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e-Bulletin, 3 December 2019

Commission Commission – General

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Last chance to purchase tickets for the Awards!

Collection of images from the Human Rights Award Ceremony

There is just one week left to get your tickets to the Human Rights Awards, where we celebrate Australians making extraordinary contributions to human rights.

The Awards will be hosted by Channel Nine journalist and proud Gamilaroi Gomeroi woman Brooke Boney.

Join us for a festive Friday afternoon with great food, beverages and lots of excitement as we celebrate the finalists and winners across nine categories.

The Human Rights Awards are on Friday December 13 at the Fullerton (formerly the Westin) Hotel in Sydney.

Ticket sales close Friday December 6.



Children's Rights Score-Card

National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell speaking at an event

National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell has released a score-card on children’s rights in Australia.

It calls for Australian governments to raise the age of criminal responsibility from ten to 14 in line with a recommendation made by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

“Placing children in any kind of detention takes away their childhood and disrupts their healthy development. It also increases the likelihood of them re-offending,” said Commissioner Mitchell.

The score-card also looked at the diversity of children’s experiences including those of Indigenous children, children with disability, children in care, and children in rural and remote locations.



High Court Intervention

Photo: ABC News, Brendan Esposito - group of men and women overlooking a computer

The Commission recently made submissions in the Annika Smethurst case being heard by the High Court.
The police raids on the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst raised important issues of press freedom, as did the raids on the ABC.

President Rosalind Croucher wrote an opinion piece for the Australian on the Smethurst case, which you can read here.


Thomas Keneally Talks About Race Relations

Award winning author Thomas Keneally explored the history of race relations in Australia in the annual Kep Enderby lecture.

Award winning author Thomas Keneally explored the history of race relations in Australia in the annual Kep Enderby lecture.

“People who get hysterical about asylum seekers don’t realise that if politicians get used to denying the humanity of a group of people, they can move on to deny your humanity.”

The event takes place every year on 31 October, which marks the anniversary of the Racial Discrimination Act, introduced in 1975 by former federal Attorney-General the Hon Kep Enderby QC.
“The Kep Enderby Memorial Lecture is an annual event that aims to advance public understanding and debate about racism, race relations and the Racial Discrimination Act,” said Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan.


Action needed on Elder Abuse

Stressed looking lady looking at paperwork

Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson has called on the Council of Attorneys-General to outline its timetable for action on elder abuse.

 “Elder abuse is a blight on our society.  Older Australians do not have time on their side, they need immediate action from Governments at state and federal levels,” said Dr Patterson.

Commissioner Patterson is calling for powers of attorney to be standardised across the country to help ensure that they are not mis-used.

 “Far too often I hear stories of people whose power of attorney is being abused. A son or daughter chosen to help manage their parent’s finances may in fact be stealing their money or selling their house from under them. These actions often come from a sense of entitlement — but are illegal,” said Dr Patterson.



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