Skip to main content

Glossary - Annual Report 2009-2010: Australian Human Rights Commission



The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority is the independent authority responsible for the development of a national curriculum, a national assessment program and a national data collection and reporting program.
Age Discrimination Act 2004
Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986
Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions

– A member-based organisation that supports the establishment and strengthening of independent human rights institutions in the Asia-Pacific region.

Australian Public Service
Australian Subscription Television Association
Australian Securities Exchange
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission
Australian Agency for International Development
Action Plan
A voluntary mechanism for organisations to structure their own compliance efforts.
Amicus curiae
‘Friend of the court’

– The role of an amicus curiae is to provide special assistance to the court in resolving issues raised by the case and to draw attention to aspects of the case that might otherwise have been overlooked.


A tactile form of reading and writing used by people who are blind or vision impaired, invented by Louis Braille in 1829.
Building Code of Australia
Developed by the Australian Building Codes Board on behalf of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) provides a nationally accepted and uniform set of technical requirements for all areas of building, from design to construction


Commonwealth Disability Strategy
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
Council of Australian Governments
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
Commission, the
The Australian Human Rights Commission
Consultancy contract
A contract that typically defines the nature, purpose and duration of the task to be performed, but not (in any detail) the manner in which the task is to be performed by a consultant. The consultant is usually paid on completion of milestones or in a lump sum.
Consultancy service
A particular type of service delivered under a contract for services, distinguished from other contracts by the nature of the work performed. Consultancy services involve the application of expert professional skills to: investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem, carry out defined research, reviews or evaluations; or provide independent advice, information or creative solutions to assist the agency in management decision making.
An entity (whether an individual, a partnership or a corporation) engaged to provide professional independent and expert advice or services. Consultants are not employees of the department and are not paid wages or other employee entitlements.
Corporate Social Responsibility
The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility is generally understood to mean that corporations have a degree of responsibility not only for the economic consequences of their activities, but also for the social and environmental implications. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘triple bottom line’ approach that considers the economic, social and environmental aspects of corporate activity.


Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Disabled People’s Organisations


Executive Level
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Expert Mechanism
Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

– Composed of five experts (from Congo, Malaysia, Norway, Costa Rica and the Philippines), the Expert Mechanism provides thematic expertise on the rights of indigenous peoples to the Human Rights Council, the main human rights body of the United Nations.


Department of Families, Housing, Community Service and Indigenous Affairs
Fair Work Australia
Fair Work Australia is the national workplace relations tribunal. It is an independent body with power to carry out a range of functions relating to the safety net of minimum wages and employment conditions; enterprise bargaining; industrial action; dispute resolution; termination of employment; and other workplace matters.


Goods and Services Tax
General Assembly
The United Nations General Assembly

– One of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation. Its powers are to oversee the budget of the United Nations, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, receive reports from other parts of the United Nations and make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions.


Human Rights Technical Cooperation Program
In August 1997, China and Australia initiated a high level dialogue on human rights during the course of which it was agreed that the two countries would undertake a program of technical cooperation. The goal of the Program is to strengthen the administration, promotion and protection of human rights in China.


International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

– A multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from March 23, 1976, which commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial.

Indigenous Human Rights Network Australia
International Labour Organization

– The world’s only tripartite multilateral agency, which is dedicated to bringing decent work and livelihoods, job-related security and better living standards to the people of both poor and rich countries.

Indigenous Peoples Organisations Network of Australia

– An association of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations promoting and protecting the human rights of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.


A designation for the sum of primary and secondary education. The expression is a shortening of Kindergarten (4-6-year-old) through 12th grade or grade 12 (16-19 years old), the first and last grades of free education in the United States, Australia and English Canada.


Language Other Than English


National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee
National Disability Insurance Scheme
National Employment Standard
Non Government Organisation

– A legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term is usually applied only to organisations that pursue some wider social aim that has political aspects.

National Human Rights Institution
Northern Territory
Northern territory Emergency Response
National Action Plan
National Action Plan to Build on Social Cohesion, Harmony and Security
National Disability Insurance Scheme
A federally funded, non means tested scheme that will offer financial cover for services including for respite care, vehicle modification, accommodation support, therapies and prosthetics
National Plan
National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women
Native title
A pre-existing property interest, held communally or individually by Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders, which is capable of being recognised by Australia’s common law. Native title can exist over land and waters where Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders maintain traditional laws and customs that give them a connection to the specified area. Native title rights are not granted by governments or courts. Native title is not an underlying title but rather a bundle of rights that can be extinguished by inconsistent acts of government.


Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

– An international agreement which establishes a two-tiered system of inspections of places of detention, with the aim of preventing torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Functions, services and processes performed in pursuing the objectives or discharging the functions of an agency.
The results, impacts or consequence of actions by the Commission on the Australian community.
The goods or services produced by agencies on behalf of government for external organisations or individuals. Outputs include goods and services produced for other areas of government external to an agency.


Pacific Disability Forum
The peak non-government organisation in the Pacific representing Pacific Islanders with disabilities, their rights and entitlements. Its purpose is to promote and facilitate Pacific regional cooperation on disability-related concerns for the benefit of people with disabilities.
Permanent Forum
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

– An advisory body to the United Nations Economic and Social Council with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.


Reconciliation Action Plan

– A self-generated plan that helps organisations build positive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, through engagement within their sphere of influence, in the national effort to close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and other Australians.

Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology


Sex Discrimination Act 1984
Senior Executive Service
Short message service

– text messaging on a mobile telephone.

Service charter
Public statements about the service that a department or agency will provide.
Special Rapporteur
A title given to individuals working on behalf of the United Nations who bear a specific mandate from the UN Human Rights Council to investigate, monitor and recommend solutions to human rights problems. This appointment in made by the UN Secretary General.


Text Telephone

– A special device that lets people who are deaf, hearing impaired, or speech-impaired use the telephone to communicate, by allowing them to type messages back and forth to one another, instead of talking and listening.


The United Nations
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

– Established on 16 November 1945 and based in Paris, UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations which has 193 Member States and seven Associate Members. Its stated mission is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. UNESCO’s two global priorities are Africa and gender equality.

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

– An advisory body to the Economic and Social Council, with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.

Universal Periodic Review

– A State-driven process under the auspices of the Human Rights Council which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years. It provides the opportunity for each State to declare the actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Adopted unanimously by the members of the United Nations on 10 December 1948, it is the foundation on which much international law has been based. It sets out the fundamental rights of all people, including the right to life; freedom from slavery, torture and arbitrary arrest; freedom of thought, opinion and religion; the right to a fair trial and equality before the law; the right to work and education; and the right to participate in the social, political and cultural life of one’s country.


Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Workplace diversity
The central principle of workplace diversity is the creation of workplaces free from discrimination, harassment and bullying.