Good morning distinguished guests and forum participants. I speak today on behalf of the National Race Discrimination Commissioner who sends his apologies for not being able to attend in person today. Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you today about the issues that shape the work of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC). Before commencing I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the country were we meet today.
Australians who are deaf will get captioned news and current affairs and prime-time television programs under broadcasting legislation changes that took effect from January 1.
Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, today announced a partnership project between the Australian Human Rights Commission and Marrickville Council in NSW designed to improve access to buildings in the council area for people with a disability.
Let me begin by acknowledging the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, the traditional owners of the land on which we are now gathered. I pay my respects to your elders, past and present, and all the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and men who work tirelessly to eliminate violence against women.
For those of you unfamiliar with Australia’s Human Rights Commission, it’s an independent government body that protects and promotes human rights. My role as Human Rights Commissioner is to check that human rights in Australia are being respected including the human rights of children and young people.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward was today granted leave to appear as amicus curiae (or "friend of the court") in the case of Ferneley v Boxing Authority of NSW & State of NSW.
The $200 million injection into Indigenous health in the Federal Budget builds on the Government’s unprecedented commitments over the past year, but significant investment is still needed to ensure the government stays on target to Close the Gap, Chair of the Campaign Steering Committee, Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma said today.
I would also like to extend a particular welcome to Ged Kearny, the incoming president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions – I look forward to working closely with you in coming months. I would also like to acknowledge Neil Morris who is representing the Vice Chancellor today and thank you for your welcome. Thank you also to Steve Turner the Assistant Branch Secretary of the CPSU, Maria Cirillo from the Public Service Association and the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse for the invitation to be here this afternoon.
Firstly I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we stand and by so doing remind ourselves that Australia's cultural traditions stretch back many thousands of years and express our aspirations for Australians of the future to be socially just and inclusive.
There has been much discussion in the media recently regarding a Federal Court Decision, Marsden and Coffs Harbour & District Ex-Servicemen & Women's Memorial Club, and whether addiction is a disability.
A second round of partnership funding is now available for groups wanting to build relationships and improve trust between Muslim communities and local police, national Race Discrimination Commissioner Tom Calma said today. Partnership funding of up to $10,000 is available to those projects which are approved by the Steering Committee, the membership of which is made up of a balance of police and community leaders.
I hope you’re all enjoying your hot breakfasts and are extremely grateful for them. For a couple of reasons: First- you didn’t have to cook them yourself, or, to be more precise, wash up all the dirty frying pans yourself. This is because you are working and you don’t have time to cook hot breakfasts for a particularly fussy group of consumers, your family.
Although the first Human Rights Commission was established by federal legislation in 1981, ICESCR was not added to its mandate (unlike the ICCPR). The omission was repeated when the new (current) Commission was established in 1986.
"Our work in human rights education and promotion and the investigation and conciliation of complaints of discrimination and human rights breaches will continue to be a priority."
The Australian Human Rights Commission congratulates Professor Ron McCallum AO, who has been elected as one of 12 experts to the first monitoring committee for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
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