Elizabeth Evatt AC was the first Chief Judge of the Family Court of Australia, and the first femal judge of an Australian federal court.
In 1974 she chaired the Royal Commission on Human Relationships, which documented for the first time the then existing systemic discrimination against women in Australian social, economic and public life and which led in time to anti discrimination legislation and social, financial and legal change in favour of Australian women nation wide.
In 1984 she was appointed as a member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. She later chaired the Committee, from 1989 to 1991. She was Chancellor of the University of Newcastle from 1988 to 1994.
She was the first Australian to be elected to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, serving from 1993 to 2000. She was made a Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission from 1995-8. In 1998 she was appointed as a judge of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal. She was elected as a Commissioner of the International Committee of Jurists in 2003.
She was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1982, and was granted Australia’s highest civil honour, the Companion of the Order of Australia in 1995.