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More finalists are announced for this year’s Human Rights Awards

Commission – General
Rosalind Croucher, Saxon Mullins and Megan Mitchell

We’re thrilled to announce the finalists for our Government, Law, and Racism. It Stops With Me award categories.

These finalists were chosen from a large group of prestigious nominees and are committed to the promotion of human rights in areas ranging from LGBTQI+ rights, to the prevention of slavery and human trafficking.

Please see below for this year’s finalists:

Government Award

Armidale Regional Council

Armidale Regional Council (ARC) champions the integration and wellbeing of refugees in their community. The Council’s approach is proactive, innovative and culturally sensitive, including initiatives such as volunteering opportunities, the promotion of cultural rights through spaces for traditional cultural practices, and raising awareness about refugees in the wider Armidale community.

Child Sexual Offence Evidence Program NSW

The Child Sexual Offence Evidence Program has significantly improved access to justice in child sexual offence cases. By introducing specialist District Court judges, pre-recorded hearings for cross-examination and witness intermediaries, the program has helped child victims of sexual offences navigate the criminal justice system, reduced the time children spend at Court, and minimised participants’ stress.

MATE Bystander Program, Griffith University

The MATE Bystander Program is a community-based, primary prevention strategy aimed at preventing violence against women by focusing on the role of bystanders, rather than victims or perpetrators of violence. By educating participants on the link between gender inequality and violence against women, MATE’s “change makers” highlight how bystanders can create change.

Services Our Way, Aboriginal Housing Office

Services Our Way (SOW) provides a culturally informed and trauma sensitive support service for the Indigenous community in NSW that is designed, managed and delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. SOW helps clients determine and articulate their needs and goals and has helped to promote greater social harmony and spiritual, physical, emotional and generational wellbeing.

South Australian Government in partnership with Vision Australia and the Royal Society for the Blind (SA)

Co-designed with not-for-profits, people with disability and leaders in the disability sector, the South Australian Government’s publicly available Online Accessibility Policy and Toolkit ( seek to combine policy with practical solutions to promote human rights and access to technology. The policy and toolkit assist organisations and governments in making their digital platforms accessible for a range of people, including but not limited to, those with disability; older Australians and people from non-English speaking backgrounds. 


Law Award

Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law promotes human rights in Australia and internationally through research, education and policy programmes. Its student programmes prepare the next generation of human rights leaders, while its professional training programmes enhance human rights-compatible governance. It has influenced developments in, for example, Indigenous rights, refugee law, reproductive rights, LGBTQI+ rights, and business and human rights.

Joanne Pugsley

Joanne Pugsley is a leading legal practitioner at Anti-Slavery Australia who is dedicated to ending human trafficking and slavery. Joanne represents women and girls who have been trafficked, taken from Australia for forced marriage, or are trapped in domestic servitude. She remains a committed advocate despite illness and the loss of her physical voice, using a text-to-voice program to advise her vulnerable clients.

John Alati

John Alati has made outstanding contributions to the community legal sector over his 13-year career. As the Supervising Solicitor of Street Law and the Night Legal Advice Service at Canberra Community Law, he provides frontline advice to Indigenous Australians, refugees and asylum seekers, prisoners, and people with disability while promoting human rights through education and law reform submissions.

Kate Eastman SC

Kate Eastman SC is a distinguished human rights lawyer and academic. Her work over nearly three decades in discrimination law and human rights has involved a significant amount of pro bono work, taking on cases about slavery, human trafficking, sexual harassment, equal pay, disability rights, the rights of detainees, children and asylum seekers. She has contributed to many human rights organisations, engaged in human rights law reform and education in Australia and overseas.

The Shopfront Youth Legal Centre

The Shopfront Youth Legal Centre (The Shopfront) provides free legal services for homeless and disadvantaged young people in and around Sydney. Run jointly by Herbert Smith Freehills, Mission Australia and The Salvation Army, The Shopfront’s legal representation, social support, education and advocacy promotes positive outcomes and justice for marginalised young people, including survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.


Racism. It stops with me (RISWM)

All Together Now

Driven by an intersectional and community-based approach, All Together Now (ATN) uses programs, events and evidence to educate Australians about racism. ATN leads major projects such as ‘Give Racism the Finger’, the Everyday Racism App and media monitoring to promote racial equality in collaboration with partners.

The Final Quarter

Produced by Shark Island Productions, The Final Quarter uses archival footage of the last three years of Adam Goodes’ AFL career to highlight the prevalence of racism in Australia. Speaking to the discrimination faced by Indigenous Australians in particular, the film has generated a conversation prompting all Australians to reflect on their understanding of racism.

The Peer Advocacy Team

The Peer Advocacy Team advocate for and support young people who have been impacted by discriminatory and unlawful police contact and abuse. The eight fantastic young people who form the team foster this mission through outreach and empowering, peer-led workshops and events that provide concrete support for participants to address discrimination.

Prudence Melom

Prudence Melom is the founder of E-Raced, a program for school students that champions the stories of refugees and immigrants who have come to Australia. Prudence’s tireless work to prioritise refugees’ voices promotes empathy and understanding of their humanity and experiences, challenging pre-conceived stereotypes and racism.

Sharon Gollan

Sharon Gollan is a descendent of the Ngarrindjeri nation of South Australia, with family and cultural connections to many communities within and beyond South Australia. Her advocacy addresses institutionalised and systemic racism. For instance, she developed the ‘Cultural Respect and Safety – engaging respectfully with Aboriginal Australia’ workshop to educate about and reduce racism in the workplace.


For more information on our award categories, previous winners and more,
check out our website here.
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