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2005 Human Rights Medal and Awards - Winners list

Commission Commission – General

9 December 2005

2005 Human Rights Medal and Awards - Winners list

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) President John von Doussa QC delivered his annual Human Rights Day address at a luncheon ceremony in Sydney today where the winners of the 2005 Human Rights Medal and Awards were announced.

A field of quality entries in the seven categories (Law, Community, Arts Non-Fiction, Print Media, Television, Radio and the Human Rights Medal) showcased the tireless work undertaken by a range of individuals and organisations in the field of disability and Indigenous rights, race discrimination, refugees and asylum seekers, gay rights, legal advocacy, young people, migration, law reform, rights for sex workers, child abuse and a range of community work.

The prestigious 2005 Human Rights Medal was awarded to 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.

The Law Award (sponsored by the Law Council of Australia) was won by 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.

The Community (Individual) Award was won by committed human rights activist 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. Chilout (Children out of Detention) won the Community (Organisations) 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. The Community Award category was sponsored by SBS Radio.

In the Arts Non-Fiction Award category, the winner was Associate Professor Christopher Newell and Dr Gerard Goggin'sDisability 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.

The Television Award went to Margot O'Neill, Tom Iggulden, Hamish Fitzsimmons, Lisa Millar and Tony Jones from ABC TV's Lateline program for Vivian Solon. ABC TV's 4 Corners ' Out of Mind' by Matthew Carney and Peter Cronau, and 'The Pilot's Funeral' by ABC TV's Trevor Graham, Rose Hesp and Denise Haslem were highly commended.

Andra Jackson from The Age won the Print Media Award for Mystery Detained Woman an 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.

The Radio Award was won by Cath Dwyer from ABC Radio National's Street Stories program for Locked in with Friends. Coming Home by Liz Keen, broadcast on ABC Radio National's Street Stories program and When Time Stood Still by Sharon Davis, Geoff Parish and Phillip Ulman, broadcast on ABC Radio National's Radio Eye program were highly commended.

Full details on the winners and highly commended in each Award category and the Human Rights Day address by HREOC President John von Doussa QC can be found at: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/hr_awards/

 Media contact: Paul Oliver (02) 9284 9880 or 0408 469 347

9 December 2005