Skip to main content

April 2024: Commission news | President's letter

Commission – General
three blue faces with maps overlaid

Letter from the President: April 2024

Dear friends

Our 5-year Free + Equal project has laid the foundation for strengthening Australia’s federal human rights protections through a revitalised human rights framework with a National Human Rights Act at its core.

Last month we co-hosted a workshop on this important project with the Castan Centre for Human Rights at Monash University in Melbourne. 

Human rights academics, NGOs, and human rights commissions from across the country came together to discuss how to promote the implementation of the Commission’s Free and Equal report recommendations and to secure a new Australian Human Rights Framework and national Human Rights Act. The workshop was convened in advance of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights releasing its report of Inquiry into Australia’s Human Rights Framework.

Committee Chair Josh Burns MP provided insights into their considerations and themes that were raised in submissions.

We also workshopped messages to build awareness and understanding about the need for a National Human Rights Act. You can read the messaging guide

The Parliamentary Inquiry’s report is due to be released by 31 May, just in time for our Free + Equal Conference in June.

Free + Equal Conference

I invite you to join me at the Free + Equal Conference on 6 and 7 June where we will hear from a range of excellent speakers from across the civil society, law, and business sectors. 

Esteemed human rights lawyers Jennifer Robinson and Phillip Alston, the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG and broadcaster Waleed Aly are among the 60 high calibre speakers. Over 12 engaging sessions we will explore topics including: enhancing Australia's anti-discrimination laws, preventing racism, improving children’s rights and youth justice, exploring the intersection of business, technology and human rights, and marking 40 years of Australia’s ground-breaking Sex Discrimination Act.

The Rights On Time futuristic panel show hosted by Adam Spencer on the eve of the conference will be an absolute highlight. You can see the full program and register at  

The conference is part of the Vivid Sydney Festival so it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the spectacular events afterwards.

New Commissioners

I warmly welcome our new Commissioners this month, Age Discrimination Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Katie Kiss

Wishing you a happy month ahead, 

President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM FAAL FRSA FACLM (Hon)

Woman with red long hair and glasses in business attire