Thank you for coming here this evening to take part in the launch of the new and updated version of HREOC’s publication, Federal Discrimination Law.
Between December 2007 and July 2008 the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma, will deliver a series of key speeches setting out an agenda for change in Indigenous affairs.
It is a great pleasure to be speaking today with Judge Clifford Wallace. I had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions at Judges' conferences in the Pacific. I was very sorry to miss him when he was in Adelaide in 2003.
I would like to thank Professor Larissa Behrendt, Professor Martin Nakata, the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, and the Reconciliation Working Party at the UTS, for hosting this event. And I acknowledge my distinguished fellow speakers.
Knowing Bill Jonas as I do, I am immensely re-assured that the burden of reporting on the human rights compliance in this country with respect to Indigenous people has fallen to him. This is not a task for the faint-hearted or the cowardly; nor for the mere technical or academic expert. As the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Social Justice Commissioner, Dr Jonas has reported fearlessly on the facts of the systemic, structural discrimination that Indigenous people face in Australian society, and what governments should do to overcome this discrimination and racism.
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