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First finalists announced for the Human Rights Awards!

Rights Rights and Freedoms
2019 Medal winners The Hon Peter McClellan AM QC and Chrissie Foster

We’re excited to announce the incredible finalists for the following three Award categories; Young People’s Human Rights Medal, Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Individual Award and Community Organisation Award.

You can help us celebrate these human rights heroes by buying your tickets today!

Young People’s Human Rights Medal

Madison Birtchnell

Madison is a champion for gender equality and the health and wellbeing of women. Serving her Queensland community as a member of the YWCA Sub-Committee and volunteer for the National Council of Women of Queensland, she plays an integral role in contributing to programs and policies that promote justice for women.

Marlee and Keely Silva

Indigenous sister duo, Marlee and Keely Silva, co-founded Tiddas 4 Tiddas, a social media platform dedicated to sharing the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Marlee and Keely  use their voices and platform to help empower young Indigenous women to know their worth and capabilities. 

Keeley Johnson

At the age of 13, Keeley Johnson, a young girl with an intellectual disability and autism, founded the not-for-profit organisation, Keeley’s Cause. Keeley’s Cause provides iPads for children living with disabilities to assist and with their education and ability to communicate.

Franklin Hooper

At the age of 17, Franklin identified a lack of inclusivity of the LGBTQIA+ community in the education systems of rural and remote areas of Australia. To combat this, Franklin designed a program called the Connectedness Workshop Collection to add LGBTQIA+ perspectives into rural education systems.

Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts

Vanessa Turnbull Roberts is a proud Bundjalung woman, writer and youth leader. She dedicates her time to fighting against injustices that disproportionately affect her community. Through community activism, Vanessa draws awareness to forced adoption legalisation and the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in incarceration.

Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Individual Award

Jasmine Cavanagh

Jasmine led a successful class action case against the Northern Territory Government over unjust public housing policies for Aboriginal tenants. She advocates for dignified housing conditions to increase positive outcomes for Indigenous communities in rural areas. Jasmine’s community activism paves the way for other remote communities to replicate her success

Michael Combs

Michael’s organisations CareerTrackers and CareerSeekers use internship and mentoring opportunities to professionally develop, nurture and support Indigenous Australians, refugees and asylum seekers. By creating pathways and opportunities, both organisations have helped thousands of students and professionals graduate and gain employment. 

Philip Feinstein

Philip is a musician and long-time advocate for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. In 2009 he founded Music for Refugees, a self-funded program that has expanded into many Australian detention centres, encouraging music as a creative outlet for self-expression and community cohesion.  

Joel Clark

With extensive experience working for human rights organisations, Joel is an advocate for young people, for Indigenous and LGBTQIA+ rights, and as someone with lived-experience, mental health reform.  Over the last two years, Joel played an integral role in the coordination of the successful campaign to remove children from Queensland watch houses. 

Nathalie Servant

Nathalie has dedicated her life’s work to championing human rights, social inclusion and resilience building within her local region. In 2008, Nathalie developed the Launceston Human Library, a project designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding through community-based storytelling.

Community Organisation Award

Digital Rights Watch

Digital Rights Watch seeks to ensure Australians are equipped, enabled and empowered to uphold their digital rights. In 2018 they released their State of Digital Rights report, which outlined the impact of changing technology and government policy on human rights in Australia.

Asian Women at Work

Asian Women at Work empowers women to stand up, speak out and take collective action to advocate for their rights. Representing over 2,000 members, their aim is to prevent workplace and/or domestic exploitation while also helping migrant women obtain secure employment and contribute to Australian society.

CREATE Foundation

CREATE Foundation represents the voices of children and young people with out-of-home care experience, including foster care, kinship care and residential care. CREATE develops programs and policy across Australia to advocate for a better system based on the voices of those who have firsthand care experience.

Just Reinvest NSW

Just Reinvest NSW highlights the disproportionate rates of Indigenous people in custody and strives to decrease the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in incarceration. The organisation champions justice reinvestment initiatives in Australia and, have helped reduce the amount of time Indigenous people are spending in custody.

CARAD: Centre for Asylum seekers, refugees and detainees

CARAD advocates for the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and detainees in Western Australia. The program’s community activism provides a range of practical programs that promote wellbeing, relief and support services. CARAD draws attention to the systematic issues that affect vulnerable communities’ ability to access justice.

For more information on our award categories, previous winners and more, check out our website
  We’ll be announcing more finalists in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

Tickets for the 2019 Human Rights Awards are now available and ready for purchase!

WHEN: Friday, 13th December 2019
WHERE: The Fullerton Hotel, Sydney (formerly The Westin Sydney)
TIME: 12-3pm