisations and small businesses.

Prior to her work in organisational change, Justine spent 10 years as a journalist, writing predominantly about human rights, cultural diversity and travel. Justine has a Masters of Law and is currently completing a Master of Business Administration (Executive).

Megan Breen – Head of Communications and Campaigns

Megan Breen

Megan Breen joined the Commission in 2011. In her current role as Head of Communications and Campaigns, Megan is responsible for driving the Commission’s promotion of human rights and equality across Victoria, combating discrimination in all its forms and building the Commission’s profile as a champion for equality across the state.

Megan oversees all of the Commission’s external communications, leading a creative team to deliver strategic and tactical communications across traditional and new media. She works to secure and shape media coverage on key human rights issues in order to maximise the impact of the Commission’s work.

Megan is passionate about identifying innovative and effective ways to change behaviours and continue the conversation about how to improve our community and create a fairer society.

She has previously worked as a journalist and editor across a range of media outlets and publications, and has extensive experience in marketing communication methods to develop and implement innovative, research-driven strategies and campaigns. Megan has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History, and a Master of Arts in Mass Communication.

Claire Mumme – Head of Business Services

Claire Mumme

Claire Mumme is the Head of Business Services and joined the Commission in 2015. In her role, Claire leads a team of specialists in managing the Commission's people & culture and core operations, ensuring the Commission runs smoothly and meets its goals and obligations.

Claire is a highly experienced, professional senior manager with more than 15 years’ experience in leading public sector internal and external service delivery, improving business processes and in strategic reform.

Claire has worked in many leadership roles in the Victorian Public Service, including in grants management, IT implementation, project and change management and in senior program management and strategic advisory roles. She has a strong focus on improvement and reform, as well as supporting and enabling high performing workplace cultures.

Beforehand, Claire worked in the English arts funding system, managing funding sector reform and the delivery of the government's arts funding programs. Claire has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Drama and is currently undertaking a Masters of Strategic Organisational Development and Human Resource Management.

Sarah Bendall – Head of Legal and Dispute Resolution

Sarah Bendall

Sarah Bendall started as the Head of Legal and Dispute Resolution in 2017. Sarah and her team are responsible for all the Commission’s legal work, including any interventions in Court cases. Sarah also oversees the Commission’s free, fast and efficient complaints and dispute resolution service for Victorians who have experienced discrimination.

Sarah is a lawyer and company secretary, with expertise in regulation, administrative and corporate law, governance and dispute resolution. Prior to joining the Commission, Sarah was General Counsel at Victoria Legal Aid (VLA). Before VLA, Sarah held senior leadership roles at the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), in the corporate and dispute resolution teams, including as the TIO’s inaugural Legal Counsel.

Sarah is passionate about creating positive cultures, both within organisations and the broader community. She has led large-scale change management initiatives in complaints handling, risk management and in-house legal service delivery. She has more than 15 years’ experience in dispute resolution and is committed to the principles of client-centred design and proportionate regulation.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts and Laws from Monash University, a Masters of Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics from Melbourne University, a diploma of Corporate Governance and a certificate in Risk Management from the Governance Institute of Australia.

Simone Cusack – Head of Policy and Research

Simone CusackSimone Cusack started as the Head of Policy and Research in 2018. Simone and her team work to build a strong evidence base and develop creative policy solutions to protect and promote human rights in Victoria. The team undertakes major reviews and projects to improve human rights outcomes for Victorians.

Simone is a lawyer, with over 15 years' of legal, policy and advisory experience at the state, federal and international levels. She is recognised as an international expert on women's rights and gender equality and has published widely on these topics. Her co-authored book (with Rebecca J. Cook) – Gender Stereotyping: Transnational Legal Perspectives (2010) – has been described as an 'essential contribution to the debate on stereotypes and the law'.

Before joining the Commission, Simone played a leadership role in the development and delivery of the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Before that, she was a senior adviser to the (then) Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, during which time she led the 2012 national sexual harassment telephone survey on behalf of the Australian Human Rights Commission. She has also advised a range of UN agencies.

Simone is committed to helping people access international complaint mechanisms to ensure their human rights and fundamental freedoms are upheld.

Simone holds a Bachelor of Arts and Laws (Hons) from Monash University, as well as a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto.

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