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Human Rights Awards Winners and Finalists

A photo of mother and son Mahboba Rawi and Nawid Cina
Human rights medal Winner

Mahboba Rawi and Nawid Cina

Following personal tragedy, Mahboba dedicated her life to helping others through Mahboba’s Promise. Together with her son, Nawid, they have worked tirelessly to look after Afghanistan’s vulnerable orphans, establish schools, fund health care services, and create vocational programs to enable the vulnerable to be self-sufficient.

A portrait of a person with short brown hair
Human rights medal Finalist

Renee Dixson

Renee Dixson is an emerging academic and human rights advocate who builds bridges and make a systematic change to support LGBTIQ+ displaced people, including through leading the non-for-profit Forcibly Displaced People Network, the first Australian LGBTIQ+ refugee-led organisation.  
A portrait of Cassandra Goldie
Human rights medal Finalist

Dr Cassandra Goldie

Cassandra has championed the interests of people experiencing poverty and inequality, and civil society generally, in major national and international processes, most recently through her work as CEO of Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and Co-Director of the ACOSS and UNSW Sydney Poverty and Inequality Partnership.  
A portrait of Dr Dinesh Palipana
Human rights medal Finalist

Dr Dinesh Palipana

Dinesh was the first quadriplegic medical intern in Queensland, and the first visiting quadriplegic medical student at Harvard. Dinesh is a doctor, lawyer, disability advocate, senior lecturer and researcher. He is a co-founder of Doctors with Disabilities Australia, and advocated for disability rights through COVID-19.
A photo of Latoya Aroha Rule
Human rights medal Finalist

Latoya Aroha Rule

Latoya Aroha Rule is a Takatāpui (Queer), First Nations person residing on Gadigal Land, Sydney. They are a Research Associate & PhD Candidate at Jumbunna Institute, UTS. They played an integral role in launching the National Ban Spit Hoods Coalition in 2022, and will soon launch the podcast ‘Blak Space’ that reckons with state violence. 
A headshot of Caroline Cecile Fletcher
Young People's Award Winner

Caroline Cecile Fletcher

As a result of her own journey in the care system, Caroline is a strong advocate for children and young people living in out-of-home care. She recently participated in an online podcast with Bravehearts about child safe organisations, was a panel member for the Queensland Mental Health Commission's Shifting Minds launch and was a Youth Researcher for Rights, Voices, Stories: Our Rights Matter. 
A photo from behind of a teenage boy with his arm around his younger sister
Young People's Award Finalist

Simon and Elke

Sibling child-survivors of indictable family violence, Simon and Elke advocate for, and support, family violence child-survivors to be seen, heard, and supported as victims in their own right. Through their public advocacy in the press, and with Family Violence Sector bodies, Simon and Elke seek to protect and promote the human rights of children. 
A photo of Ameya Jaurigue
Young People's Award Finalist

Ameya Jaurigue

Ameya is involved with a number of organisations including Bravehearts, the Queensland Family and Child Commission and the Young Women’s Advisory Group under Equal Rights Alliance. Ameya aims to create intersectional solutions and dreams of a future in which equality and removal of institutional and systemic oppression and challenges can be achieved for all.
A photo of Zhanae Kayann Dodd
Young People's Award Finalist

Zhanae Kayann Dodd

Zhanae is a proud Ghungalu, Birri, Widi and Kaanju woman from Central Queensland. She is  a case manager, business owner, uni student and board member. Zhanae is passionate about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advocacy, strengthening Australia’s relationships within the Pacific and regenerative agriculture and caring for country.
A group of 12 people - staff of Hotel Etico - standing in a garden
Community Award Winner

Hotel Etico

Hotel Etico is Australia’s first social enterprise hotel, employing and training young people with disability. Their mission is to change people’s perceptions and disrupt the approach to disability employment in Australia. Hotel Etico is based in the Blue Mountains and plans to be in every Australian state and territory in the next 10 years.
A headshot of Eleni Psillakis
Community Award Finalist

Success Works

Megan Etheridge and Eleni Psillakis (pictured) started Success Works in 2019 – first a program of Dress for Success, it later became an incorporated association. Through Dress for Success, Megan introduced a dressing program into Sydney prisons in 2010 and has continued her work in the criminal justice system. Eleni works closely with clients supporting them into employment with partner employers.
A group of 13 adults and children holding protest signs.
Community Award Finalist

Home to Bilo

Home to Bilo is a grassroots campaign that began in March 2018 in the rural town of Biloela, Queensland, after the Nadesalingams, a family of Tamil asylum seekers, were taken into immigration detention in a dawn raid.  The group advocated for more than four years for the return of Priya, Nades, Kopika and Tharnicaa to their home in Biloela. The family returned to Biloela in June.
Two people standing against a wall and smiling
Community Award Finalist

Clothing the Gaps

Clothing The Gaps is an Aboriginal Social Enterprise and B-Corp co-founded by Laura Thompson (Gunditjmara) and Sarah Sheridan (non-Indigenous) that works to unite Aboriginal and non-Indigenous people through fashion and cause. This commitment was on full display with their campaign to #FreeTheFlag.
A headshot of Scientia Professor Jane McAdam
Law award Winner

Scientia Professor Jane McAdam

Scientia Professor Jane McAdam AO is Director of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Sydney. She is internationally renowned for her scholarship on forced migration, and particularly her leadership on legal responses to climate-related displacement. 
A photo of three people from the Women’s Legal Service - First Nations Team
Law award Finalist

Women’s Legal Service - First Nations Team

WLSNSW is a community legal centre for women in NSW. The First Nations Women’s Legal Program provides culturally safe access to WLSNSW. The team recently applied to the European Court of Human Rights in support of an Aboriginal woman whose former partner was keeping their daughter in Norway.
A headshot of Hugh de Krester
Law award Finalist

Hugh de Kretser

For over two decades, Hugh de Kretser has advocated for positive change for people and communities whose human rights are at risk. He is currently the CEO of the Yoorrook Justice Commission and previously led the Human Rights Law Centre and the Victorian Federation of Community Legal Centres.
A photo of five people from the HIV/AIDS Legal Centre
Law award Finalist

HIV/AIDS Legal Centre

The HIV/AIDS Legal Centre (HALC) is the only free, full-time specialist community legal centre of its kind in Australia. Since 1992 the centre has provided provide free and comprehensive legal assistance to people with HIV or hepatitis-related legal matters. They also undertake Community Legal education and provide guides on HIV and the law.