Joan Sheedy

Port Augusta, South Australia, Australia
Lawyer, Policy advisor and Public servant

During a long career in the Australian Public Service in the Attorney-General's Department and in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Joan Sheedy held a number of senior positions responsible for the provision of legal policy advice on, and the development of legislation in the fields of human rights, privacy, copyright and freedom of information. She was involved in the development of many major legislative reforms including the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986, the Privacy Act 1988 (and subsequent reforms in the privacy area), the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Act 2000, the Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000 and the significant Commonwealth FOI reforms of 2009 and 2010. She also represented Australia in negotiations at the United Nations in Geneva and Vienna on human rights, at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva on copyright and at the EU in Brussels on privacy.

Sources used to compile this entry: Kerwin, Hollie and Rubenstein, Kim, 'Law', in The Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia, Judith Smart and Shurlee Swain (eds), Australian Women's Archives Project, 2014,; Material Provided by Joan Sheedy May 2015.

Prepared by Joan Sheedy