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e-Bulletin, 2 October 2019

Commission Commission – General

In this e-bulletin:


Religious Discrimination Bill

pathway through a forest

The Commission has provided a submission to the Attorney General’s Department on the draft Religious Discrimination Bill

“Australia is a tolerant, pluralistic society and it is right that we provide the same level of protection against religious discrimination as we do against discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, disability and age,” said Commission President Rosalind Croucher.

The Commission has emphasised that our laws shouldn’t give preference to one human right over others.

“Human rights are for everyone. They are indivisible and universal,” said Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow.  “Our law should not permit discriminatory religious statements to override all other Australian anti-discrimination laws.”



Last chance for 'Free and Equal' tickets

Free and Equal Conference postcard

There is one day left to purchase tickets to the National Conversation with ticket sales closing on Thursday October 3. 

The conference ‘Free and Equal: An Australian Conversation on Human Rights’ features a range of fascinating panels and a keynote by the visiting UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Dr Michele Bachelet.

Dr Bachelet will also be available for questions from the audience immediately after her speech.

Half-price tickets are available for non-government organisations. Purchase your last-minute tickets today. 


Historic appearance at the UN

Megan Mitchel with the United Nations Committee

Australia’s Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell has made an historic appearance at the UN.

It was the first time since 2011 that Australia appeared before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Commissioner Mitchell hosted a screening of Maya Newell’s film ‘In my blood it runs’ at the Palais des Nations.

The film tells the story of ten-year-old Dujuan, an Aboriginal boy from the Northern Territory who appeared in person at the UN to tell his story.



Disability Commissioner addresses UN

Pictured: Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Ben Gauntlett and Dujuan Hoosan, who appeared before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Disability Commissioner Dr Ben Gauntlett also spoke at the UN, appearing before the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Dr Gauntlett says the Committee have struck an appropriate balance between recognising the many good disability policies in Australia with highlighting the critical human rights concerns facing people with disability.

“Good disability policy in Australia requires long-term commitment from federal and state governments and careful monitoring, he said.

 “We need to make sure our laws and policies are effective and are consistent with our human rights obligations.”


Pictured: Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Ben Gauntlett and Dujuan Hoosan, who appeared before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.


Indigenous women rangers program

Woman Ranger © Wayne Quillam for the Commission as part of the Wiyi Yanu U Thangani project

Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar has praised the Indigenous women rangers’ program, whose numbers have grown rapidly in recent years.

She says it is a great example of Indigenous women uniting and networking to bring about positive social change.

“Our women are standing strong in our knowledge on country. We are networking to unite our voices, knowing how powerful we can be when we act together,” said Commissioner Oscar.

The Commissioner praised the rangers for successfully taking the newest practices in Western science and combining them with Indigenous knowledge to create dynamic ways of caring and being on country.


Recent news

Recent speeches

For the latest media releases, speeches, opinion pieces, go to the media centre on the Commission’s website and for events go to our Events list.

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