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Human Rights Awards Winners and Finalists

Human rights medal Winner

Rose Colless OAM

The 1987 Human Rights Medal was presented to Ms Rose Colless OAM, for her outstanding work for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Far North Queensland. Ms Rose Colless is an Aboriginal women was born in 1928 and left school in Grade 7. Active in housing and other activities to support her people, Ms Colless has worked intensively for over fifteen years in drug and alcohol rehabilitation for Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. For over eleven years she has been the Manager of the Aborigines and Islander Alcohol Relief Service Limited in Cairns. She has also worked for the Department of Social Security, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service and the Queensland Department of Aboriginal Advancement. Rose Colless runs a meal service in the parks of Cairns and caters for local homeless aborigines. Her OAM was awarded in 1984. The Commission established the Human Rights Medal in 1987 to be presented annually in recognition of outstanding personal endeavour in the cause of human rights. The choice of recipient, after open nomination, is made by an independent panel. The Medal is designed and made by Melbourne based Michael Meszaros, an international award-winning medal designer and sculptor.  

Media award Winner

Dreamtime Nightmares - Bill Rosser, Queensland historian

Literature and other writing awards   Aboriginal men and women tell their experience of life and work on the cattle stations of the North.
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No Sugar - Jack Davies, West Australian poet and playwright

Literature and other writing awards Illustrating the struggle of family life for Aborigines in Western Australia in the 1930's.
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Film Award: How the West was Lost - David Noakes

Documentary of a moving account of the struggle of black station workers in Western Australia and the 1946-50 strike for better conditions.
Mother and Son
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Television Drama Award: Mother and Son - John O'Grady

Portraying a woman suffering from senile dementia and her interaction with her family.
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Television Documentary Award: Suzie's Story - Iain Gillespie

The personal account of a Sydney family whose lives were devastated by the AIDS virus.
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Radio Documentary Award: Being Aboriginal - Ros Bowden

For her series of six radio documentaries in which Aboriginal people explain how they are communicating their people's history within their own communities.  
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Print Newspapers Award: A Struggle for Natural Justice: Australian and New Zealand Victims of Nazi Persecution - Paul Rea

For his series of Articles.
My Place by Sally Morgan
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My Place - Sally Morgan, West Australian writer

Literature and other writing awards For her autobiographical study.  
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Winner

Reverend Dorothy McMahon

The 1988 Medal recipient was the Reverend Dorothy McMahon, Minister of the Pitt Street, Sydney, Parish of the Uniting Church of Australia. In presenting the Medal, Sir Ninian Stephen paid tribute to Reverend McMahon's 'sustained, courageous and at times costly leadership to the community in general and the church in particular, upholding the rights of those who are victimised because of race, gender or sexual orientation, and responding to the needs of such people'. The President of the Commission, Justice Einfeld, spoke about her as a 'tireless and courageous activist for human rights for more than thirty years' even though her work had earned the active hostility of a number of extremist organisations, directed both at herself and her church. The medal is cast in bronze and was designed and made by Victorian sculptor and architect Michael Meszaros.
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Literature and other writing: Inside Black Australia - Kevin Gilbert

An anthology of Aboriginal poetry
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Television drama: Custody - Film Australia

Portraying the breakup of a marriage and the subsequent custody battle.
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Television documentary: Blue Death - Sue Spencer, Producer and Paul Barry, Journalist - ABC TV 4 Corners

Dealing with Australia's worst industrial tragedy in the asbestos-mining town of Wittenoom
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Radio documentary: The Beating Heart of Australia - Florence Sperling for the program Encounter ABC Brisbane

Dealing with the experience of discrimination by the Aboriginal community.
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Print newspapers: Land Rights News - John Ah Kit - Alice Springs NT

Print Magazines Award
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Print Magazines: Ten Ten: Outsiders - Collins Dove

An educative magazine aimed at combating prejudice in schools
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Film: Mapantsula - David Hannay

A hard-hitting anti-apartheid drama set in Soweto
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Literature and other writing: Don't Take Your Love to Town - Ruby Langford

An autobiographical account of an Aboriginal women's struggle to raise nine children.
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Literature: The Law of the Land - Henry Reynolds

Challenges the legal and moral assumptions underlying the European occupation of Aboriginal Australia.
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Human rights medal Winner

Reverend Robert Ridley

The Human Rights Medallist 1989 was the Reverend Robert Ridley from Victoria, Director of Orana Family Services and a minister of the Uniting Church. He was considered to have made an outstanding effort in identifying and promoting action to overcome discrimination and the infringement of human rights by a panel of four judges.
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Print newspapers: Corporate Woman - Sue Neales - Australian Financial Review

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Film: Blowpipes and Bulldozers - Jeni Kendall and Paul Tait, Producers

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Print magazines: Yarranma - WA Drug and Alcohol Authority and the Nindila Committee

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Literature and other writing: Wanamurraganya - Sally Morgan

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Literature and other writing: Noonkanbah - Steve Hawke and Michael Gallagher

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Literature and other writing: I came Back to Show You I Could Fly - Robyn Klein

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Television drama: GP - ABC TV / Roadshow, Coote and Carroll

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Television documentary: Nobody's Children - David Goldie - ABC

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Radio documentary: There's No Place Like Baryulgil - Background Briefing - Sharon Davies - ABC

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Literature and other writing: No Man's Land - Barbara James

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Literature and other writing: The Lost Children - edited by Coral Edwards and Peter Read

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Literature and other writing: Black Words, White Page - Adam Shoemaker

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Literature and other writing: Miracle of the Waters - Zeny Giles

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Print magazines: Denis Barrass for her series of articles in the Maitland Mercury entitled Youth in Crisis

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Human rights medal Winner

Associate Professor Fred Hollows AC

The prestigious Australian Human Rights Medal was awarded to Professor Fred Hollows AC who pioneered a program aimed at reducing the incidence of trachoma-caused blindness among Australia's Aboriginal people. Professor Hollows has worked at all levels in promoting Aboriginal health as a public issue and helped establish Aboriginal-managed health services in rural and urban Australia. He has also trained Eritrean doctors in less than a year to perform cataract surgery, providing a model for the surgical prevention of blindness in the rest of Africa. Professor Hollows was subsequently named Australian of the Year for 1990.
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Regional newspapers: Barry Levy, Collection of Articles - Queensland Times

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Poetry: The Women who live on the Ground - Lee Cataldi

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Radio documentary/ current affairs: Disabled Lovers - Michael Mullins - ABC Radio

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Film: Struck by Lightning - Trevor Farrant and Terry Charatsis

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Drama: Blood and Honour - Alex Harding

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Songwriting: Took the Children Away - Archie Roach

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Magazines : Terror Australis - Duncan Graham - Sydney Morning Hearld, Good Weekend

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Metropolitan newspapers: A Lifetime of Terror - Marion Frith - Canberra Times

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Television drama: How Wonderful - Lynne Hegarty

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Prose: Sanctuary! Nazi Fugitives in Australia - Mark Aarons

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Television documentary: Breaking Through - Richard Mason

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Television documentary: Hurting Inside - Four Corners - ABC TV

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Prose: One of the Family - Pealie O'Neill

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Regional newspapers: Human Rights Activities Battle for Mentally Ill - Paul Maguire - Newcastle Herald

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Poetry: Holocaust Island - Graeme Dixon

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Radio documentary/ current affairs: Spirituality, Dignity and Human Rights - Alan Austin - ABC Radio

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Regional newspapers: Unveiling Islam - Clare Morgan - Newcastle Herald

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Radio documentary/ current affairs: Grandpa, Your Left Foot is Missing - Claudio Taranto - Radio National

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Drama: Is this Seat Taken ? - The Women's Theatre Group

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Songwriting: Bran Nue Dae - Jimmy Chi and Knuckles

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Magazines: Getting to Know the Women of Vietnam and Islam and Get to Know Us - Anne Musgrave - Ita Magazine

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Drama: The Refugee - Sidetrack Theatre

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Metropolitan newspapers: Organ Donation - When a gift of life goes wrong and subsequent articles in a series- Rosemary West - The Age

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Magazines: The Underclass - Lyndal Crisp - The Bulletin

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Television drama: Boy Soldier - Australian Children's Television Foundation

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Metropolitan newspapers: Prue Innes series of Articles - The Age

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Prose: Paperbark - A collection of Black Australian Writings - Jack Davis, Steven Muecke, Mudrooroo Narogin and Adam Shoemaker

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Television documentary: Savage Indictment - Nicholas Adler and Caroline Sherwood

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Metropolitan newspapers: The Independent Monthly for the commissioning of the series Aboriginalities

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Human rights medal Winner

Hon. Justice Michael Kirby AC, CMG

The prestigious Australian Human Rights Medal was awarded to the Hon. Justice Michael Kirby AC, CMG in recognition of his consistent and outstanding contribution over many years to the promotion, observance and understanding of human rights. Sir Ronald Wilson described Justice Kirby as 'an extremely warm and caring person who has devoted the major part of his life, both on a professional and private level, to the promotion, recognition and observance of individual rights. His effective advocacy and his integrity have been responsible for influencing many people both here in Australia and on the international scene'. His tireless advocacy of human rights causes both in Australia and on the international scene'. His tireless advocacy of human rights causes both in Australia and overseas was also attested to in a personal tribute from former Prime Minister Mr Gough Whitlam. Throughout the past decade, Justice Kirby has been a prolific speaker and writer on such issues as privacy, criminal procedure, equal opportunity, freedom of speech, indigenous rights and the domestic application of international human rights treaties. He is currently a Commissioner of the World Health Organisation Global Commission on AIDS, where he is promoting the rights of HIV/AIDS sufferers against discrimination and fighting oppressive and impractical measures such as compulsory screening, detention and segregation.
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Fiction: Master of the Ghost Dreaming - Mudrooroo Nyoongah (Colin Johnson)

Set in the 19th century, this novel tells the story of a small Aboriginal tribe under the threat of white invasion.
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Magazines: Schizophrenia - A Fine Kind of Madness - Lyndall Crisp - The Bulletin

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Poetry: Komninos - Komninos Zervos

A collection of poetry by Greek-Australian poet.
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Television documentary: The Big Finish - Andrew Houghton, Producer and David Marr, Reporter - Four Corners, ABC TV

A profile of Sydney Symphony Orchestra Conductor Stuart Challender
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Drama: Bran Nue Dae - Jimmy Chi

Jimmy Chi and his band Knuckles wrote and composed this highly-acclaimed and very popular musical about a young Aborigine's journey to consciousness.
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Radio documentary: Australia and East Timor - A Debt to Repay - Julie Browning, Writer/Producer - ABC Radio National

Australia's historical links with East Timor and the repercussions of the 1975 invasion.
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Songwriting: Treaty - Yothu Yindi

Written and performed by Yothu Yindi, an Aboriginal band from the Northern Territory.
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TV drama: Brides of Christ - Penny Chapman and Sue Masters, Executive Producers - ABC TV

Six hour drama series set in Australia during a period of radical upheaval in society and the Catholic Church. Produced by RCC and the ABC, in association with RTE (Ireland) and Channel 4 TV.
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Feature film: A Women's Tale - Paul Cox

The AFI award-winning film from Paul Cox, specially written for lead actress, Sheila Florence. Also starring Gosia Dobrowolska and Norman Kaye, the film celebrates the life of octogenarian Martha, now terminally ill.
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Documentary film: Mr Neal is Entitled to be an Agitator - Darryl Dellora, Director

Darryl Dellora focuses on the late High Court Judge Lionel Murphy and his judgement in the Neal case. Murphy condemned the treatment of Neal, an Aborigine, who was dealt with more harshly by the law because of his political activity.
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Metropolitan newspapers: Adele Horin - Sydney Morning Hearld

For her weekly column 'My Generation'.
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Non - fiction: Tell Me I'm Here - Anne Deveson

Anne Deveson's personal and deeply moving account of her son Jonathon's schizophrenia.
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Regional newspapers: Walter Secord - Australian Jewish News

For a collection of articles on human rights.
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Business award Winner

Lotus Glen Correctional Centre, Mareeba Queensland

1991 saw the establishment of a Corporate Award to recognise the efforts of an organisation on promoting human rights. The winner Lotus Glen is Australia's most modern correctional centre, and prides itself on its innovative and humane approach to the treatment of offenders as well as its commitment to equal opportunity practices for staff.
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Human rights medal Winner

Eddie Mabo (deceased) Rev Dave Passi, Sam Passi (deceased) James Rice, Celuia Mapo Salee (deceased) and Barbara Hocking

The winners of the Human Rights Medal were five Murray Islanders who mounted the historic Mabo case before the High Court. The Murray Islanders were awarded the medal in recognition of their long and determined battle to gain justice for their people. Barbara Hocking was awarded the Medal in recognition of her contribution to the Mabo case and for her work over many years to gain legal recognition for indigenous people's rights.
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Poetry: From the Republic of Conscience - Kerry Flattley and Chris Wallace-Crabbe

International anthology dealing with human rights issues.
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Radio documentary: Tribute to Louise Johnson - Janelle Green & Adrian Shaw, West Australian Aboriginal Media Association

The story of the death of 19 year old aboriginal youth Louis Johnson in January 1992.
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Drama: Highest Mountain, Fastest River - Salamanca Theatre Company and Donna Abela, Writer

A play for children about the escape of the Hmong Hill people from the Vietnamese invasion of Laos and their eventual settlement in Tasmania.
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Songwriting: Do You Blame Yourself - Donna Reynolds

A song dealing with domestic violence against women.
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Feature film: Day of the Dog - David Rapsey, Producer and James Ricketson, Writer/Director

Tells the story of a group of Nyoongars (aboriginal people from the Perth area) from inside their world. Starring John Moore and David Ngoombujaroo.
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Documentary film: Maria - Barbara Chobocky, Director/ Writer/Producer

A widely acclaimed personal biography set in Australia and Czechoslovakia
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Radio documentary: Exactly Howard - Background Briefing, ABC Radio National - Elizabeth Jackson, Producer

Examines the politics behind the controversial new juvenile justice laws in Western Australia
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Metropolitan newspapers: Margo Kingston - The Age

For a body of work which has consistently and effectively promoted human rights as a mainstream political issue.
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TV drama: GP - ABC TV - Bruce Best, Producer

For the consistent and valuable contribution made by this series to human rights issues.
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Non - fiction: Katherine's Dairy - Katherine Cummings

A painful and honest account of the life of a transsexual growing up in Australia.
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Magazines: Lust for Life - Mark Mordue - Rolling Stone

An article portraying the lives of people living with discrimination and ignorance surrounding AIDS.
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Children's fiction: The Wolf - Margaret Barbalet and Jane Tanner

Picture story book about families and the fears that can threaten the young or the old.
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Television documentary: Cop it Sweet - Jenny Brockie, Producer Director - ABC TV

Controversial documentary about police in Redfern in Sydney's inner city
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Business award Winner

LINK Disability Journal - South Australian Branch of Disabled People's International (DPI)

The 1992 Corporate Award was given to a community organisation's journal which provides a unique service to Australians with disabilities. The LINK Disability Journal is published by the South Australian Branch of Disabled Peoples' International (DPI). Established in 1980, the Journal provides local news and information on resources and the latest technology for people with disabilities.
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Human rights medal Winner

Dr Roberta B Sykes

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TV news/current affairs: In Detention - 7.30 Report, ABC TV - Michael Cordell, Reporter/Producer

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Documentary film/television: Exile and the Kingdom - Frank Rijavec, Producer Director

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Major metropolitan newspapers: The Killing Time - The Age - Rosemary West

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Songwriting: Passage - Jon-Clair Lee - Director/Writer and Jeamin Lee - Composer/Musician

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Regional newspapers: Dying in the Dust - Northern Star Lismore, Peter Ellem

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Fiction: Safe Houses - Rose Zwi

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Magazines: May Day Magazines - Mark Crossin, Publisher

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Non - fiction: Creating a Nation - Patricia Grimshaw, Marilyn Lake, Marian Quartly and Ann McGrath

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Children's literature: The Collectors - Robert Carter

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Poetry: Collected Poems - Judith Wright

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TV drama: Heartland - ABC TV Drama - Penny Chapman and Bruce West, Executive Producers

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Drama: Dead Heart - Nicholas Parsons, Playwright

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Radio documentary/current affairs: Deafness as Culture - Late Night Live, ABC Radio National - Gary Bryson, Executive Producer and Peter McEvoy, Producer

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Feature film: Only the Brave - Fiona Eagger, Producer and Ana Kokkinos, Director

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Business award Winner

Employment Equity Program - Sydney Electricity

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Human rights medal Winner

The Hon. Elzabeth Evatt AC

Justice Elizabeth Evatt was presented with the Human Rights Medal, honouring her for her long and lauded track record in the pursuit of human rights including the protection of children and the ideals and practice of equal opportunity and action to overcome discrimination.
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TV drama: Fit to Plead - Janus - ABC TV Susan Masters, Executive Producer Alison Nisselle, Producer

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Feature film: Angel Baby - Timothy White & Jonathon Shteinman, Producers and Michael Rymer, Writer/Director

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Radio documentary: Troppo - ABC Radio Nick Franklin, Producer

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Documentary film: Untold Desires - Eva Orner, Producer and Sarah Stephens, Director

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Songwriting: The Buckled Bicycle - John Williamson

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Television news/current affairs: Deadly Force - ABC TV - 7.30 Report Frank McGuire, Producer

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Poetry: The Nailing of the Right Hand - Maurice Strandgard, Penguin Books Australia

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Major metropolitan newspapers: Anguished Mother Begs Media - The Age - Bronwen Kiely

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Fiction: Silver Sister - Lillian Ng, Mandarin Imprint

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Regional newspapers: Collection of Articles - The Armidale Express, Christian Knight, Editor

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Non - fiction: Holding The Man - Timonthy Conigrave, McPhee Gribble

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Magazines: Boy Trouble - HQ Magazine Jane Wheatley, Journalist

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Non - fiction: Obstacle Race: Aborigines In Sport - Colin Tatz, University of NSW Press

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Children's literature: Friend of My Heart - Judith Clarke, University of Queensland Press

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Drama: Sanctuary - David Williamson

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Whole School Anti-Racism Project - Multicultural Education Unit, NSW Dept School Education

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Human rights medal Winner

The late Robert Riley

The late Robert Riley had a life-long commitment to advancing Indigenous issues in Australia. Soon after his birth, Mr Riley was removed from his family and placed in state care at Sister Kate's in Perth. He was almost ten years old before he knew his mother was alive and was only reunited with his family when he was 12. His experience of forced removal would later be reflected in the publication he produced through the Aboriginal Legal Service, Telling Our Story, the most comprehensive description of the experience of Aboriginal people removed from their families undertaken in Western Australia. He was well known for drawing public attention to the issue of Indigenous land rights during his time as Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Council, and he was also part of the negotiating team on the Native Title Act. On the national political stage, Mr Riley was senior advisor to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, as well as Head of the Aboriginal Issues Unit of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. However, he also devoted himself to improving the conditions of the Noongar community through helping to establish the Perth Aboriginal Medical Service, the Aboriginal Child Care Agency, the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University and the Western Australia Aboriginal Media Association.
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Human rights medal Winner

Rebecca Peters

Rebecca Peters jointly received the 1996 Human Rights Medal for her contribution to researching, educating and lobbying for gun law reforms in Australia. She has provided advice to the Federal and many State governments in the drafting and review of new legislation. In the wake of the Port Arthur tragedy, Ms Peters, National Convenor of the Coalition for Gun Control, campaigned vigorously for gun law reform, and since that time, new legislation has been passed in all Australian states and the Australian Capital Territory, and new laws have been drafted for debate in the Northern Territory. Prior to her work with the Coalition, Ms Peters was active on a broad range of social issues, including the Women's Electoral Lobby, the Reclaim the Night Collective, the Council for Civil Liberties, and researcher for the first secretary of the reconvened National Inquiry on the Human Rights of People with a Mental Illness. "I believe it is of the utmost importance for people to be full participants in society without the fear of gun violence. For many Australians the Port Arthur tragedy challenged our assumptions that public spaces in broad daylight are safe. The new gun laws will help us to regain that confidence and prevent it being shattered again" she said.
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Community Award Winner

End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism

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Coalition for Gun Control

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Television: Telling His Story, Four Corners, ABC Television - Liz Jackson and Ashley Smith

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Radio: PM Radio Series, ABC Radio - Julie Posetti

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Print media: Victoria's Forgotten People, The Age

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Photography: Street Kids of Manila, Palani Mohan, Sydney Morning Herald

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Arts: The Coolbaroo Club, Steve Kinnane, Lauren Marsh, Penny Robins and Roger Scholes (producers)

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Human rights medal Winner

Dr Faith Bandler AM

Dr Faith Bandler dedicated her life to promoting the rights of Indigenous Australians. Dr Bandler was at the forefront of a decade-long 'Referendum Campaign' which culminated in the historic 1967 Referendum which saw over 90 percent of Australians vote for constitutional changes to ensure full participation and equal treatment for Indigenous Australians. In 1956 Dr Bandler co-founded the Aboriginal-Australian Fellowship. She later became a key figure in the founding of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders which, in addition to constitutional reform, campaigned for land rights, equal wages, housing and legislative change. "Full rights for Indigenous Australians can only come through changes to legislation, not through charity. I gave ten years of my life to work to change a discriminatory federal constitution. Those changes turned the tide for Indigenous Australians. Finally there was access to schools that were not segregated, opportunities for higher education, and the establishment of councils to oversee Indigenous health, housing and arts. The 1967 Referendum opened a new world for Indigenous Australians. It returned dignity to us as a people and, for me, this is the core of respect for human rights" she said.
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Young People's Award Winner

Tammy Williams

Tammy Williams, a 19 year-old from the Aboriginal community of Cherbourg, has addressed national and international forums, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on issues affecting Australian young people. In 1996 she was identified as a future leader and selected as one of 35 young people from around the world to attend the State of the World forum in San Francisco.
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Community Award Winner

Link Up (NSW) and the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group

The Community Award was shared jointly by Link Up (NSW) and the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group. Link Up was recognised for their role in reuniting members of the Stolen Generations with their families and communities. The Gay and Lesbian Rights Group received the Award for its successful nine year campaign to repeal Tasmania's anti-gay laws.
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Media award Winner

Print media: The Politics of the Prize, Wilson da Silva

The Politics of the Prize appeared in the Financial Review Magazine and examined the cool reception given to Jose Ramos Horta, an Australian resident, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his involvement in East Timor politics.
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Print media: Suffer the Children - Gary Hughes and Gerard Ryle, The Age

Suffer the Children is an investigative piece which uncovered evidence that state wards were used as subjects for post-war medical research.
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Photography: No more than what you see, Ricky Maynard

No more than what you see is a graphic photographic series of Indigenous people in Australian gaols. The photographs were exhibited at the Stills Gallery in Sydney.
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Arts: Up the Road, John Harding

Up the Road, a play written by John Harding, addresses the contemporary issues facing Indigenous Australians. The play was praised by the judging panel as a "powerful, personal call for understanding and reconciliation". Presented by the Playbox Theatre and Company B, the play encouraged other Indigenous writers and actors to enter the Australian theatre to share their stories.
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Television: Epitaph, Frontline - Working Dog Pty Ltd, Apunipima Cape York Health Council and Kowrowa Aboriginal Community Association

Mike Moore's visit to a remote Aboriginal community in Cape York in the Frontline episode Epitaph received the Television Award. The judging panel praised the program's deft use of satire to highlight the media's often simplistic approach to reporting complex Indigenous issues such as health, housing and education. The Award was presented to Working Dog Pty Ltd, the Apunipima Cape York Health Council and the Kowrowa Aboriginal Community Association for their collaborative work.
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Radio: The Churches and the Stolen Generations, Encounter, ABC Radio National - David Busch

The Churches and the Stolen Generations is an hour-long moving documentary which focused on the personal stories of Indigenous children separated from their families and the role of the church staff in caring for and educating those children.The Churches and the Stolen Generations is an hour-long moving documentary which focused on the personal stories of Indigenous children separated from their families and the role of the church staff in caring for and educating those children.
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Business award Winner

Coles Myer Limited

Coles Myer received the Corporate Award for the development and implementation of a program to eliminate harassment in the workplace. As the largest employer in Australia with over 150,000 employees, the program has been endorsed by senior management with the goal of protecting employees from discrimination and sexual harassment.
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Human rights medal Winner

Vivi Germanos Koutsounadis

A founding member of the Ethnic Communities Council and Founder and Executive Director of an Ethnic Childcare Cooperative, Vivi Germanos Koutsounadis was awarded the Human Rights Medal in recognition of her three decades of advocacy and community work across a broad range of social welfare areas. Her work also included Aboriginal welfare, childcare, women's issues, aged care and disability issues. A strong advocate of equal rights, Vivi has worked at both a grass roots and policy level of many community-based organisations; lobbying for resources and funding on behalf of disadvantaged groups. Growing up in Redfern, and her experiences as a child of a Greek migrant family, shaped Vivi's belief in the need for communities to work together on common social issues, regardless of their backgrounds. In the past five years she has been extensively involved in the promotion of the rights of children, working with a range of advocacy groups to encourage government and community organisations to take steps to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Winner

Australian Association of Young People in Care

The Australian Association of Young People in Care was established in 1993 to ensure that children and young people in care are afforded the same life opportunities as all of Australia's children. The organisation focuses on empowering young people to advocate for themselves and each other within the care system. This is to ensure that their voices are heard by service providers and governments so that the latter may become more responsive to their needs.
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Community Award Winner

Sea of Hands campaign, Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation

One hundred and twenty thousand coloured, larger than life-sized hands, pitched into the ground, became a widely recognised symbol of justice and reconciliation, both in Australia and overseas, over the past year. As the Sea of Hands travelled around the country, close to 200,000 Australians signed a statement to support justice and recognition of native title as well as reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Arts literature: Land of the Golden Clouds, Archie Weller

A novel set in Australia, 3,000 years into the future, where an unlikely band of travellers from different civilisations join forces to defeat a common enemy. To do this however, they must first overcome their own prejudices while traversing a vast continent. One of the novel's achievements is that it promotes greater harmony between individuals and groups of different race, colour and ethnic origin through an entertaining medium.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Arts non-fiction: Little Brother, Little Sister, Belinda Mason

This documentary film explored why an Australian family chose to adopt an orphaned Ethiopian sister and brother and how they were all transformed by the experience. Writer/director Belinda Mason documented the unfolding story of this extraordinary family as they underwent momentous change over an eighteen month period. Little Brother, Little Sister is a film about the power of family ties - both those out of sight and those in full view.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Television: Death Sentence, Four Corners, ABC Television - Margot O'Neill and Lisa McGregor

This program investigated the deaths of two teenagers in the Western Australian prison system in the light of a dramatic jump in the number of prison deaths in the state, especially among young white men. It uncovered a brutal system out of touch with the increasing number of unemployed and illiterate street kids flooding the gaols.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Radio: Deaf Blindness, Life Matters, ABC Radio National - Anne Arnold

Carleeta Manser, an exceptional deaf blind person, was the subject of this powerful human story and unique form of radio interview. Having had sight until her early twenties, she knows sign language. In the interview, Carleeta communicated through holding the hands of her interpreter to interpret the questions put to her by Anne. She then signed her own responses and coloured the silence with expressive noises. The interview also examined the broader context of deaf blindness and gave a rare insight into that little known world.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Print media: Various articles by Karen Kissane, The Age

Karen Kissane is a senior writer from The Age who submitted a range of feature articles, opinion pieces and editorials. The articles covered a broad spectrum of human rights issues including privatisation of prisons, protection of children in care, suicide prevention, reconciliation, the rights of gay couples, maternity leave and disability issues. Her work was acknowledged by the judging panel for its consistent quality of investigation and excellence in reporting on a diverse range of issues.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Winner

Talking Fruit television commercial, Berri Limited

In August 1998, Berri, the Australian-owned fruit juice manufacturer, ran television advertisements featuring talking fruit. The ad called on its audience to celebrate Australia's cultural diversity and reject intolerance. The company then followed up with newspaper ads calling on readers to "label fruit, not people". The company was acknowledged by the judging panel for its courageous, high-risk strategy that provoked a significant amount of public discussion and comment.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Winner

Thumbs-Up for Reconciliation campaign, The Body Shop

This in-store campaign involved over 100,000 people leaving their thumb print as a sign of their commitment to a "united Australia which respect this land of ours, values our Indigenous heritage and provides justice and equity for all". The judging panel was impressed by The Body Shop's commitment to reconciliation through its vibrant and community-orientated campaign that included a comprehensive staff training program.
Human rights medal Winner

Helen Bayes

Helen Bayes is the founder and National Coordinator of Defence for Children International in Australia. Her work focuses on issues including child labour, juvenile justice, sexual exploitation and effective laws to end all forms of violence towards children. Her work recently has concentrated on Indigenous children, particularly the effects of mandatory sentencing laws in Western Australia and in the Northern Territory on those children. The judges commended Ms Bayes for her capacity and energy in bringing to the notice of Australians the standard by which we can assess our treatment of all our children.
Prashanth Shanmugan
Young People's Award Winner

Prashanth Shanmugan

Homebush Boys High School Captain, Prashanth Shanmugan was the recipient of the Youth Medal for his energetic campaign to promote multiculturalism and his initiative in establishing a community awareness program entitled The Australian Vision: 2020 with Strathfield Council. He was commended by the judges for investing the traditional role of school captain with the important message of appreciating diversity in unity.
Community Award Winner

National Children's and Youth Law Centre

The Centre has been focused over a long period of time on empowering young people through a range of programs and resources which develop young peoples' understanding of their rights, directly benefiting their own sense of integrity.
Law award Winner

Public Interest Advocacy Centre

The judges presented the Award to the Centre for its work in using law to further the rights of disadvantaged groups in the community. This work included the Stolen Generations project, employment rights for women at the Australian Iron and Steel Works, asserting the rights of people with disabilities, securing compensation for borrowers from the HomeFund Loan Scheme, and seeking redress for migrants who have been the victims of dubious practice by migration agents. The Centre has also been engaged in a wide range of other work in public advocacy and the engagement of the media in publicising and promoting human rights in the public interest.  
Media award Winner

Arts Award: Why Weren't We Told? A personal search for the truth about our history, Henry Reynolds

Henry Reynold's account of how he became aware of the history of Indigenous people made a strong impact of the judges, who in addition to praising the book for its literary merit, admired the author's skill in communicating his own uncomfortable feelings as an awareness of past and present injustices emerged. The judges thought the book was outstanding and commended its honesty and accessibility, especially as so many Australians will relate to those uncomfortable feelings of not knowing enough about the past and Indigenous history. They felt that the book would contribute greatly to the Reconciliation debate by inspiring readers to actively seek out knowledge and understanding about the whole story of their country's history.
Media award Winner

Television Award: Solutions for a Secret Shame - Channel 9

Solutions for a Secret Shame, Sunday, Channel Nine - Helen Dalley (reporter) and Paul Steindl (producer) This controversial and complex Sunday cover story looked at the abuse of human rights revealing amongst other things that Aboriginal women were 45 times more likely to be victims of domestic violence than non-Indigenous women. The report focused on community initiated responses and highlighted the power of ordinary people in creating positive social change. The program itself was a catalyst for change, prompting several funding and policy initiatives.
Media award Winner

Radio Award: A Foreign Student's Story: ABC Radio - Chris Bullock and Dai Le

A Foreign Student's Story: A Cautionary Tale, Background Briefing, ABC Radio - Chris Bullock and Dai Le This documentary highlighted the problems that fee-paying overseas students face when coming to Australia at the invitation of unscrupulous business operators. Judges found the personal approach to the investigative journey into the world of foreign students a compelling and creative use of the radio medium.
Media award Winner

Print Award: Terminal Neglect - Julie-Anne Davies and Bill Birbauer, The Age

Terminal Neglect - Julie-Anne Davies and Bill Birbauer, The Age Terminal Neglect is a series and special report on young people in nursing homes. The series examined the state of nursing homes in Victoria. The judges were impressed with the prominent coverage of the story and the commitment of the journalists to their subject, exploring it from different angles and going beyond "just doing their job".
Business award Winner

100% in Control Croc Eisteddfod, Queensland Health

The Croc Eisteddfod is an innovative and proactive approach to tackling alcohol, tobacco and drug issues, which affect youth in remote communities. The festival involved Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth performances as well as sports and careers clinics, all within a 100% alcohol and drug free environment.
Human rights medal Winner

Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH

Malcolm Fraser was Prime Minister from 1975 to 1983. He established the original Human Rights Commission in 1981. As co-chair of the Commonwealth Group of Eminent Persons, he successfully promoted dialogue aimed at ending apartheid in South Africa. He has been Chairman of the Australian non-government international humanitarian aid organisation, CARE, since its formation in 1987 and President of CARE International from 1990-1995.   The judges said Mr Fraser had provided national leadership in the pursuit of human rights over a long period, including consistent support for reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians and leadership in the fight against racism nationally and internationally. In a piece written in May 1999 for the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Mr Fraser said "Many Australians, especially of my generation, find it difficult to accept this picture of our past because it is so contrary to everything we have been taught. Recognition of the past, facing the past with honesty and openness is essential to the whole process. And that begins to point the way to what should be done."
Community Award Winner

​​​​​​​Darwin Community Legal Centre

Established in 1991, the Darwin Community Legal Service has campaigned against mandatory sentencing and domestic violence, pushed for better access for the disabled and promoted human rights. The judges were impressed by the range of issues tackled by the Centre and the methods of gathering community support - including use of the media and facilitating community debate on issues such as the impact of mandatory sentencing on people with an intellectual disability. They said the Centre tackled difficult issues and sometimes advocated a course of action that ran counter to prevailing community and political attitudes. The Centre coordinates the community group Territorians for Effective Sentencing, has lobbied for better access to Indigenous interpreter services, organised the Annual Human Rights Arts Awards and successfully pushed for a police prosecutor dedicated to domestic violence matters.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Winner

Indigenous Women's Program at the NSW Women's Legal Resources Centre

This independent program provides legal advice, outreach programs, community education and casework particularly in the areas of criminal and family law, child protection and family violence. The program has been involved in writing about Aboriginal women and the law for the NSW Law Handbook and the Indigenous Law Bulletin and contributing to education about family violence through their training video and comic for young people. Staff members are involved with other committees that are looking at Aboriginal women's access to discrimination complaints processes and researching issues relating to Aboriginal women in prison.
Media award Winner

Print Award: Indigenous Law Bulletin, UNSW

The Indigenous Law Bulletin, published by the Indigenous Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, impressed the judges with its depth and clarity and the effort made to publish information on issues often misunderstood. The judges said it advanced the observance of human rights for Indigenous Australians and could be used by journalists to inform their writing on Indigenous issues, by legal practitioners and the public. It tackles the issues that will be front and centre of the debate for Indigenous Australians in the next decade and beyond, they said. Examples of issues covered by the Law Bulletin are mandatory sentencing in the Northern Territory (in a story called "Preventing Crime or 'Warehousing' the Underprivileged?"), Murrandoo Yanner's High Court case on traditional hunting rights (following the killing of crocodiles in the Gulf of Carpentaria) and a special edition on water rights including the Croker Island native title appeal to the Full Federal Court.
Media award Winner

Arts Non-Fiction Award: Jackson's Track: Memoir of a Dreamtime Place, Carolyn Landon and Daryl Tonkin

Jackson's Track is the true story of bushman Daryl Tonkin and his beloved Aboriginal wife Euphemia who, from the 1930s onwards, lived and worked along Jackson's Track in Gippsland in South Eastern Victoria. Tonkin, now in his eighties and living in a primitive shack in West Gippsland, related the story of his life to Landon, a local schoolteacher who taught his grandchildren. Tonkin and his brother left Melbourne in 1936 and set up a timber mill at Jackson's Track, a Koori Dreamtime place. The book details Tonkin's estrangement from his family when he fell in love with Euphemia and makes important observations about life for Aboriginal Australians during that period. The judges said Landon, using Tonkin's notes and interviews, was able to develop a well-crafted narrative that recaptures a community and a way of life now vanished, and presents a simple, but very important message. "Without any pretensions or polemics, the book underscores the values of respect for other human beings, respect for the equalising power of work, respect for education and respect for the environment."
Media award Winner

Television Award: Land of the Little Kings, Paul Robers, Des Kootji Raymond and Archie Roach

Land of the Little Kings is a feature-length documentary aired on SBS Television in early 2000. Its about the Stolen Generations, narrated by Archie Roach, who travels around Australia listening to the harrowing tales from those affected. The film portrays the human tragedy of the Stolen Generations and the piecing together of broken lives. It shows a nation in denial but also uses a circle analogy to show healing, kinship and integrity. Paul Roberts and Des Kootji Raymond are independent filmmakers who have worked in partnership for six years. Land of the Little Kings was the unanimous choice for the judges, who said the film showed empathy as a key ingredient of reconciliation and should be in every school in Australia. It was the one program on the Stolen Children, they said, that physically demonstrated the empathy that needs to emerge before another person can join them on their journey.
Media award Winner

Radio Award Winner: Empires of Division: A Short History of Race, ABC Radio National - Gary Bryson (producer) and John Cochrane (technical producer)

The four part series charts the progress of ideas underpinning western notions of race "from Hippocrates to Hitler", looking at the nexus between race and religion, race and science, race and politics. Among other issues, the series examines social Darwinism and eugenics; hate crimes and the American politics of race, and Australian colonists' views of Indigenous Australians. Gary Bryson argues that the major function of race has been to create division out of diversity in order to justify western domination and "explain" political and cultural inequality. The judges were impressed by the extensive research and the quality of the presentation. They did not necessarily agree with some of the analysis of the causes of racism, but found the program impressive and thought provoking. They said the program would be an excellent educative tool for students and the general public.
Awards trophy
Human rights medal Winner

The late Dr Arnold "Puggy" Hunter (1951-2001)

Dr Hunter's fearless advocacy and outstanding leadership in the area of Indigenous health earned him the respect of a wide range of people. While he fought uncompromisingly for the cause, Dr Hunter was regarded respectfully, even affectionately, by his counterparts in politics and government. The judges acknowledged Dr Hunter's unwavering commitment over many years to improving Aboriginal health in the face of hostility, disruption to his family, financial hardship and his own health. As the inaugural Chairman of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation since 1991 until his death, Dr Hunter had worked far beyond the level of his professional responsibility. He was a member of several key Aboriginal health, policy and advisory groups. He negotiated framework agreements on Aboriginal health to improve the coordination of health service delivery by all spheres of government. He also negotiated Medicare agreements with the Federal Health Minister to give the Aboriginal Community Health Services the legal ability to bulk bill Medicare and arrangements under the PBS to supply medicines through Aboriginal health services in remote areas.
Community Award Winner

Women with Disabilities Australia

Established in 1994, Women with Disabilities Australia has achieved an enormous amount in a short period of time, working tirelessly on behalf of one of the most marginalised and disadvantaged groups in Australia. The group is the peak organisation for women with all types of disabilities, linking similar local and regional organisations across Australia. Its central aim is to improve the status of women with disabilities through education, support, information, and systemic and individual advocacy. Although it has a domestic focus, the organisation has provided inspiration for women with disabilities all over the world and is often consulted by groups internationally, from the USA to the Ukraine. The organisation has achieved not only a high profile for itself, but advanced the interests of its constituents nationally. In early 2000, the organisation was invited by the United Nations to apply for the UN Millennium Peace Prize for Women.
Law award Winner

HIV/AIDS Legal Centre

Operating with a small staff of just one full-time solicitor and two part-time support staff, the HIV/AIDS Legal Centre provides people living with HIV/AIDS with legal advice, and conducts law reform and community education projects in their interests. Areas of legal advocacy undertaken by the Centre include discrimination and vilification complaints, unfair dismissal, superannuation and insurance claims, complaints relating to medical and health services, and guardianships. The legal advice they provide is free - appropriate given the economic hardship which is faced by many living with HIV/AIDS. They also provide a broad range of legal services, from face-to-face advice through to legal representation in case work matters, and a hospital outreach service.
Media award Winner

Arts Non-Fiction Award: Borderline, Peter Mares

Borderline is a thoroughly researched yet tightly written book about Australia's treatment of asylum seekers. Peter Mares, the presenter of Asia Pacific on Radio Australia and Radio National, urges a more compassionate approach to asylum seekers while acknowledging the very real difficulties, in a political and practical sense, of implementing refugee policy. The book is the culmination of extensive research into the legal and policy framework for asylum seekers and refugees entering Australia - and a collection of individual, sometimes heart wrenching, stories. The judges said Borderline was by far the most outstanding entry - an honest, thoughtful and powerful work. They said that the author was able to identify and discuss the human rights issues surrounding asylum seekers without being politically partisan or doctrinaire.
Media award Winner

The Health of Asylum Seekers in Detention, The Health Report, ABC Radio National - Toni Hassan (reporter)

This report highlighted the health concerns, both physical and mental, of asylum seekers in detention centres. It included interviews with a number of leading mental health and medical professionals, who gave disturbing testimony about the health of detainees. One of the practitioners interviewed is himself a detainee. The judges commended this entry for its deliberate reluctance to engage in debate about the legitimacy of refugee claims, instead focussing on the issue of conditions in detention centres. The judges were also impressed by the extensive field work undertaken by Ms Hassan.
Media award Winner

Inside Story, Four Corners, ABC Television - Peter McEvoy (producer) and Debbie Whitmont (reporter)

The judges said while they acknowledged the controversial nature of the program they were impressed with the human side of detention presented - voices that the Australian public had not heard before. Seeing asylum seekers as human beings prompted around 5,000 people to contact the Four Corners online forum about the program. The judges were impressed by the fact that the program succeeded in expanding the debate over asylum seekers beyond the mere question of whether the claims of asylum seekers are legitimate. The result was a first person account of asylum seekers' experiences in detention in Australia.
Awards trophy
Human rights medal Winner

Michael Raper

Michael Raper has been the Director of the Welfare Rights Centre in Sydney since 1990 and President of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) from 1997 to 2001. He is currently Treasurer of the International Council of Social Work as well as Treasurer of the South East Asian Chapter. At the Welfare Rights Centre, Mr Raper and his team deal with over 4 000 low income and disadvantaged clients each year, providing advice and assistance to ensure they can exercise their obligations, rights and entitlements under the Australian social security system. The judges were impressed with the breadth and impact of his work with ACOSS and other organisations. They said Mr Raper, though ACOSS, had become a spokesperson for low income workers and has worked tirelessly behind the scenes in a field that does not receive much acclaim and is often overlooked.
Awards trophy
Community Award Winner

Australian Arabic Council

Since its establishment in 1992, the Australian Arabic Council has campaigned against racism, promoted tolerance and raised awareness of human rights through education. The Council constantly campaigns for more accurate media representation of Arabic issues and promotes the contribution of Arab civilisation to history and to Australian society. The judges said the Council had a large and dedicated band of volunteers whose work often went unrecognised. They were impressed by the Council's concrete, practical initiatives on racial vilification and cultural diversity and commended them for providing leadership against racial intolerance.
Awards trophy
Community Award Winner

The Asylum Seeker Project at Hotham Mission

This Melbourne project supports around 200 asylum seekers living in the community who do not have work rights, Medicare, welfare benefits or settlement support and are on bridging visas awaiting a final outcome of their application for asylum. The group rely almost completely on project support for housing, monthly living assistance and social and professional support. The judges praised the project for its grassroots approach, and acknowledged its work, primarily through volunteers, in providing solutions to problems through direct, practical help and by policy proposals to government, such as the alternative detention model. Hotham Mission has in fact shown it can house asylum seekers released from detention on a systematic basis.
Awards trophy
Law award Winner

SCALES Community Legal Centre

SCALES identifies its work as human rights advocacy through individual casework, community development projects and law reform. SCALES' clients are young people, refugees and asylum seekers, women escaping domestic violence and public housing tenants. A key element of SCALES' success is the Clinical Legal Education Program it operates in conjunction with the Murdoch University School of Law, which provides training and education of law students in human rights practice. Judge, Nicholas Cowdery QC said "We were impressed by the strong human rights culture the centre engendered and reinforced. SCALES' work in training and educating law students in human rights law and practice enabled the legal service to be of a broader benefit to the community as well as the individual clients".
Awards trophy
Media award Winner

Arts Non-Fiction Award: Faith: a biography of Faith Bandler, Professor Marilyn Lake

Faith is the story of Faith Bandler, one of Australia's best loved and most widely respected citizens. It details her remarkable life, her journey from childhood in a South Sea Islander community in Northern New South Wales, to national recognition as one of Australia's leading human rights activists. As the leader for campaigns for Aboriginal rights and against racial discrimination, Faith Bandler emerged as a compelling public figure. Her leadership and influence were crucial to the success of the 1967 referendum on citizenship rights for Indigenous people. The judges found Faith to be engrossing, gently layered and substantial, promoting idealism, carrying an inspirational message, and that by opening a window into historical events and the impulses behind them, the biography provides a valuable resource for future activists.  
Awards trophy
Media award Winner

Television Award: Duty of Care, Four Corners, ABC Television

Winner: Duty of Care, Four Corners, ABC Television - Andrew Fowler (reporter), Anne Connolly (producer), Sarah Curnow and Jo Puccini (researchers) Duty of Care examined the well-intentioned social reform of opening the doors of big institutions and the dramatic lack of subsequent community-based support to help mentally ill people released from those institutions to live in the wider community. The program illustrated how this shift has resulted in sometimes tragic results. Interviews with grieving families of young people who had taken their own lives after being refused an acute care bed, or after absconding from an understaffed ward, were shown. Professionals told of how they were forced to take dangerous gambles, ejecting seriously ill people from hospital to make beds available for new arrivals. Families conveyed the enormous stress as they battled to keep their loved ones living, with minimal backup. The judges thought the program was comprehensive and well-researched exposing the mental health system in New South Wales as one which has failed people with mental illness.  
Awards trophy
Media award Winner

Radio Award: On the Raft, All at Sea, The Listening Room, ABC Classic FM

On the Raft, All at Sea, The Listening Room, ABC Classic FM - Robyn Ravlich and Russell Stapleton (reporters) On the Raft, All at Sea is a powerful radio documentary about the experience of three generations of asylum seekers. It uses the metaphor of a famous early 19th century painting, 'The Raft of the Medusa', depicting shipwrecked survivors clinging to a flimsy raft adrift at sea as a reference point for a contemporary exploration of why three asylum seekers risked hazardous journeys across different seas at different times. The judges described the program as "radio at its best, using imagery to evoke human rights issues common to three generations of asylum seekers, drawing on intergenerational commonalities across time to show how lessons from these issues have not been taken by those who represent us".
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Media award Winner

Print Media Award: Series of articles on asylum seeker issues - Russell Skelton, The Age

Russell Skelton's series of articles address the gap between Australia's immigration policy and its implementation. The judges described the articles as "powerful, informative and empathetic". The lead report, Tales from Behind the Fence, was the first detailed account of conditions at Woomera based on evidence from those who worked inside. Other articles tackled the alleged persecution of non-Muslims in detention; the conflicted role of the Immigration Minister, who acts as official guardian to a group of unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan, and; the trial of the first person charged with people smuggling under legislation passed in 2001.
Awards trophy
Human rights medal Winner

Marion Le

Refugee and asylum seeker advocate Marion Le has worked consistently and effectively in promoting human rights for over three decades. President of the Indo-China Refugees Association for over 10 years, Ms Le visits the refugee camps of Thailand and Malaysia and Australian detention centres, working to promote long-term durable solutions to the problems of the dispossessed of famine and war. Her work has resulted in the successful settlement of hundreds of refugees and migrants into the Australian community. As a teacher of 30 years experience Ms Le was responsible for introducing programs into schools that raise issues of multiculturalism, human rights and social justice. The judges were impressed by her outstanding contribution to the advancement of human rights in Australia. They said 'She has given so much of herself in a voluntary capacity to individuals and families, and has applied the lessons of those experiences to seek broader systemic solutions in policy and legislation. She has provided help to many and acted as an example to many more; she has not only spoken out but she has acted, consistently and courageously, to make human rights a reality in the lives of so many.'  
Awards trophy
Community Award Winner

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

Australia's largest asylum seeker aid, health and advocacy organisation, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, was chosen for the 2003 Community Award due to the breadth and volume of their work and the day-to-day practical assistance provided to asylum seekers. They are a registered charity with no government funding. The service has three paid staff and over 250 volunteers that work in partnership with asylum seekers. Since opening in June 2001, they have assisted more than 2000 asylum seekers from over 80 countries and have provided a welfare and advocacy service valued at approximately $10 million. They opened Victoria's first health service for asylum seekers and provided medical care to about 200 asylum seekers who have no Medicare. In addition, the Centre provided direct financial aid of over $100,000 to asylum seekers, as well as food parcels. They also established Victoria's first employment service for asylum seekers, as well as a range of other services including home tutoring and playgroups.  
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Law award Winner

Justice Edward Mullighan

Since the early nineties Justice Mullighan, a Supreme Court of South Australia Senior Judge, has been actively promoting cultural awareness amongst the judiciary and magistracy in South Australia and supporting innovation in the sentencing of Aboriginal defendants. He has chaired the cultural awareness committee of the court since 1995. This committee has managed seminars, and community justice workshops through which cultural awareness within the judiciary is promoted. In 1997, he instigated a Law and Justice Conference which was hosted by the traditional communities of the Anangu Pitantjatjara Yankunyjatara (APY) Lands, bringing together Aboriginal law men and a group of judges and magistrates. He has advocated for Aboriginal court interpreters and has promoted models of restorative and community justice. Justice Mullighan has been active in nominating Aboriginal Justices of the Peace and has examined traditional Aboriginal ways of dealing with offending behaviours. He has championed Aboriginal Reconciliation among his peers and within the general South Australian community.  
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Media award Winner

Arts Non-Fiction Award: Dark Victory, David Marr and Marian Wilkinson

Dark Victory, by David Marr and Marian Wilkinson, drew attention to the political motivations - and the human cost - of the Tampa crisis and the 'children overboard' affair, which generated so much coverage in the lead-up to the last federal election. With Dark Victory, Marr and Wilkinson sought to dig behind the headlines and 'worked with tenacity' to uncover 'new and impressive research, covering all aspects of the events, by interviewing the people involved and gaining access to FOI documents'. In doing so they also 'displayed a genuine humanity and compassion to the people at the centre of these events - the asylum seekers.' According to the judges, Dark Victory was 'like ten Four Corners bound together' a 'phenomenal achievement and a genuine page-turner.'
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Media award Winner

Television Award: About Woomera, Four Corners, ABC Television

About Woomera, Four Corners, ABC Television - Debbie Whitmont and Jo Puccini About Woomera has been widely commended as a ground breaking investigation of conditions inside the Woomera detention centre. The program was the product of more than a hundred interviews with staff, detainees and bureaucrats over the past two years. Judges described the program as 'outstanding' and 'touching' as it took an issue in our society, researched and investigated it in a unique way, which encouraged public debate - dominating talkback radio and editorials throughout the country - causing changes in community attitudes. The program led to a police investigation, which is still ongoing, and its contents were used in evidence in the first successful application to the Family Court for the release of five children from detention.
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Media award Winner

Radio Award: The Place You Cannot Imagine: Radio Eye, ABC Radio National

The Place You Cannot Imagine: A Family and Detention in Australia, Radio Eye, ABC Radio National - Lea Redfern and Phillip Ulman The Place You Cannot Imagine: A Family and Detention in Australia is an evocative and hauntingly produced piece of radio. It follows the story of Gyzele Osmani, an Albanian woman who fled Kosovo in 1999 with her husband and five young children. They came to Australia but were placed in Port Hedland Detention Centre after refusing to return to East Kosovo, which they believed was still unsafe for them. According to the judges, it is a humanising story that 'avoids the trap of stereotyping by examining the life of this one woman and her family'. It is the story of a mother watching her children grow up behind bars, with little control over their education, safety and health care. The judges were impressed not only with the themes in the story, but also by the quality of the radio craft which was displayed in telling that story.
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Media award Winner

Print Media: Sex trafficking trade in Australia - Natalie O'Brien and Elisabeth Wynhausen, The Australian

Series of articles on the sex trafficking trade in Australia - Natalie O'Brien and Elisabeth Wynhausen, The Australian A series of articles on the sex trafficking trade in Australia by Natalie O'Brien and Elizabeth Wynhausen from The Australian newspaper was described by the judges as 'a standout winner'. It began with the inquest into the death of a young Thai woman inside Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre. Her case prompted a series of news reports by O'Brien and Wynhausen which aimed to reveal the extent and nature of sex slavery in Australia; expose the lack of official action over sex slave traffickers; and, in the process, to highlight the gross human rights abuses suffered by the trafficked women and girls. The O'Brien/Wynhausen disclosures soon revealed that the Thai woman was one of many trafficked into Australia every year for the sex industry. They wrote more than 35 stories on sex trafficking issues over six months in The Australian from March to September 2003. The judges chose this entry for 'the writers' tenacity, for staying with it when all others had given up... and above all for the result... it placed increased pressure on the government and led to a change in laws'.
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Human rights medal Winner

Deborah Kilroy

Deborah Kilroy is the founder and Director of Sisters Inside, a thriving community organisation providing services to women in and from prison throughout Queensland. After emerging from prison herself in 1992, Ms Kilroy established Sisters Inside for women who were marginalised, stigmatised or imprisoned. The management team is made up mainly of women who are in or have been in prison - augmented by a few former politicians, lawyers, academics and other professionals. About 25% of the staff and steering committee are Indigenous women. Its programs include a personal support and women's transition program, kids of mums in gaol project and youth crime prevention program. The organisation also produces journals and newsletters and takes part in national and international advocacy. The judges praised Ms Kilroy for her strong leadership and advocacy on behalf of women and girls in prison. Under Ms Kilroy's leadership, Sisters Inside is addressing the rising number of Indigenous women in prison and the criminalisation and imprisonment of women with mental illness and physical disabilities.
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Human rights medal Winner

Dick Estens

Dick Estens is the founder of the Aboriginal Employment Strategy, a model for Indigenous employment which helped turn around the future of NSW country town Moree. The strategy which was set up in Moree in 1997, now places 450 Aboriginal people into employment every year and has expanded into Tamworth and Dubbo. All staff are Aboriginal. They visit businesses to seek a commitment to work with the Employment Strategy not only to provide employment to Aboriginal people, but to build partnerships and acts as mentors to ensure success for the employer and the employees. The success of the Aboriginal Employment Strategy relies on building self-esteem and pride, and also peer pressure to succeed, from within the Aboriginal community. The judges said Dick Estens' success in Moree was a great example of what can be done and how it can be used as a blueprint for other Indigenous communities. A racial hotspot 10 years ago, Moree now displays great self-esteem and initiative. Aboriginal people are delivering for their community and in charge of their own destiny. Similar strategies will be rolled out into six regional sites by the end of 2004.  
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Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

Merinda Epstein

Merinda Epstein has been actively involved in mental health politics for 15 years. She is recognised as one of Australia's leading mental health consumer advocates and internationally recognised for her contribution to mental health service development. Ms Epstein was recognised by the judges for her determination, bravery, moral integrity and insight in ensuring that the rights of people with psychiatric disabilities are defended. The judges particularly admired the fact that Merinda, as quoted by one of her nominators, "can sniff out injustice much as a beagle find contraband at the airport" and the fact that "Merinda is notoriously bad with money, as she gives away to those in needs and forgets to budget to keep any money for herself".  
Awards trophy
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

John Murray

John Murray, coordinator of the Positive Justice Centre (a volunteer community organisation) has campaigned tirelessly to overcome discrimination against and social exclusion of people who were in the care of the State or Church as children. He has authored and co-authored many books and made many important submissions to government committees on the subject. Mr Murray was recognised by the judges for the outstanding role he has played in promoting human rights for young people in institutionalised care. His groundbreaking findings in the 2001 Inmate Health Survey found that almost 40% of prisoners had been in the care of the State/Church as children, which led to the first comprehensive assessment of the State ward/care leavers over-representation in the criminal justice system. John has lobbied and argued that identification of young people previously in State/Church care permits rehabilitation and effective crime prevention programs and enables preventative models to be undertaken.
Awards trophy
Community Award Winner

PEN International

The judges credited PEN (the international association of Poets, Playwrights, Essayists and Novelists) with an effective campaign of raising asylum seeker issues within the Australian conscience and said it was able to bring national and international pressure to bear in seeking the release of asylum seekers in detention. PEN Sydney created a Writers in Detention Committee in 2001 and, through members Tom Keneally and Rosie Scott, organised the International PEN's Day of the Imprisoned Writers which focused on the plight of asylum seekers in detention in Australia. The work of writers recently released from detention was featured at the Sydney and Melbourne Writers Festivals. PEN also editedAnother Country - an anthology of writing from asylum seekers.
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Law award Winner

Julian Burnside QC

Melbourne barrister Julian Burnside QC has been extensively and consistently involved in pro-bono legal work for asylum seekers (including the well-known Tampa case) - not least through Spare Lawyers for Refugees, which he established in order to encourage other lawyers (now over 250 nationwide) to volunteer their time and professional expertise to help refugees and asylum seekers. He and his wife also established Spare Rooms for Refugees to provide material support and accommodation for refugees in the general community. He teaches and trains young lawyers internationally and is outspoken about human rights and freedoms in the legal profession, in the media and in the community. In 2004, with Malcolm Fraser, Robert Manne and Young Australian of the Year Hugh Evans, he started The Justice Project - a group that supports basic human rights for all in the community and provides humanitarian assistance in many ways.  
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Media award Winner

Arts Non-Fiction Award: Refuge Australia, Klaus Neumann

Refuge Australia, by Klaus Neumann documents the history of Australia's response to refugees and provides fresh insights that illuminate the social and political forces that have shaped Australia's refugee policy. The judges described Refuge Australia as a highly readable account of Australia's long history of debate about refugees and asylum seekers. Drawing together thousands of personal stories of refugees seeking refuge in Australia between 1930 and 1970 and original government documents, the book describes Australia's ambivalent attitude to refugees in a cool, clear tone. "In so doing, Klaus Neumann doesn't prejudge the issues. Rather, he allows readers to arrive at their own conclusions. Refuge Australia does, however, leave the reader with a sense of optimism and the idea that change is possible. In the midst of widespread community debate about Australia's current treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, Refuge Australia provides an important historical context in which to examine these issues. It's also a great read."  
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Media award Winner

Television Award: The Road to Tooleybuc, Australian Story, ABC Television

The Road to Tooleybuc, Australian Story, ABC Television - Helen Grasswill, Quentin Davis, Mara Blazic, Ross Byrne and Roger Carter The Road to Tooleybuc focussed on a seemingly unlikely friendship between Ian Skiller, a farmer from the town of Tooleybuc, population 250, and a young Afghan refugee, Dr Abdul Nasiry, a medical graduate from Kabul University. The judges described The Road to Tooleybuc as an open and honest story about the relationships that develop between Afghan TPV holders and members of small rural communities. They said the image of a group of Afghan refugees in traditional garb eating their food next to the Murray River farmer and his mother does more to promote what these human rights awards are about than any words. The story showed that those who assume people from outback Australia are intolerant or inflexible are very wrong. It moved beyond the negative images and portrayals of refugees - here are Afghan people on TPVs integrating into the community - and showed how 'normal' people with no idea of refugee issues could become activists.
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Media award Winner

Radio Award: Beyond the Bars: Out and Blak, Radio 3CR

Beyond the Bars: Out and Blak, Radio 3CR - Lisa Bellear, Kutcha Edwards, Juliet Fox, Lester Green, Eleisha Jones, Gilla McGuiness, Johnny McGuiness and Ross Morgan Beyond the Bars: Out and Blak is a unique radio program that presented the stories, songs, messages and concerns of Indigenous prisoners - a six hour broadcast from within the Port Phillip prison in Laverton and the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre in Deer Park, Victoria. The judges said it was "simply a great program and a standout winner" and an excellent example of a community telling its own story. They said the program demonstrated that great radio does not have to rely on a big budget - the key ingredient is talking to people who have something honest and important to say.  
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Media award Winner

Print Media Award: Stolen Wages Payback Shame, National Indigenous Times

Stolen Wages Payback Shame is a special report on "stolen" wages and payments owed to Aborigines from the turn of the century in NSW. The series documents the story of the wages and savings, pensions and other payments to Aborigines withheld by New South Wales Governments for 70 years until 1969. It detailed the "unwritten policies" pursued by successive Governments of denying liability, misleading Aboriginal people about the fate of the funds and resisting efforts by the rightful owners of the money from claiming it back. The judges were impressed by the effort undertaken by the small newspaper and the direct impact it had in prompting action by the NSW Government, other State Governments and Indigenous organisations. They said the power of the piece came not just from the revelations of past injustices, but also the illustration that Indigenous people's lives are still being frustrated by government failure.
Awards trophy
Human rights medal Winner

Kevin Cocks

Kevin Cocks, described as the absolute epitome of the quiet achiever, for his lifelong dedication to disability rights and social justice issues. David Vadiveloo was highly commended.
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Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

David Vadiveloo

David Vadiveloo for his work at the grass roots level assisting Indigenous communities to communicate their issues to the global stage. Kerrianne Cox and Jane Rowe were highly commended.
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Community Award Winner

Chilout (Children out of Detention)

Award for their campaign to have children removed from immigration detention. Streetwize Communications, The Immigration Advice and Rights Centre and the NSW Disability Discrimination Legal Centre Inc. were highly commended.
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Law award Winner

PILCH Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic

PILCH HomelessPersons' Legal Clinic for providing free legal assistance to and advocacy on behalf of homeless people. Devoted human rights advocate Simon Rice OAM was highly commended.
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Media award Winner

Arts Non-Fiction Award: Disability in Australia: Exposing a Social Apartheid

Joint Winner: Associate Professor Christopher Newell Joint Winner: Dr Gerard Goggin's Disability in Australia: Exposing a Social Apartheid which explored a hidden blight in our society – the treatment of people with disabilities. Following them Home: The fate of the returned asylum seekers by David Corlett was highly commended.
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Media award Winner

Television Award: Vivian Solon , ABC TV's Lateline

Winner: Vivian Solon, ABC TV's Lateline -Margot O'Neill, Tom Iggulden, Hamish Fitzsimmons, Lisa Millar and Tony Jones ABC TV’s 4 Corners ‘Out of Mind’ by Matthew Carney, Peter Cronau and Sandra Harvey, and ‘The Pilot’s Funeral’ by ABC TV’s Trevor Graham, Rose Hesp and Denise Haslem were highly commended.
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Media award Winner

Print Media Award: Andra Jackson, The Age

Andra Jackson, The Age won the Print Media Award for Mystery Detained Woman in Australia, stories which resulted in the identification of Cornelia Rau. Michael Gordon (The Age) Nauru features and Russell Skelton (The Age) Papunya – Our Third World Shame were highly commended.
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Media award Winner

Radio Award: Locked in with Friends, ABC Radio National's Street Stories - Cath Dwyer

A documentary about a young man Chris Nolan, who lives in an aged care nursing home, and the family and friends who support him. When Nolan was 28 years old he suffered a hypoxic brain injury which left him in a 'locked in' state - unable to speak, see or move, but still able to hear and understand. The program dealt with the profound effects of his injury - on him and those around him. Described by the judges "as an incredibly moving, challenging and brilliant piece of radio", it managed to deal with a sensitive issue in an engaging and uplifting way.
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Human rights medal Winner

Phillip Adams AO

Mr Adams co-founded the sub-titling service that made television accessible to the hearing impaired, and has won international awards for his ‘Break Down the Barriers’ campaign for the International Year of Disabled Persons and for the International Year of the Child with the ‘Care of the Kids’ campaign. More recently he helped establish Australians for Just Refugee Programs, funding the venture with support from the readers of his newspaper columns. This organisation evolved into A Just Australia and Mr Adams is now Chair of Rights Australia - an organisation intended to tackle a wide range of human rights issues. For decades he has also focused on national and international human rights issues in his radio program Late Night Live. 
Awards trophy
Human rights medal Winner

Father Chris Riley AM

Father Riley has established a variety of programs to assist in breaking the cycle of poverty, disadvantage and marginalisation of young people. His Youth off the Street (YOTS) programs and services have helped over 60,000 young people since they were first established in 1991.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Finalist

Dr Caroline Taylor

The judges highly commended Dr Caroline Taylor for the 2006 Human Rights Medal for her advocacy work for the rights of women and children.  
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Law award Winner

Peter Siedel

Peter Siedel's efforts advising charitable, not-for-profit and Indigenous organisations have been recognised with the 2006 Human Rights Law Award. Head of Arnold Bloch Leibler's public law practice, Peter Siedel works tirelessly with a range of organisations advising on elements critical to their viability, such as corporate governance. A major player in social and environmental issues for Indigenous people, Peter has represented the Yorta Yorta people for more than 10 years in their native title claim before the Federal and High Courts. He also negotiated ground-breaking agreements between Indigenous groups and government bodies, such as the Yorta Yorta 2004 Co-operative Management Agreement with the Victorian Government. Peter has worked with Noel Pearson and Cape York Partnerships to develop corporate governance structures enabling the peoples of Cape York to exercise their right to take responsibility. He has also helped protect the rights of Indigenous artists and performers through his work with the Jirrawun Aboriginal Arts Corporation of the East Kimberley. He continues to collaborate closely with community groups, the legal profession, government and private industry on pertinent human rights issues.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Winner

Peter Siedel

Peter Siedel's efforts advising charitable, not-for-profit and Indigenous organisations have been recognised with the 2006 Human Rights Law Award. Head of Arnold Bloch Leibler's public law practice, Peter Siedel works tirelessly with a range of organisations advising on elements critical to their viability, such as corporate governance. A major player in social and environmental issues for Indigenous people, Peter has represented the Yorta Yorta people for more than 10 years in their native title claim before the Federal and High Courts. He also negotiated ground-breaking agreements between Indigenous groups and government bodies, such as the Yorta Yorta 2004 Co-operative Management Agreement with the Victorian Government. Peter has worked with Noel Pearson and Cape York Partnerships to develop corporate governance structures enabling the peoples of Cape York to exercise their right to take responsibility. He has also helped protect the rights of Indigenous artists and performers through his work with the Jirrawun Aboriginal Arts Corporation of the East Kimberley. He continues to collaborate closely with community groups, the legal profession, government and private industry on pertinent human rights issues.
Human rights medal Winner

Stephen Keim SC

Stephen’s efforts throughout his life have been both bold and brave, with one high profile instance being his assiduous efforts undertaken at personal cost in 2007 when he represented Dr Haneef,” Ms Branson said. “Stephen had showed real courage in how he handled himself during the ensuing controversy and his advocacy led to the release and eventual clearance of Dr Haneef.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Winner

Vinay Menon

The Young People’s Human Rights Medal for 2009 was awarded to 22 year-old Vinay Menon from Applecross, Western Australia, in recognition of his voluntary advocacy work with refugees, Indigenous communities and children living with a disability.
Finalist/Winner
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

Kate Locke

Kate has been recognised for her passion and dedication in increasing awareness and overcoming discrimination against deaf and hearing impaired people within Australia. She has displayed strong leadership and initiative in her workplace and throughout her work. Kate is from Cremorne, NSW.
Finalist/Winner
Community Award Winner

ACON

ACON is Australia’s largest community-based gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender healthy and HIV/AIDS organisation which aims to provide information and support for people at risk or affected by HIV and to improve access to mainstream services. It is a high visibility advocacy body and is recognised for implementing new initiatives that challenge systematic intolerance, raise awareness of diversity and encourage greater harmony between people of different race, sex, sexuality and ethnic origin. ACON is based in Darlinghurst, NSW.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Winner

Gregory McIntyre SC

Gregory McIntyre has advanced human rights through the practice of law since his first job as a solicitor with the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia. He has been involved in a number of leading and high profile human rights cases includingKoowarta v Bjelke Petersen, concerning the Racial Discrimination Act and a series of other cases, including Bropho v WA andTickner v Bropho, concerning the protection of Aboriginal heritage. In May 1982, he issued the High Court writ in Mabo v Queensland, retaining conduct of the case for 10 years including the conduct of Mabo (No 1). He ultimately appeared as Counsel for Eddie Mabo in Mabo (No 2) in which the High Court ruled that the Meriam people had native title. He has also recently provided advice to the Cape York Land Council, the Wik people and others on Cape York affected by the Archer River basin and other areas in Cape York being declared as wild river areas. Gregory is from Adelaide Terrace, Western Australia.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Ian Townsend, Background Briefing, ABC Radio National, for Crisis for Children.

‘Crisis for Children’, was a well researched program, providing in-depth insight and powerful portrayals of individuals trying to ensure children are protected from harm. The program convincingly conveyed the need for greater parental support and identified that removing children from their homes was not always the best solution. The program presented a holistic perspective on the complex issues involved in protecting children and keeping them safe. Ian is from Bardon, Queensland.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Debbie Whitmont, Michael Doyle, Kate Wild and Anne Connolly, Four Corners, ABC Television, for Going back to Lajamanu.

This Four Corners program revisited the Northern Territory community of Lajamanu 13 years after profiling its ground-breaking bilingual school education program. Going Back to Lajamanu explored the critical importance of maintaining language - not only for the achievement of personal success among a community's individual members, but for the preservation of a people's culture. The winners are all based in Sydney, NSW.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Print: Ruth Pollard, Sydney Morning Herald, for ‘Dying to be heard’

This domestic violence exposé comprised a series of compelling and investigative articles which contained personal stories and highlighted the need for a systemic change of laws and police action. The series contained powerful and diverse voices which demonstrated that domestic violence transcends class, nationality and geography. Ruth is from Pyrmont, NSW.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Literature (non-fiction): Margot O’Neill

Blind Conscience tells the stories of the people who struggled to get asylum seekers out of detention and to change government policy. It looks at what was the tipping point that made both well-known and ordinary Australians decide to become involved with asylum seekers. The book is a heartfelt, moving and inspirational examination of the point when doing nothing ceases to become an option. Margot is from Coogee, NSW.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Winner

Thérèse Rein

For her longstanding work along side people with a disability.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Winner

Jack Manning Bancroft

For his work with young indigenous Australians.
Finalist/Winner
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

Nina Funnell

Finalist/Winner
Community Award Winner

GetUp!

Finalist/Winner
Community Award Winner

The Immigrant Women’s Support Service

Finalist/Winner
Law award Winner

The Northern Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency

Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Television: Dan Goldberg, Adam Kay, Thierry Bled, Scott Barnett and Lucas Sudbury

For Football United: Passport to Hope, North One Television Australia for Foxtel’s Bio.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Print: Chris Graham

For the Grass is Always Greener.., published in the National Indigenous Times.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

literature (non-fiction): John Host with Chris Owen

For It’s Still in My Heart, This is My Country.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Radio: ABC Radio National’s ‘360 documentaries’

For The Too Hard Basket.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Winner

Ron Merkel QC

For 40 years, Ron Merkel has devoted himself to access to justice for people who are marginalised and disadvantaged, having a long and outstanding commitment to the promotion and advancement of human rights as a legal practitioner. He is widely recognised as one of Australia's leading public and administrative law practitioners, specialising in the areas of human rights, civil liberties, the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migration law,equal opportunity and anti-discrimination law. Ron has practiced as a barrister since 1971 and as a Queens Counsel since 1982. He was appointed and sat as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia from 1996 until retiring from the Court in 2006. Since leaving the Bench, Ron has returned to practice as a barrister with a particular focus on public interest and indigenous matters. Ron runs a very significant pro bono practice and, through this practice, makes an exceptional contribution to the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Australia. Ron has recently appeared in a range of significant and high profile cases including, this year, Eatock v Bolt where he appeared as lead counsel for nine Aboriginal people who successfully claimed that Andrew Bolt and the Herald and Weekly Times had published articles in breach of the Racial Discrimination Act. He was also involved in a Request for Urgent Action to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on behalf of a group of 20 Aboriginal people affected by the Northern Territory Emergency Response in relation to the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act and the failure to consult adequately with affected Aboriginal communities. In 2007, in Roach v Australian Electoral Commission and the Commonwealth, Ron appeared as lead counsel in a landmark High Court case which established constitutional protection of the right to vote and returned the vote to an estimated 8,000 prisoners. The case raised major issues as to the right to vote, representative democracy, prisoners' rights and Indigenous rights. And in Wotton v Commonwealth, the judgment for which is currently reserved, Ron was lead counsel in relation to parole conditions imposed on Lex Wotton, an Aboriginal man involved in the Palm Island riots, and their compatibility with implied rights contained in the Australian Constitution. In addition to his extensive human rights advocacy, Ron has occupied a number of important positions, including: Founding Member of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service; Founding Trustee of the Koori Aboriginal Heritage Trust; President of the Victorian and Australian Councils of Civil Liberties; Foundation Member and Life Member of the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, and part-time Commissioner of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. He is also a patron of the Koori Heritage Trust, the Anna Wearne Trust and the East West Foundation of Australia.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Winner

Tshibanda Gracia Ngoy

Tshibanda Gracia Ngoy is a 19 year old Congolese-born Australian who arrived under the Humanitarian Visas Program in July 2005. Gracia strives to better the lives of people around her and, in particular, youth from refugee backgrounds. She is a caseworker for refugee families, a radio co-host, a tutor for international students, a youth motivational speaker, and a member of the Illawarra Regional Advisory Council (IRAC), NSW Multicultural Youth Network (MYN), the Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families (SCARF). She is also a Co-Administrative Director for the Uganda-based Voice of Hope International Ministries, advocating for those who have been silenced by poverty and injustice. Gracia's community work started at the age of 14, soon after her arrival in Australia in July 2005. In 2008, she developed a self-esteem/confidence and body image workshop which was funded by the Young People Advisory Council (YAPA). Her second workshop focused on 'Belonging and Identity', which aimed to affirm the identity of young people from refugee backgrounds and to give them tips on how to become part of the wider Australian society. Nine years after leaving the Congo, her country of birth, due to tribal and political conflict Gracia returned to help the less fortunate. Here, she advised the government on how to improve the environment through encouraging the community to stop littering. She has also written articles aiming to break down the cultural barriers between the Congo and Australia by educating people about both cultures. Gracia mentored and tutored primary school students from refugee backgrounds while volunteering with SCARF, providing them with a mentor they could look up to. She's an active member of her community and has received various awards including the 2008 and 2009 Australian Defence Force Long Tan leadership and Teamwork Award, 2010 NSW CRC Young Volunteer of the Year, and 2011 Wollongong Young Citizen of the Year. She received the 2010 Encouragement Award in the Citizenship category of the West Illawarra Youth Achievement Award, the 2009 Young Women in Public Affairs Award and 2008 Pride of Australia Medal Award.
Finalist/Winner
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

The late Lola Jane Edwards

Lola Edwards was born in 1946 in the northern NSW town of Tingha - a proud member of the Anaiwan and Gamilaroi Aboriginal Nations. She passed away on the 1st August this year. At the age of four, Lola and her siblings were taken from their family, extended family, community and country Lola was sent to the Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls Training Home in southern New South Wales. She did not see her mother again until she was in her 30s. Lola never met her father. Throughout her life, Lola consistently and tirelessly worked for social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Lola was a member of Link-Up (NSW). In 1995/6, together with the late Carol Kendall, Lola was appointed to the specialist team which travelled extensively throughout NSW conducting 30 preparatory forums to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including members of the Stolen Generations, to give evidence to the Australian Human Right’s Commission’s Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal People from Their Families. Two of many important recommendations that were included in the landmark Bringing Them Home report, were the direct result of Lola’s persistence - a 'National Apology' by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and an 'Annual Sorry Day'.
Finalist/Winner
Community Award Winner

Swags for Homeless

Swags for Homeless was founded by Tony Clark when he questioned why homeless people sleeping on the street are not given suitable outdoor bedding when turned away from shelters.  Swags for Homeless partners with over 100 charities across Australia to distribute 'Backpack Beds' directly to homeless people in need. The backpack bed is designed to help give the homeless dignity, self-esteem, health, sleep, comfort and safety. Three thousand Backpack Beds were distributed in the last 12 months, with distribution numbers limited only by public and corporate funding.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Winner

Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, Allens Arthur Robinson, Debbie Mortimer SC and Richard Niall SC

This legal team has acted pro bono in two landmark High Court cases which have upheld human rights and the rule of law. Individually, each member of the team has also advised and acted pro bono in a significant number of other cases to promote and protect human rights. In Plaintiff M61 v The Commonwealth & Ors (11 November 2010), the team acted on behalf of two Sri Lankan asylum seekers who arrived by boat at Christmas Island and sought to claim refugee status. In a unanimous decision, the High Court held that, despite the status of Christmas Island as an 'excised offshore place', the men were entitled to the full protection of Australian law and to procedural fairness. In Plaintiff M70 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (31 August 2011), the team acted for two asylum seekers, including one 16 year old child, scheduled to be deported from Christmas Island to Malaysia for the processing of their refugee claims. In a 6-1 decision, the High Court held that under the Migration Act, the government could not send asylum seekers for processing to a third country unless that country satisfied certain criteria. In both these landmark cases, the legal team acted pro bono and ensured not only that each of these plaintiffs would have their claims for refugee status determined in Australia under Australian law, but that the fundamental tenets ofaccess to justice, procedural fairness, executive accountability and the rule of law were protected and preserved.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Literature (non-fiction): Half a Citizen: Life on welfare in Australia

Half a Citizen draws on in-depth interviews with 150 welfare recipients to reveal people struggling to get by on a low income, the anxieties of balancing paid work with income support, and how unstable housing makes it difficult to get ahead. By investigating the lives beyond statistics, Half a Citizen also explodes powerful myths and assumptions on which welfare policy is based. These stories of resilience and passion bear no resemblance to the clichéd images of dependence, laziness and social isolation which sometimes underpin social policy and media debate. Authors: John Murphy, Suellen Murray, Jenny Chalmers, Sonia Martin & Greg Martson
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Television: Skype Scandal: Matt Moran and Hugh Riminton, Ten Network

In March 2011, an 18 year old female Air Force cadet had sex with a fellow cadet at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). A few days later, she learnt it had been broadcast live via Skype to other cadets. Taking the story to Network 10, ’Kate’ spoke to reporter Matt Moran. Moran also interviewed ADFA commandant Bruce Kafer before breaking the story on Ten News at Five, on April 5 this year.  A police investigation was launched within days and two male cadets subsequently charged. The Channel Ten journalists followed up with a series of investigative news stories that looked at the allegations, and raised broader questions about the treatment of women in the ADF. Such was the shock and outrage at Kate’s allegations, the Government announced six separate inquiries, including one by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick into the broad treatment of women in the military.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Print: Adele Horin, Fairfax Newspapers 'The sad truth behind closed doors'

Adele Horin researched and produced a series of articles which brought to light human rights violations of people with a disability living in licensed boarding houses in NSW. Horin uncovered abuse and neglect in boarding houses and her efforts, along with those of disability advocacy groups, contributed to the public release of a NSW Ombudsman's special report on boarding houses in August this year. The report, 'More than board and lodging: the need for boarding house reform,' reports on the vulnerability and poor circumstances of people with a disability living in licensed boarding houses. Horin's coverage of the report and the horrific and frightening picture it painted of a sector where the most basic human needs are not provided, such as adequate food and basic health care, put the issue well and truly on the radar. By giving voice to a variety of individuals and groups, including residents and advocacy organisations, Horin's fair and balanced pieces were instrumental in raising awareness of the abuse taking place at Grand Western Lodge, a licensed boarding house in Milthorpe, NSW. Horin's report and the publicity which followed triggered a new commitment by the NSW Government to address the ongoing human rights issues in boarding houses.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Radio: Stefan Armbruster Malu Sara Tragedy, SBS Radio

Stefan Armbruster was the first to report on the continuing injustice befalling the families of victims of the Malu Sara tragedy. By developing close contact with the families and victims of this tragedy, Armbruster was able to give voice to their immense distress and frustration with the legal system which continues to haunt them many  years after the immigration patrol boat sank in the Torres Strait on 15 October 2005. Despite paying out compensation over the last 12 months, the Queensland Government has decided against pursuing criminal prosecutions for the tragedy that killed five islanders. Although the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the boat builder have received unprecedented fines under federal workplace health and safety laws, the Queensland Government has not changed its position. Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission is now contesting what it considers to be the inadequate internal police disciplinary action against the police sergeant responsible for the botched search and rescue operation. Armbruster’s compelling reporting demonstrates that for many islanders, the case has confirmed their feelings of neglect and of being treated unjustly by the federal and Queensland governments.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Winner

The Captioning Studio

The Captioning Studio brings together technology and a passion for inclusion of people with hearing loss. The business provides daily television captioning which gives viewers with a hearing loss full access to television programs, and also captions and subtitled DVDs and videos. The Captioning Studio also provides theatrical captioning in venues across Australia. Their unique Go-Theatrical! software is used in theatres and venues across Australia.  They have also recently launched ‘Captioning Equipment Kits’ which provide free and shared use of equipment such as plasma screens, cabling, laptops and software to venues in capital cities around Australia. They’ve also developed new technology, Clickable Captions, which encourages website owners to make online content accessible by displaying a full transcript next to online videos.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Winner

Ian Thorpe OAM

His exploits in the pool have made him a household name, but what is less known is that Ian Thorpe has spent more than a decade as a passionate advocate for Indigenous people and young Australians. His Fountain for Youth charity is working with twenty remote communities across the country. Thorpe has taken a hands-on role in his Fountain for Youth charity, which is working with twenty remote communities across the country to build better literacy for Aboriginal children.  His work has extended beyond the Foundation to becoming an active advocate as the Co-Patron for the Close The Gap campaign.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Winner

Krista McMeeken

21 year old Krista is studying to be admitted as a solicitor and working with the WA Aboriginal Legal Service, mainly on the Stolen wages Case. During her studies, she became a member of the WA Law Society's Aboriginal Lawyers Committee, aiming to help provide greater access to legal opportunities for Indigenous lawyers, and has assisted in legal work on the impact of intellectual property rights in regard to gene patenting on Indigenous peoples. She has won three state and national NAIDOC awards and assisted the Child Rights Taskforce to draft a UN report on Australia’s performance under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Finalist/Winner
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

Pat Anderson

Pat is recognised nationally and internationally for her leadership in promoting and advancing the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. In the 1980s and early 90s, Pat worked in Tasmania, Western Australia and Victoria advocating for improved education for aboriginal children. Since the mid-90s, she has been a national leader in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, particularly in relation to the rights and needs of children, the importance of education and the need for genuine reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia. Pat is currently chairperson of the Lowtja Institute.
Finalist/Winner
Community Award Winner

Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia (ALSWA)

  ALSWA provides culturally safe legal representation and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout WA. Its clients represent some of WA’s most disadvantaged people, many suffering from mental illness, homelessness, or carrying the legacy of our stolen generations including institutionalism, dispossession and marginalisation. ALSWA’s approach is a holistic, human rights based one that goes beyond straight civil, criminal and family legal representation, advice and support services to advocacy, community and school education, lobbying and working cooperatively with other organisations devoted to Aboriginal people.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Winner

Human Rights Law Centre

An independent, non-profit, non-government organisation, the Human Rights Law centre strives to promote and protect human rights, in Australia and in Australian foreign policy, though advocacy, strategic litigation, professional education, strategic legal, human rights and academic partnerships, lobbying and media promotion. Over the last seven years it has succeeded in securing constitutional recognition of the right to vote, improved access to healthcare for prisoners, strengthened legislative protection of human rights, provided human rights training to over 15,000 people and held Australia to account for its human rights obligations on the international stage.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Literature (non-fiction): The People Smuggler by Robin de Crespigny – Penguin Australia, May 2012

Drawn from three years of interviews, The People Smuggler recounts the life of Ali Al Jenabi, one of the first men to be tried in Australia for people smuggling offences. The book puts a human face on those involved in the boat voyages, revealing a harrowing picture of a man who, by turning to people smugglers, sought to escape severe repression in Iraq and seek safety for his mother and six younger brothers and sisters, only to become a ‘people smuggler’ himself. The book exposes many anti-refugee myths common in Australia and points to the actions of governments, police and intelligence agencies in encouraging anti-refugee sentiment.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Print: Professor Sharon Pickering and The Conversation Academic Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers series – Series of 14 articles published in The Conversation between June and August 2012

Professor Pickering is one of Australia's leading criminologists working in the field of migration and border crossings. Following two boat tragedies off Christmas Island in June 2012, she wrote an article entitled, ‘Six issues missing from the Asylum seeker debate,’ for online publication, The Conversation. The Conversation then asked her to lead an expert panel of academics who, using evidence-based research, wrote 14 articles that exposed the realities of asylum seeker issues and advocated for a human rights based response – two of which highlighted failure of the Government's Houston Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers to consider humanitarian responses.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Radio: Intellectually Disabled People Fight for Access to Justice – PM –ABC Radio National - Produced by Nance Haxton – Aired in January 2012

This program exposed a legal loophole preventing South Australians with disabilities from giving evidence in court, leaving several cases of sexual abuse against people with intellectual disabilities untested in the State. Earning the trust of the families of alleged victims, Nance Haxton encouraged them to tell a story that not only exposed a major human rights dilemma, but reached Parliament House. An inquiry has since been established to investigate how to remedy the situation and avoid people with intellectual disabilities from being the target of predators. Since the story aired, the South Australian government has also pledged to close the loophole.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Television: Age of Uncertainty – The Project – Network Ten - Produced by Hamish MacDonald and Sam Clark – Screened over April and May 2012

Over three months, Macdonald and Clark investigated the case of Ali Jasmin, an Indonesian child serving five years in a maximum security adult prison in WA for people smuggling – accepted as an adult on the basis of a wrist X-ray. In a tiny fishing village in Indonesia, they found three forms of evidence which the Australian legal system had received and comprehensively failed to recognize - documenting he was, at most, 14 when convicted. Additional investigation uncovered the scale of Australian miscarriages of justice about Indonesian children convicted as people smugglers, discredited wrist x-rays and ultimately contributed to major policy change.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Winner

Hoyts Cinemas, Village Cinemas, Event/ Greater Union/ Birch Carroll & Coyle Cinemas and Reading Cinemas

In 2010, Australia’s four major cinema chains jointly announced an agreement to roll-out the Cinema Access Implementation Plan, a world first plan in accessible cinemas – cinemas that provide captioned and audio described movie sessions. Now, the roll-out has begun ahead of schedule. Whereas, historically, accessible movie sessions were limited to just a few a week at major city locations, this plan will see more than 132 cinemas and more than 242 screens around the country capable of showing accessible films. At judging time (October 2012), there were 74 cinemas in Australia with a total of 134 screens capable of operating in an accessible manner.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Winner

Sister Clare Condon

Sister Clare Condon is the Congregational Leader of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict. Sister Clare has been with the Sisters of the Good Samaritan for about 40 years. Under her leadership, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan have helped provide emergency housing for women and children experiencing domestic violence and have strongly supported self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Near Alice Springs, the Sisters work and live at Santa Teresa (Ltyentye Apurte), which is home to about 600 Aboriginal people.  The Sisters work with local women on an Aboriginal painting and silk venture.  This provides some income for the women and according to the local health centre makes a “significant contribution to the health, mental and emotional well-being of people in the community”. Sister Clare’s ability to make a difference is underpinned by her capacity to keep her eye on the big picture. She is never afraid to take her message directly to Government, relentlessly lobbying politicians to help those in need.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Winner

Mariah Kennedy

Mariah Kennedy is a Young Ambassador for UNICEF and the author of the children’s book, Reaching Out, Messages of Hope. At just 16 years of age, Mariah approached some of Australia’s best loved children’s authors and illustrators for contributions to the book, which addresses social justice issues such as child labour, refugee rights and global poverty. In June 2013, Mariah’s extraordinary anthology was published by Harper Collins with all proceeds going to UNICEF. Mariah compiled this book with the aim that other young Australians like herself will read the stories and become human rights advocates.
Finalist/Winner
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

Carolyn Frohmader

Carolyn Frohmader has made a significant contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights for women and girls with disabilities. As executive director of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), Carolyn is a strong voice for gender equality and an advocate for the prevention of violence against women and girls with disabilities. She has increased awareness of issues of injustice for women and girls with disabilities and worked tirelessly to counter discrimination on the basis of gender and disability.
Finalist/Winner
Community Award Winner

National Centre of Indigenous Excellence

The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence provides a safe and innovative space for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to participate in life-changing programs and pursue opportunities.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Winner

Professor Andrea Durbach

Professor Andrea Durbach is a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales, and Director of the Human Rights Law Centre. Prior to joining UNSW, she spent 13 years at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and was the director of PIAC for the majority of that time. At PIAC, Associate Professor Durbach established the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service and led the establishment of the Public Interest Law Clearing House. At PIAC, Professor Durbach also led important work to promote justice for members of the Stolen Generations and initiated a number of significant human rights cases in relation to disability discrimination and sex discrimination. Before coming to Australia, Professor Durbach, represented 25 black defendants in the notorious Upington death penalty case in South Africa. Professor Durbach has had an extraordinary career underpinned by using the law to advance human rights. Through her public interest litigation, legislative interventions,  submissions to inquiries, positions on boards and teaching and writing she has taken action to overcome infringements of human rights wherever possible.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Radio: Carol Dowling, The State of Our Children’s Hearing, Noongar Radio

This 30-part series highlights the prevalence of ear disease among Noongar communities in Western Australia. The documentary raises awareness and empowers listeners by including the voices of local Noongar people affected by ear disease.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Television: Naomi Chainey, Elvira Alic and Phineas Meere, No Limits (season 12), C31 Community TV

No Limits is a disability-focussed program that engages with current news and issues by hosting panel discussions, commentary and comedy. It has had a strong positive effect in giving people with disability a voice in the media as well as some creative control over their representation.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Literature: Dying for a Chat by Dr Ranjana Srivastava (Penguin, April 2013)

Thanks to the stunning advances of modern medicine, life for many Australians is prolonged at all costs. But as the case of 90-year-old Mrs. Johnson shows, these life-saving measures can cause harm and suffering when used inappropriately.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Print: Debra Jopson, The Global Mail – ‘Rock art at risk’

This series of articles investigates the demise of rock art sites across the nation. As a result of the articles, the NSW government took action to protect two rock art sites in the Blue Mountains.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Winner

Freedom Housing

Freedom Housing allows people with disabilities and their families to live under the same roof in homes that are privately-owned or leased. Freedom Housing operates in line with the rights and values espoused in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Winner

Dorothy Hoddinott AO

Dorothy Hoddinott AO is the principal of Holroyd High School in Greystanes. She has demonstrated a 20-year commitment to advancing the education rights of young people and refugees. In 2002, Ms Hoddinott established the Friends of Zainab trust fund to allow a young asylum seeker to complete their high school education. This initiative has supported over 100 students. Mrs Hoddinott has focussed attention on the importance of teaching English as a second language (ESL) and how this enhances learning environments for all students and improves social cohesion. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2008 for her career-long contribution to social justice issues and she received the College Medal from the Australian College of Educators in 2012 for service to school education, particularly to disadvantaged students.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Winner

Daniel Haile-Michael and Maki Issa

For challenging racism and racial profiling as the lead applicants in a historic Federal Court case involving the Victorian police force.
Finalist/Winner
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

Damian Griffis

CEO of the First Peoples Disability Network (Australia) and a leading advocate for the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability.
Finalist/Winner
Community Award Winner

Transgender Victoria

For its dedication to achieving justice, equity and quality health and community services for transgender people, their partners, families and friends.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Winner

Darren Fittler

Darren Fittler is a laywer at Gilbert + Tobin, where he leads the Third Sector Advisory Group, providing legal assistance to the charity, philanthropic and not-for-profit sectors. Mr Fittler is a member of the Disability Advisory Council for the NSW Department of Justice and board members of Media Access Australia, the nation’s only not-for-profit media access organisation focused on improving media engagement for people with disabilities. He is also a member of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Professional Users Group. Mr Fittler was chosen to be part of the non-government delegation to the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disability
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Literature: Jane Newling, Missing Christopher, (Allen & Unwin)

Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Print: Nick Olle, Sam Wallman, Pat Grant, Pat Armstrong, Sam Bungey, Mark Finger, Lauren Martin, The Global Mail

At Work Inside Our Detention Centres: A Guard’s Story. A rare insight into the internal processes of outsourced detention centres.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Radio: Carol Dowling, Another Stolen Generation, Noongar Radio

This feature highlights the disproportionate placement of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care in Western Australia.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Winner

Joint Winner - KPMG & Grace Papers

KPMG: For its Reconciliation Action Plan, which fosters equal access to employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and provides support for Indigenous business, leadership and human rights. Grace Papers: For its work empowering women to address pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Winner

Peter Greste

Peter Greste spent 400 days in an Egyptian jail after being arrested in Cairo and charged for terrorism-related offences in 2013/14. The trial was widely publicized and also criticized around the world for the lack of evidence and the political issues that surrounded the case. Following his release, Peter used this case as a platform to advocate for freedom of speech and a free media. He has made numerous public appearances and spoken about the importance of a free and unencumbered media in properly functioning democracy.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Winner

Yen Eriksen

Yen (23) is an exceptional campaigner on LGBTIQ issues. She has fought for safety and respect for LGBTIQ students and influenced change through her role on the ACT Government Ministerial Council for LGBTIQ. She has fostered inclusion for vulnerable members of the LGBTIQ community through founding a radio show for LGBTIQ women and a gender inclusive roller derby league.
Finalist/Winner
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

Ludo McFerran

Ludo McFerran has a long history of working for the rights of women and children, specifically in conducting research and identifying innovative solutions to family violence. Ludo has had a key role in designing approaches to family violence that focus on housing stability and avoiding homelessness. Her advocacy in recent years has focused on family violence leave being incorporated into workplace agreements.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Winner

Genevieve Bolton

Genevieve has dedicated her career to improving access to justice and is a powerful advocate for systemic change. Genevieve is currently the coordinator and principal solicitor at Canberra Community Law.
Finalist/Winner
Racism. it stops with me (RISWM) Winner

Tasmanian Students Against Racism

What started as a grassroots movement in 2008, Students Against Racism has grown into a productive and effective education and advocacy group involving more than 220 young presenters and 10,000 participants. The Students Against Racism workshop has been included in University and TAFE courses in Tasmania, and has recently been piloted as part of the Tasmanian Police Recruit Training Course.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Kirsti Melville, The Storm, ABC Radio National

Extraordinarily raw and personal, The Storm by Kirsti Melville is the personal reflections of her former partner Erik, a survivor of child sexual abuse. Erik talks candidly about his lifelong battle to beat the demons of his traumatic experience. During this powerful radio documentary, Erik revisits his disturbing past and at times, exhibits confusion from reliving the trauma.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Winner

Maitree House Productions

Maitree House Productions uses multimedia communication tools to showcase the work that is being done around the country for social good. It brings social justice to the fore by giving voice to diverse groups of Australians, including young people, women, Indigenous people and older Australians. The company’s productions help advance our understanding of human rights, their impact and implementation.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Winner

Pat Anderson AO

Ms Anderson is an Alyawarre woman, whose mother was one of the Stolen Generations. Ms Anderson grew up in Parap camp in Darwin, acutely aware from a very young age of the extreme forms of discrimination and racism experienced by Aboriginal people. Ms Anderson is the Chair of the Lowitja Institute and co-chair of the Prime Minister’s Referendum Council. She has worked tirelessly to advance the rights and welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly in regards to education, health, early childhood development, and preventing violence against Aboriginal women and children. Ms Anderson is also motivated by the need to create positive pathways for individuals and communities, based on culture, identity, health and wellbeing. She wants to change the narrative so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples celebrate their successes and have agency and control over their lives.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Finalist

Dr John-Paul Sanggaran

Dr Sanggaran is a former Australian immigration detention doctor who risked prosecution under section 42 of the Border Force Act to bring to light human rights abuses within Australian immigration detention. He is the co-author of Christmas Island Doctors of Concern, a 92-page letter signed by 15 doctors who practiced inside immigration detention on Christmas Island. The letter is a comprehensive account of the failings of medical procedure inside detention centres in Australia. Dr Sanggaran has also campaigned extensively for ratification of OPCAT (the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture). He has worked within the medical and health sectors to forge a broad consensus for ratification of the protocol, and organised a petition nearing 10,000 signatures in support of this objective.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Finalist

Dr John-Paul Sanggaran

Dr Sanggaran is a former Australian immigration detention doctor who risked prosecution under section 42 of the Border Force Act to bring to light human rights abuses within Australian immigration detention. He is the co-author of Christmas Island Doctors of Concern, a 92-page letter signed by 15 doctors who practiced inside immigration detention on Christmas Island. The letter is a comprehensive account of the failings of medical procedure inside detention centres in Australia. Dr Sanggaran has also campaigned extensively for ratification of OPCAT (the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture). He has worked within the medical and health sectors to forge a broad consensus for ratification of the protocol, and organised a petition nearing 10,000 signatures in support of this objective.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Finalist

Deng Adut

Mr Adut is a lawyer and advocate for the rights of refugees and other vulnerable citizens. Mr Adut came to Australia as 14-year-old refugee. He had been conscripted as a child soldier in South Sudan when he was six.  He never had an opportunity to go to school but he taught himself to read, write and speak English, and he won a scholarship to study law at the University of Western Sydney (UWS). Mr Adut moved won national attention with his 2016 Australia Day address, and won more hearts and minds when a short video telling his life story went viral, attracting over 2.4 million views. He graduated from UWS with a Bachelor of Law in 2010 and went onto establish the AC Law Group in Blacktown with Joseph Correy.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Finalist

Paul Nunnari

Mr Nunnari is a disability advocate and former Paralympic athlete who chairs the City of Sydney Inclusion (Disability) Advisory Panel and is manager of Event Access and Inclusion with the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. Mr Nunnari has worked over many years to increase opportunities for people with disability to participate in major and community events across NSW, and he played a key role in plans to make the Sydney Harbour Bridge wheelchair-accessible (expected completion in 2017). Mr Nunnari works directly with event organisers and planning agencies to coordinate strategies such as better transport and communication options, better disability awareness training for event staff, accessible viewing areas, captioning and audio description. He has helped ensure accessibility for major events including Sydney New Year’s Eve, Vivid Sydney, ANZAC Day, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade and the Sydney City to Surf.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Finalist

Ingrid Ozols

Ms Ozols is a mental health and suicide prevention advocate and educator. She is the founder and managing director of Mental Health at Work, a consultancy focussed on improving our understanding of mental health and building resilience in the workplace. She has developed an online e- learning tool, mh @ work®, to help manage mental health issues in the workplace. This interactive program enables people to share experiences of mental illness and recovery, helping to change attitudes and workplace cultures. More than 200,000 employees have used mh @ work’s education tools and programs. Ms Ozols has contributed to many Australian mental health boards, committees and advisory groups. She was the inaugural Chair of BlueVoices, beyondblue’s consumer arm; and a former board member of the Mental Health Council of Australia. Other memberships and advisory groups include the Royal Australian and New Zealand College Psychiatry and the General Practitioner’s Mental Health Standards Collaboration.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Winner

Arash Bordbar

Since arriving in Australia as a refugee, Arash has worked at the community level volunteering with Settlement Services International and as a youth leader with Auburn Diversity services, alongside international advocacy work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and at the Asia Pacific Consultation on Refugee Rights.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Finalist

Sara Shengeb

In the last year, Sara coordinated an initiative to equip young people with refugee and migrant backgrounds to share their stories, as well as co-organising the inaugural Catalyst Youth Summit and mentoring a university student every semester.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Finalist

Louise Milligan

Louise's powerful investigation for the ABC’s 7:30 program focused on the mistreatment of young people with disability by institutions tasked with their care and protection. It revealed disturbing evidence of young people being locked up, secluded and abused, including cases in which young people had been held in a lockable box and a student had been left to sit outdoors all day in winter for a whole school term.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Finalist

The Nauru Files

Published by The Guardian Australia, comprise more than 2,000 leaked incident reports from the Australian-funded regional processing centre in Nauru. The Files revealed several serious allegations of assault and sexual abuse and offered an unprecedented insight into the deleterious impacts of third country processing on the health and wellbeing of people seeking asylum.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Finalist

Danikka Calyon

Danikka has raised awareness about a range of human rights issues facing young Australians through her work as part of the Western Australia Youth Leadership Roundtable and as an inaugural youth ambassador for Save the Children Australia.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Finalist

Ella Ingram

Ella has sought to influence change in business practices that discriminate against people with mental illnesses based on her personal experience challenging a travel insurance policy with a blanket exclusion for all mental illness claims.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Finalist

Madeline Price

Madeline founded and leads the One Woman Project, which delivers seminars, conferences and campaigns to young people to raise awareness of issues relating to gender inequality.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Finalist

Kathryn Lyons

Kathryn has met with a variety of public and private entities and parliamentarians to increase awareness about the human rights of people with disabilities and the practical ways in which these rights can be respected, protected and promoted.
Finalist/Winner
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

Jane Rosengrave

Jane is a proud Yorta Yorta woman with an intellectual disability. She is a passionate advocate for people with disability. Jane grew up in institutions and has experienced segregation as well as sexual and other violence, including domestic violence. She contributes to several organisations and shares her personal experiences publicly to raise awareness of the abuse and discrimination facing people with disability.
Finalist/Winner
Community Award Winner

Bus Stop Films

For approximately 8 years, Bus Stop Films has provided film studies and film-making opportunities for people with disabilities, as well as advocating for inclusion in the film industry.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Winner

Anna Cody

As Director of Kingsford Legal Centre, Anna Cody has provided high quality case work to thousands of disadvantaged people, as well as advocating for law reform to address systemic human rights breaches.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Finalist

Peter O’Brien

Peter O’Brien has spent many years working as a lawyer and human rights advocate, most recently representing Dylan Voller and Jake Roper in their civil suit against the Northern Territory’s corrective services.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Finalist

Steven Glass

A highly respected commercial litigator and solicitor of 25 years, Steven has shown a long-standing commitment to pro bono work and has led the development of Gilbert + Tobin’s pro bono refugee practice.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Finalist

Knowmore Legal Service

Knowmore is an independent service that gives free legal advice to people considering telling their story to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Finalist

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has led litigation in the public interest for many years. In 2015 and 2016, Maurice Blackburn conducted several large scale pro bono actions addressing discrimination and human rights issues including those of young people, people with disabilities and people seeking asylum.
Finalist/Winner
Racism. it stops with me (RISWM) Winner

National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council

The National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council (NEMBC) is the peak organisation of ethnic community broadcasters in Australia. It harnesses the expertise of more than 4000 volunteers from 125 cultural groups to broadcast over 2000 hours of programs each week, in English, Congolese, Punjabi, Farsi, Filipino and other languages.
Finalist/Winner
Racism. it stops with me (RISWM) Finalist

All Together Now

In 2014, All Together Now launched the Everyday Racism mobile phone app, designed to build empathy with people who are the targets of racism. Recently, All Together Now adapted the Everyday Racism app for school students aged 8 to 10.  The new app is called Kids Together Now. It allows primary school teachers to take kids through interactive storylines to promote positive relationships.
Finalist/Winner
Racism. it stops with me (RISWM) Finalist

Fadzi Whande

Ms Fadzi Whande campaigns against family violence in CALD communities in Western Australia, working with organisations such as UN Women, White Ribbon and the Humanitarian Group Community Legal Centre. Ms Whande has implemented a program called Courageous Conversations About Race, and is working with the Australian Federal Police, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Department of Corrective Services to address systemic barriers and unconscious bias towards marginalised groups.
Finalist/Winner
Racism. it stops with me (RISWM) Finalist

Welcome to Australia

Welcome to Australia is responsible for the Walk Together event, which brings together thousands of people from nearly 30 towns and cities to celebrate diversity and promote compassion and generosity. Welcome to Australia has also devised the Welcoming Cities project, which seeks to address and embrace the challenges and opportunities of migration by working with local government and communities to create more welcoming and inclusive communities.
Finalist/Winner
Racism. it stops with me (RISWM) Finalist

Beyondblue

Beyond Blue’s Invisible Discriminator campaign successfully highlighted the impact of insidious, subtle racism and discrimination on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Using TV commercials and clear and accessible information on mental health and discrimination, Beyond Blue’s campaign focused on the link between racial discrimination and psychological distress.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

Australia’s Shame

Exposed mistreatment of young people in the Northern Territory detention system. The program broadcast shocking footage of children being tear-gassed, stripped naked and restrained using hoods. Within hours of the footage being broadcast on ABC’s Four Corners program, the Prime Minister had announced a Royal Commission into the detention of children in the Northern Territory.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Finalist

Jess Hill

Jess' in-depth feature for The Monthly reveals how the family law system can place children at risk of violence and abuse. Her research documented alarming cases in which parents had been granted custody of their children despite evidence of abuse, while parents who raised allegations of abuse risked having their children removed from their care.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Finalist

Mark Whittaker

Mark's comprehensive SBS investigation into gay-hate crimes in Adelaide, which shone a light on brutal yet little-known assaults and murders of gay men from the 1970s to recent years. His work exposed the discrimination and homophobia that not only fuelled these crimes, but also allowed the perpetrators to escape punishment.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Winner

Etiko *Joint winner

Etiko is a small business that has focussed on supply chain ethics by developing an accredited and scalable ethical supply chain model. It has received an A+ rating for ethical production in fashion brands. Etiko is the first non-food brand to receive fairtrade certification in the Pacific region. Etiko’s success in promoting supply chain ethics to the broader community displays great leadership and resource commitment from a small business. It also demonstrates how doing business ethically in Australia can have significant positive human rights impacts at home and abroad.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Winner

Lendlease, Australian Network on Disability and Westpac *Joint winner

The Lendlease, Westpac and Australian Network on Disability collaboration led to the ‘Design for Dignity’ guidelines, implemented at Barangaroo Tower Two. The guidelines integrate access considerations into the building design phase, rather than have these considered as an afterthought.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Winner

Johnathan Thurston

NRL star Johnathan was recently named the 2018 Queensland Australian of the Year for his ongoing commitment to improving the life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Johnathan is a role model and mentor and is involved in a multitude of community programs including NRL Cowboys House which provides support and accommodation for Indigenous students from remote Queensland communities.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Finalist

Anthony and Chrissie Foster

The couple spent more than twenty years advocating and campaigning for survivors of child sex abuse, after two of their three daughters were abused by a Catholic priest in Melbourne. Their advocacy helped bring about the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Finalist

Dr John Malouf

John is an Ear, Nose and Throat, Head and Neck surgeon. For the past seven years, he has provided surgical outreach programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote communities in Queensland. His programs aim to close the gap in health equality for Indigenous peoples, particularly in relation to ear and hearing conditions, and preventing subsequent disease or permanent disability.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Finalist

Walter Mikac

Walter is an advocate for strong gun control and the Founding Patron of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation. After the loss of his wife and two children in the tragic massacre at Port Arthur in 1996, Walter asked the then Prime Minister, the Hon John Howard, to review the nation’s gun laws. Today, Walter Mikac continues to be committed to the protection and rights of children by providing a voice for victims of serious violence and/or bullying.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Finalist

Sonya Ryan

Since the murder of her daughter just over ten years ago by a man posing as a teenager online, Sonya has campaigned for stronger laws to protect young people online. She set up the Carly Ryan Foundation and in June, Federal Parliament passed ‘Carly’s Law’ to help protect children on the internet from online predators.
Finalist/Winner
Human rights medal Finalist

Ben Quilty

Ben is a renowned artist and human rights advocate. He campaigned tirelessly against the death penalty and produced art with Myuran Sukumaran, an Australian who was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in Indonesia. Ben’s other works include an installation of hundreds of vests to symbolise the refugee crisis.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Winner

Georgie Stone

Georgie is a transgender advocate who at the age of 10, was the youngest person to receive hormone blockers in Australia. She campaigned for laws to be changed to allow transgender children and their families access some treatment without Family Court approval.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Finalist

Celia Tran

Celia is committed to supporting young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to expand their leadership and advocacy skills, and communicating with decision-makers on issues that impact their lives. This work has included connecting young multicultural people with public audiences for speaking opportunities.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Finalist

Bassam Maaliki

Bassam is passionate about creating a world where everyone belongs, initiated by his own experience as a Muslim teenager. Bassam established the #uBelong, a project aimed at fostering a culture of inclusiveness and multicultural harmony.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Finalist

Ziagul Sultani

Ziagul is a vocal advocate for multicultural young people, promoting the rights of refugees and young migrants in regional and remote WA to access education and work. She is one of the founding members of MYAN Australian Youth Ambassadors Network (YAN), which aims to find solutions to the injustice and inequality facing migrants and refugees.
Finalist/Winner
Young People's Award Finalist

Caitlin Figueiredo

Caitlin is a multicultural young Australian working nationally to tackle discrimination, and drive inclusive opportunities for young women and girls. As Board Director of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, she provides a voice for 4.3 million young people to defend their rights at the Federal level.
Finalist/Winner
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

Barbara Elizabeth Spriggs

Barbara brought about the exposure of a decade-long culture of cover up of the abuse and maltreatment of residents at the Oakden facility when she sought answers for suspected abuse and neglect of her husband while in care across 2015 and 2016.
Finalist/Winner
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Finalist

Sister Jane Irene Keogh

Sister Jane has devoted more than 15 years to assisting and supporting refugees in immigration detention centres and those living in the Australian community by providing access to basic needs. She uses her direct experience to engage politicians, community groups, the media and religious communities to bring about systemic change.
Finalist/Winner
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Finalist

Saba Vasefi

Saba is an Iranian-Australia academic, filmmaker, poet and human rights advocate. Saba uses her artistic and cultural activities to campaign against the death penalty, advance the rights of women and children as well as give a voice to refugees and asylum seekers.
Finalist/Winner
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Finalist

Catia Malaquias

Catia is a disability advocate and founder of Starting with Julius, an organisation which aims to include people with disability in the media and in advertising in order to reshape cultural attitudes and eliminate discriminatory barriers towards disability.
Finalist/Winner
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Finalist

Alastair Lawrie

Alastair is a passionate campaigner for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community. Alastair has spent over a decade to build awareness of the anti-discrimination protections that exist for LGBTI Australians.
Finalist/Winner
Community Award Winner

Blind Citizens Australia

Blind Citizens Australia was set up in 1975 as the peak advocacy body for Australians who are blind or vision impaired. It has played a key role in bringing about significant changes including tactile ground surface indicators and inclusion of blind specific standards in education.
Finalist/Winner
Community Award Finalist

End Rape on Campus Australia

End Rape on Campus Australia works to end sexual violence in universities and residential colleges through direct support of survivors and their communities. It also works on prevention through education and advocating for policy reforms at the campus, state and federal level.
Finalist/Winner
Community Award Finalist

Big hART

Big hART is an arts organisation that was set up 25 years ago to find new ways of dealing with disadvantage. It works closely with communities to address a range of human rights and social justice issues, including the empowerment of Indigenous young people and young rural women.
Finalist/Winner
Community Award Finalist

Twenty10 incorporating GLCS NSW

Twenty10 incorporating GLCS NSW provides frontline support to LGBTIQA+ people across New South Wales. It provides a broad range of specialised services including housing, counselling and social support.
Finalist/Winner
Community Award Finalist

Rural Australians for Refugees – Castlemaine

The Castlemaine branch of Rural Australians for Refugees is a not for profit organisation set up to raise awareness of the human rights of refugees. Volunteers are involved in providing practical and financial support for local refugee families.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Winner

David Woodroffe

David Woodroffe has made a significant contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights for Aboriginal people in the Top End of the Northern Territory. David is the Principal Legal Officer for the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) and has worked closely with the Northern Territory Royal Commission to ensure that NAAJA, its clients and Aboriginal people in the Northern territory have a strong voice and the opportunity to participate fully in the Commission’s processes.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Finalist

Canberra Community Law’s Socio-Legal Practice Clinic

Canberra Community Law’s Socio-Legal Practice Clinic is an innovative program that aids the most disadvantaged people facing a crisis or emergency by integrating the professional skills of a lawyer and a social worker working in tandem. The Clinic’s focus is on people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, people experiencing family violence and/or people with a disability.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Finalist

Helen Pearce

Helen Pearce is the CEO and Principal Solicitor of the Humanitarian Group, a not-for-profit organisation focused on empowering vulnerable people by providing professional and accessible migration assistance, legal advice and education. Under Helen’s leadership, the Humanitarian Group has helped people new to Western Australia from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including people seeking asylum, in a way that embraces diversity and strengthens communities.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Finalist

The Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS)

RACS is an independent community legal centre based in NSW, providing free, specialist legal assistance to people seeking asylum in Australia. When the deadline for the lodgement of protection applications for people who arrived by boat was imposed on 1 October 2017, RACS’ responded by ramping up its services, providing assistance 7 days and 2 nights a week through its team of specialist lawyers, pro bono lawyers, volunteer interpreters and community organisations.
Finalist/Winner
Law award Finalist

Vincent Shin and Western Community Legal Centre, Wyndham Branch

Vincent Shin is Australia’s first in-school lawyer to assist children from low socio economic backgrounds and their families with legal advice and representation. The ‘school lawyer’ pilot program is being run by the Western Community Legal Centre’s Wyndham Branch and funded by donations. Vincent Shin is based at The Grange Secondary School and is helping students and their families deal with issues ranging from migration law and transport fines to family violence and evictions.
Finalist/Winner
Racism. it stops with me (RISWM) Winner

Cohealth Arts Generator Sisters and Brothers Program

This program tackles racism in Victoria using a school leadership and vocational program that engages students in different art forms. The program is focused on commonality and empathy through discussions around diversity, race-based discrimination and its harms. By encouraging bystanders to take action when they witness racism, students also learn to build confidence and resilience.
Finalist/Winner
Racism. it stops with me (RISWM) Finalist

Clinton Pryor

Clinton Pryor was motivated to walk across the country following the Government’s announcement that it would close many remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia including the town of Mulan, where Mr Pryor grew up. Clinton’s trans-continental walk created significant public interest in issues facing remote and regional communities that culminated in meetings with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
Finalist/Winner
Racism. it stops with me (RISWM) Finalist

Sean Gordon

Sean Gordon is an advocate for Aboriginal rights and committed to empowering Aboriginal communities on the NSW Central Coast and throughout Australia. As chair of the National Empowered Communities Leadership Group, Sean has helped link Indigenous-led projects around Australia and has also been active in the movement for constitutional recognition.
Finalist/Winner
Racism. it stops with me (RISWM) Finalist

Reconciliation South Australia and ActNow Theatre

Since 2014 Reconciliation South Australia and ActNow Theatre have developed and delivered interactive theatre programs for school students designed to help them to develop strategies to tackle racism. The program has engaged more than 1,200 students and 255 teachers from 171 schools.
Finalist/Winner
Racism. it stops with me (RISWM) Finalist

Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra and Why Documentaries

Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra and Why Documentaries produced a series of documentaries that bring to life authentic stories of friendships between people of different backgrounds living in the Illawarra region. These stories celebrate diversity and multiculturalism, as expressed through friendship and mateship.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Winner

The Messenger and They Cannot Take the Sky

Behind the Wire (with The Wheeler Centre and Allen & Unwin) The Messenger podcast and They Cannot Take the Sky: Stories from Detention share the personal stories of people who have been held in immigration detention or subject to third country processing in Nauru and Manus Island. They provide a compelling insight into the human impacts of Australia’s refugee policies.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Finalist

The Queen and Zak Grieve, The Australian

This investigation focused on the case of Zak Grieve, a young Aboriginal man who was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison for a murder he did not physically commit. The investigation highlighted the injustices resulting from the Northern Territory’s mandatory minimum sentencing provisions.
Finalist/Winner
Media award Finalist

Bina-gurri, ABC Radio National

Bina-gurri follows the story of Jody Barney, who specialises in interpreting Aboriginal sign languages and has worked extensively with deaf Aboriginal people in prison. The program shone a light on the barriers and challenges faced by deaf Aboriginal people in communicating with the legal system.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Winner

Allianz

Through a partnership with Settlement Services International, Allianz established an innovative Sustainable Employment Program aimed at building a diverse and inclusive workforce; creating employment opportunities and support for refugees and migrants.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Finalist

Kulbardi

Kulbardi is an Aboriginal-owned office and stationery supplies company, committed to giving back to the community and inspiring Aboriginal entrepreneurship. Kulbardi has established a fund that provides opportunities for disadvantaged members of the Indigenous community, particularly through employment and training.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Finalist

The Copy Collective

The Copy Collective is committed to workplace flexibility and dedicated to employing people with disabilities, people who are gender diverse and people who live in regional Australia. The company’s flexible work policy enables people to achieve economic independence and greater enjoyment of their rights.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Finalist

LexisNexis

LexisNexis provides resources to more than 180 community legal centres, supporting access to justice for more than 200,000 people from disadvantaged backgrounds. By updating the publication, Federal Discrimination Law, and making it available free online; it enables employers to better understand their human rights obligations.
Finalist/Winner
Business award Finalist

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC)

GOLDOC is recognised for its commitment to plan and deliver the next Commonwealth Games in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games has expressed its strong commitment to human rights through its Human Rights Policy as well as its Reconciliation Action Plan.
The Hon Peter McClellan AM QC and Chrissie Foster
Human rights medal Winner

The Hon Peter McClellan AM QC and Chrissie Foster

Justice McClellan led the five-year Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It was unprecedented in Australian history in terms of length, size or complexity and led to the Prime Minister’s National Apology to Victims and Survivors in October 2018. Justice McClellan demonstrated remarkable compassion and leadership in the conduct of these hearings. Chrissie Foster has long campaigned for justice for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. Two of Mrs Foster’s daughters were sexually abused by a Catholic priest - one has since passed away. With dignity, grace and strength, Mrs Foster and her family have publicly held institutions to account in the hope that history will not repeat itself.
Human rights medal Finalist

The Hon Peter McClellan AM QC and Chrissie Foster

Justice McClellan led the five-year Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It was unprecedented in Australian history in terms of length, size or complexity and led to the Prime Minister’s National Apology to Victims and Survivors in October 2018. Justice McClellan demonstrated remarkable compassion and leadership in the conduct of these hearings. Chrissie Foster has long campaigned for justice for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. Two of Mrs Foster’s daughters were sexually abused by a Catholic priest - one has since passed away. With dignity, grace and strength, Mrs Foster and her family have publicly held institutions to account in the hope that history will not repeat itself.
Image of tradie
Human rights medal Finalist

Dr Barri Phatarfod

Dr Phatarfod founded Doctors 4 Refugees five years ago, with the goal of helping asylum seekers and refugees access quality medical care, both on and offshore. Currently the membership is over 700 with more than 100 of these doctors including specialists actively reviewing the medical records and management of over 400 asylum seekers and refugees. Dr Phatarfod and her group challenged the Australian Border Force Act and its contentious Secrecy provisions, which were eventually removed. Dr Phatarfod was last year recognised by Amnesty as one of Australia’s top human rights defenders.
Rosalind Croucher, Saxon Mullins and Megan Mitchell
Young People's Award Winner

Saxon Mullins

Following a five-year criminal legal process consisting of two trials and two appeals with no final resolution, Saxon exhibited immense bravery in publicly sharing her story of sexual assault in order to promote debate around the need for legal reforms. Her advocacy triggered a review into NSW sexual assault laws to better protect victims and survivors of sexual assault and violence.
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

Catia Malaquias

Outside of her day-job as a lawyer, and as a parent of a child with disability, Catia is a committed advocate for people with disability and has an impressive record in promoting their human rights in Australia and internationally. In 2016 she co-founded All Means All - The Australian Alliance for Inclusive Education (AMA), developing strategies to help people with disability access education.
Community Award Winner

Australian Marriage Equality

Australian Marriage Equality has been championing the rights of LGBTI+ Australians since its genesis in 2004. More recently, AME was successful in building a movement that saw support for reform grow, empowered everyday Australian’s to engage in parliamentary processes, mobilised people all across the country to vote Yes and brought diverse organisations together to shape an Australia that is a fairer place for everyone.
Government award Winner

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation

The Commonwealth Games Corporation introduced a human rights policy for the Games held on the Gold Coast this year. The 2018 Games were the first major sporting event in Australia to include a Reconciliation Action Plan. Also making history this year, the Games were the largest integrated para-athlete program in the history of the Commonwealth Games.
Law award Winner

Professor Andrew Byrnes

Professor Andrew Byrnes is one of Australia’s leading human rights legal academics, and is currently Professor of Human Rights Law at UNSW. Andrew has had a distinguished career dedicated to advancing human rights in Australia and internationally, including campaigning for the abolition of the death penalty, as well as upholding the rights of older persons, people with disability and gender equality.
Racism. it stops with me (RISWM) Winner

Nyadol Nyuon

Nyadol Nyuon is a strong and effective advocate on behalf of the African-Australian community.  Nyadol has been prominent in media debates around race and on a range of human rights issues.  Most recently this has included responding to a wave of negative stereotyping and mis-representation of Melbourne’s South Sudanese community.
Media award Winner

NITV - Guilty of being stolen

This NITV investigation revealed that many children taken into state care — including Aboriginal children who were forcibly removed from their families — acquired a criminal record as a result. These ‘offences’ could count against them later in life, with potentially serious consequences. Following the investigation, the Victorian Government announced that it would seek to expunge these supposed ‘offences’.
Business award Winner

Konica Minolta Australia

Konica Minolta is recognised for its leadership on the issue of modern slavery. Through its Ethical Sourcing Roadmap and extensive advocacy and engagement, Konica Minolta prioritises contracts with ethical suppliers. The company has also implemented a domestic and family violence leave policy, a commitment to gender and diversity equality and continues to engage Indigenous suppliers.
Human rights medal Winner

Rosemary Kayess

Rosemary Kayess is a leading disability rights activist, academic, and lawyer. She contributed to drafting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and successfully lobbied for its ratification in Australia. She teaches international human rights law and publishes extensively on international human rights for people with disability. She is currently Vice Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Young People's Award Winner

Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts

Vanessa Turnbull Roberts is a proud Bundjalung woman, writer and leader. Vanessa is currently in her fifth year of Law and Social work at UNSW undertaking her thesis. Vanessa continues to dedicate her time to fighting against the injustices that disproportionately affect her community through community protest and leading at macro levels. Vanessa draws awareness to forced adoption legalisation and the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in Out Of Home Care and incarceration.
Tony Fitzgerald memorial community individual award Winner

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.
Community Award Winner

Just Reinvest NSW

Just Reinvest NSW works to reduce the number of Aboriginal people in prisons by supporting community-led justice reinvestment initiatives and advocating for systemic change to the criminal justice system. Community-led justice reinvestment initiatives support self-determination and capacity building through place-based and data driven solutions to the challenges facing many communities.
Government award Winner

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.
Law award Winner

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.
Racism. it stops with me (RISWM) Winner

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.
Media award Winner

ABC Investigation into Aged Care

This series of stories across ABC TV, Radio and Online, including two Four Corners programs, exposed widespread abuse, neglect and inhumane treatment of people living in aged care facilities. These revelations started a conversation about age and disability rights as the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was announced.
Business award Winner

STREAT

STREAT is a Melbourne-based social enterprise tackling youth homelessness and disadvantage by providing a supported pathways to employment or further study. STREAT runs 7 cafes, a coffee roastery, a bakery and events company which provide training and work experience for young people in need.  STREAT generates 80% of its own income through its businesses with the remaining 20% via grants, foundations and corporate support.
Addi Road
Human Rights Hero Finalist

Addi Road

Addi Road (Addison Road Community Organisation) is a not-for-profit in Sydney’s inner west that fights for social justice. Since the COVID-19 economic crisis hit, Addi Road has been operating an emergency Food Relief Hub to ensure international students, temporary visa holders and others with no access to social supports can access essential food items. Addi Road also provides boxes of groceries to hundreds of households across Sydney each week and operates two ‘Food Pantries’ for people on low incomes.  
Vivienne McKenzie, Regina McKenzie and Heather Stuart, Adnyamathanha women
Human Rights Hero Finalist

Vivienne McKenzie, Regina McKenzie and Heather Stuart, Adnyamathanha women

Vivienne, Regina and Heather fought a long battle to protect their community’s culture and oppose a nuclear waste facility being situated on their traditional lands in the Flinders Ranges. The Seven Sisters songline, one of the most significant creation tracks in Australia, runs near the site. In 2020 their tireless efforts succeeded, and a different site was selected. The women are now advocating to ensure Adnyamathanha people are consulted on matters related to their land during mining processes.  
Beverley Wright, Kindergarten Director
Human Rights Hero Finalist

Beverley Wright, Kindergarten Director – and all the teachers

Beverley’s kindergarten in Brisbane has a high percentage of culturally and linguistically diverse families. During the COVID-19 lockdown, Beverley delivered learning materials and resources door-to-door to the children, and also provided support and referral assistance to families struggling to access other services they needed. She went above and beyond for her community and the children in her care. The dedication and kindness shown by Beverley and educators like her across Australia makes them Human Rights Heroes.  
Zaki Haidari
Human Rights Hero Finalist

Zaki Haidari

Zaki Haidari is a refugee advocate from Afghanistan. After being targeted by the Taliban when he was 17-years-old, Zaki escaped to Australia. Just three years later, he won the NSW Government’s International Student of the Year Award in 2015. Despite being on a temporary protection visa himself, Zaki advocates for other refugees to be provided permanent protection visas in Australia, volunteering with the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS). He is currently running 500 kilometres to fundraise for other refugees to be able to access legal support.   
Yasseen Musa
Human Rights Hero Finalist

Yasseen Musa

Yasseen Musa is an Eritrean community leader, footy coach, and volunteers with Africause to help run the Flemington homework club. When the North Melbourne and Flemington public housing towers were placed in ‘hard lockdown’ in July, Yasseen was one of the first community leaders on the scene, helping to translate information for the residents and advocating for them to receive culturally appropriate services and meals. He made a huge difference to many residents in the towers during a very stressful time.   
Corey Tutt, Deadly Science
Human Rights Hero Finalist

Corey Tutt, Deadly Science

Kamilaroi man Corey Tutt is an Indigenous mentor and passionate STEM champion. He is the founder of DeadlyScience, an initiative that provides science books and equipment to schools in remote areas in Australia.  In 2020, DeadlyScience also provided books and resources to schools on the South Coast of NSW that had been destroyed in the bush fires. Corey Tutt is also the 2020 NSW Young Australian of the Year.  
Ben Bjarnesen
Human Rights Hero Finalist

Ben Bjarnesen

Ben became an advocate for improved services for LGBTQ victims and survivors of domestic violence (DV) after discovering the gap in services himself when he experienced abuse within a same-sex relationship. In May 2020, Ben founded the inaugural LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day which aims to bring a greater awareness of domestic violence and abuse in these communities. He was inducted into the inaugural Queensland Government Domestic & Family Violence Prevention Honour Roll this year.  
Sikh Volunteers Australia
Human Rights Hero Finalist

Sikh Volunteers Australia

Sikh Volunteers Australia started the year by expanding their service, which provides free meals to people experiencing homelessness in Melbourne, to travel hundreds of kilometres delivering free meals for bushfire-stricken communities in regional Victoria. Since the start of the COVID19 pandemic, they have also prepared and delivered 400 meals a day to people in need across Melbourne – totalling an astonishing 127,400 free meals (as of 26 November).  
Torres Strait 8
Human Rights Hero Finalist

The Torres Strait 8

The Torres Strait Islands are low-lying islands exposed to sea level rise impacts - they are among the most vulnerable regions to climate change in Australia. Increasing storms, heatwaves and erosion are threatening the Islanders way of life. A group of eight Torres Strait Islanders have taken a formal complaint against Australia to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations to protect their Indigenous heritage. The case is the first of its kind in the world.   
The NSW RFS Volunteers
Human Rights Hero Finalist

The NSW RFS Volunteers

In the summer of 2019/20, NSW experienced one of its most intense bush fire seasons on record. 25 people lost their lives, including 4 volunteer firefighters from the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS). RFS volunteers courageously battled the fires for months, working long hours in extremely dangerous conditions to keep us all safe. They saved many lives and homes. Their sacrifice, bravery and community spirit makes them human rights heroes.  
Prof Larissa Behrendt 2021
Human rights medal Winner

Professor Larissa Behrendt AO

Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt AO is a Eualeyai and Kamillaroi woman and the Director of Research at the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Professor Behrendt holds the UTS inaugural Chair in Indigenous Research. In 2018 she was made Distinguished Professor.  Her contribution to Indigenous education and research has been widely recognised.    
Chanel Contos 2021
Young People's Award Winner

Chanel Contos

Human rights are unknowingly being violated at scale in teen years. Chanel believes this type of sexual violence to be preventable with adequate consent education centred on equality. Chanel knew it wasn't just her who experienced this, and when she called for testimonies of similar experiences, over 6,000 emerged within weeks. This gained the attention of policy makers and politicians Australia wide. With the support and voices of thousands of Australians, Chanel campaigned for early and holistic consent education to be mandated in our schools, in a hope that sexual assault is no longer a norm for first sexual encounters.
Shaun Christie-David from Plate It Forward
Community Human Rights Champion Winner

PlateitForward 

PlateitForward launched in July 2020 as an immediate solution during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has evolved into long-term programs to support marginalised communities, and have proudly donated 120,000+ meals, delivered 6,500+ hours of training and employed 25 community members, provided 1,000+ donated Uber trips for newly arrived refugees to attend medical and vaccination appointments and seek housing, and rescued 15 tonnes of food destined for landfill. PlateItForward use the power of this hospitality to create a long-term connection that allows people to be connected with the wraparound services they need to have a more equal opportunity.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.