Ben Gauntlett commenced his term as Disability Discrimination Commissioner on May 7, 2019. Ben is a quadriplegic following a schoolboy rugby union accident aged 16 in Perth, Western Australia. He has the experience of a person living with a disability and accessing care in Australia (Western Australia, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory), the United Kingdom and the United States of America. He will be a participant in the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Prior to commencing as Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Ben worked as a barrister in Western Australia and Victoria with a broad ranging practice. He has also worked as an associate to the Honourable Justice Kenneth Hayne AC at the High Court of Australia, as Counsel Assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth and taught law in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Ben holds undergraduate degrees in Law (Hons) and Commerce from the University of Western Australia, and was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship for Western Australia in 2003. He also holds a Master of Laws from New York University and a D.Phil. in Law from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

“Inclusive Education in Australia - Where Are We Going?”

Education sets the foundation for inclusion in society. Many lessons are learnt in the classroom but many are also learnt outside the classroom. The Royal Commission into Violence, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has considered education extensively. The education of people with disability is a critical human rights issue, which is clearly articulated in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. But almost all countries in the world struggle to create an inclusive education system. Why is that? Is it justified? And, perhaps most importantly, how does Australia create an education system that is responsive and respectful of the needs to people with disability now and in the future.