Search on for Australia Best Human Rights Defenders

By Andrew Heaton

(image via Human Rights Commission)

A search to recognise Australia’s best defenders of human rights has been extended.

In its latest announcement, the Australian Human Rights Commission said it had extended the deadline for nominations for its Human Rights Awards, which will be presented at a dinner to be held later this year.

Originally set to close on August 14, nominations are now open until September 4.

Intended to recognise the efforts of those who have worked tirelessly to make Australian society more inclusive, the awards recognise those whose impact in terms of promoting the rights of others has been significant.

Potential nominees may have acted to overcome discrimination or infringements of human rights or may have helped to promote social harmony in areas such as race, religion, gender equity or the treatment of children and young people.

Nominations are also being sought from people, business or organisations which worked toward improving the rights of indigenous Australians, promoted equal opportunity for people who have disability, countered discrimination on the basis of age or sexuality or increased awareness of issues or inequality.

Eight categories of award are available including the Young People’s Human Rights Medal; Business Award; Racism. It Stops With Me Award; Media Award; Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Individual Award; Community Organisation Award; the Law Award and the ultimate Human Rights Medal.

Last year’s Human Rights Medal award was taken out by Pat Anderson AO, who through her role as chair of the Lowitja Institute and co-chair of the Prime Ministers Referendum Council had contributed to advancing the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly in regards to education, health, early childhood development, and violence against women and children.

Commission President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher encourages all who know people who have made a significant impact in this area to nominate them.

“We all know someone, or a business or organisation, that deserves to be recognised for their inspiring work,” Croucher said.

“These awards recognise the commitment many people have to ensuring our rights and freedoms are enjoyed by all, on an equal basis.”

The awards will be presented in Sydney on December 7.

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