Skip to main content

e-Bulletin, 2 September 2019

Commission Commission – General

In this e-bulletin:


Free and Equal – tickets selling fast

Free and Equal conference banner

Early bird discounted tickets are still available to join the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Dr Michelle Bachelet for the Free and Equal conference in Sydney on October 8. This is a once in a decade event designed to explore ways to better protect, promote and preserve our rights and freedoms

In the meantime, we’d like to hear your views on our latest Discussion Paper - A model for positive human rights reform in Australia. It sets out a range of options and priorities to reform our discrimination laws that make up our system of protections.


New Discussion Paper on positive human rights reform in Australia

Father and child

Last week, the Commission released a new discussion paper on a model for positive human rights reform in Australia. The paper is the second for ‘Free and Equal’: An Australian Conversation on Human Rights, a major project that Commission President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher in leading.

The paper sets out a range of options to strengthen Australia’s human rights protections and reframe the conversation about human rights in positive and inclusive ways. These options would complement our existing laws and address the over reach of executive discretion, which has seen an erosion of freedoms and growing community concern.

In recent weeks Professor Croucher has continued consultations for the National Conversation in Tasmania and delivered an address on human rights reform to the National Association of Community Legal Centres Conference.

Now is the time to get on board with this reform agenda and have your say about how you - and your fellow Australians- can enjoy the balance of freedom and protection.

Find out more information and make a submission here.


Closing soon: National survey for Australian Muslims

Elderly Muslim couple sightseeing at a lake in Australia

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO has just finished her national consultations with First Nations women and girls for the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project.

Commissioner Oscar has just visited Rockhampton, Woorabinda, Barcaldine and Longreach in regional Queensland. It’s the first time in 32 years that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have been asked to share their strengths, challenges and ideas for change.

Commissioner Oscar said it has been a privilege to meet so many strong women and girls who are doing incredible work in their communities. She will report to Federal parliament next year.


Commissioners at the UN, Geneva

United nations - row of flags, Geneva

National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell and Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr Ben Gauntlett are heading to the United Nations in Geneva next week to appear before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, respectively.

Commissioner Mitchell will be advocating for raising the age of criminal responsibility; addressing the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in the out-of-home care and juvenile justice systems;  improved data collection to effectively monitor children’s rights; and a strong forward plan to realise children’s rights and wellbeing.

Commissioner Gauntlett will be advocating for three critical human rights issues for people with disability, including the importance of the equal legal capacity of people with disability; the unlawful or arbitrary detention of people because of disability; and the practice of forced sterilisation of people, particularly women and girls, with disability.


Launched: Online training to keep children safe

Children's football lesson

A series of free, online training modules to help organisations develop their skills and understanding of child safety was released nationally at a forum in Sydney last week.

The National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell was joined by a range of leaders who spoke at the event, including human rights advocate and former soccer player, Craig Foster.

The e-modules are available here.

To watch the launch event, including the forum, click here.


Australian Human Rights Commission Speaker Series

Sharing the Stories of Australian Muslims. Speaker series: Adelaide

The Commission is hosting an engaging series of high-profile professional speaker events as part of the as part of our project:  Sharing the Stories of Australian Muslims. The events are taking place across the country, starting this week:

  • 4 September in Adelaide  The History of Islam in Australia featuring guest speaker Professor Mohamad Abdalla (UniSA)
  • 11 September in Melbourne – Calling Out Casual Racism featuring guest speakers Professor Riaz Hassan (Flinders University) and Professor Fethi Mansouri (Deakin University)
  • 17 September in Sydney – The Rise of Cyber Racism featuring guest speakers Professor Kevin Dunn (Western Sydney University) and Professor Andrew Jakubowicz (University of Technology Sydney)


Age Discrimination Commissioner in Tasmania

Dr Kay Patterson

Dr Kay Patterson spent last week travelling around Tasmania to launch an educational bookmark to raise awareness of elder abuse.
"The bookmark is an innovative way of providing key information to recognise signs of elder abuse and share the national elder abuse phone line 1800ELDERHelp (1800 353 374), so that Tasmanians who think they, or someone they know, is being abused, can reach out for support," said Dr Patterson.
Dr Patterson, along with Sue Leitch, CEO of COTA Tasmania,  travelled across Tasmania including Burnie, Triabunna, Swansea, Bicheno and Westbury.


RightsApp released in Vietnamese

Launch of Vietnamese version of RightsApp

The world’s first mobile application to provide information about human rights and freedoms is now available in Vietnamese.

RightsApp was launched in English by the Australian Human Rights Commission in partnership with LexisNexis in 2016. It allows users to quickly and easily search international human rights conventions, declarations and treaties, by topic.

The Vietnamese version of RightsApp was developed under the Commission’s Human Rights Education Partnership with the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics.

The Human Rights Education Partnership is supported by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


Recent media releases

Recent speeches

Job Opportunities

Get involved - upcoming events

For the latest media releases, speeches, opinion pieces, go to the media centre on the Commission’s website at: and for events go to