7 December 2006

Exploration of life of Indigenous leader wins Human Rights Arts Non-Fiction Award

A book about Indigenous leader Rob Riley who dedicated his life to the struggle for justice for Indigenous people has won the 2006 Human Rights Arts Non Fiction Award.

Rob Riley: An Aboriginal Leaders Quest for Justice, by Quentin Beresford, charts the journey for justice of a man who did much to confront two of Australia"s most complex contemporary issues - the position of Indigenous Australians and refugees.

Known for his humility, clarity, sense of humour, capacity for friendship and above all for his courage, Rob Riley"s life as portrayed in the book is described by the judging panel as "very moving" and one needed by the Australian community at this time.

The book focuses on racism and social inequality and explores the way Rob Riley worked both within and outside government to raise and fight for key issues for Indigenous people.

Rob Riley: An Aboriginal Leaders Quest for Justice, not only tells a story but also makes an enormous contribution to identifying issues which have up until now been largely ignored or not seen by society as important human rights issues.

The judges also highly commended the entry, No Country is an Island: Australia and International Law, by Professor Hilary Charlesworth, Madelaine Chiam, Devika Hovell and Professor George Williams.

Examining the chequered history of international legal norms in Australia, the book contrasts Australia"s enthusiasm for international trade agreements with its general wariness towards international human rights frameworks. An analytical book oriented towards policy outcomes, the judges described it as one "our political leaders could read and learn from".

The prestigious Human Rights Medal was also presented at the ceremony, along with awards for Law (sponsored by the Law Council of Australia), Community, Print Media, Television and Radio. For full details: www.humanrights.gov.au/hr_awards/

Media contact: Louise McDermott 02 9284 9851 or 0419 258 597




Last updated March 27, 2009