Saturday 16 March 2019

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Empowering children with disabilities

President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM

The President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM has addressed the 40th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Professor Croucher joined the panel discussion “How children with disabilities can be empowered by realizing their rights, including the right to education”. 

Professor Croucher said the AHRC welcomes the Australian Government’s commitment to ensuring an inclusive high-quality education system as part of the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020. 

“In 2017, 18.8% of students received support to enable them to participate in education on the same basis as other students. 

“However, the Commission is concerned about the use of restrictive practices including the inconsistent, unregulated and unmonitored use of seclusion and restraint against students with disability in schools. 

“Changing attitudes and culture across school communities and providing better support for teachers is critical to ending these practices and enabling inclusive education,” Professor Croucher said.

You can see the full panel discussion here  


Golf and equal opportunity

Céline Boutier, winner of the 2019 Vic Open. The Vic Open is one of the leading Australian golf events where men and women play on the same courses, at the same time, for equal prize money. Image courtesy of Golf Australia, and reproduced here with Ms Bou

The Australian Human Rights Commission has helped develop new guidelines for Australian golf clubs to help stop sex discrimination and increase female participation in the sport.

The Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins said the Guidelines for the promotion of equal opportunity for women and girls in golf will help clubs attract women and girls to the game and provide clear information about what discrimination is and practical tools to guide clubs on fair play.

“This is an opportunity for clubs to revisit their policies and practices to make sure they are complying with the Sex Discrimination Act, and meeting reasonable community and legal expectations of equality and fairness,” said Commissioner Jenkins.

Golf Australia CEO, Stephen Pitt everyone who loves golf should be excited about this latest step to deliver a friendly experience for all golfers, regardless of their sex.

”Empowering Australian golf clubs to ensure they meet their legal obligations and are gender inclusive is a hallmark of Golf Australia’s ‘Vision 2025: The Future of Women & Girls in Golf’ strategy. Supporting clubs to follow the guidance of the Commission will help to further develop the inclusive nature of our sport,” he said.


Australia and Vietnam Partner on Human Rights Education

Human Rights Education

The Commission has entered in to a three-year partnership with the Ho Chi Minh Academy of Politics to roll out human rights education training and materials throughout schools and universities in Vietnam. 

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed after the Commission President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher hosted a roundtable discussion with a delegation from the Academy, led by Academy President Professor Dr Nguyen Xuan Thang and a number of Australian experts.

“Human rights education is a vehicle for fostering strong human rights values in our community and creating a more equal, respectful and inclusive society,” said Professor Croucher.

Under the Human Rights Education Partnership, the Commission will assist the Academy in its mandate to build the capacity of relevant Vietnamese government agencies and educational institutions to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights through education.

Find out more about the partnership here

Stage Two funding welcomed for Wiyi Yani U Thangani

Womens Voices artwork by WeAre27

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO has welcomed the announcement of new funding for the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project.

Commissioner Oscar said Stage Two of the project will build on the success of the national conversation with First Nations women and girls.

“During 2018, we had the privilege of meeting with 2,294 women and girls in 50 locations across the country,to hear about their strengths, challenges and ideas for change.

“We want to build on the existing strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls, so that they can work with their communities to lead and negotiate community-led solutions in partnership with government and non-government partners.

Image - the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women's Voices) artwork by We are 27 Creative, depicts the journey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls and their rights to security and success. 


National Principles for Child Safe Organisations

A teacher standing in the middle with kids by her side, jumping up in the air

The Australian Human Rights Commission has welcomed the confirmation from the Prime Minister that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has endorsed National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

"These Principles form a national benchmark for organisations working with children and young people across sectors and the country to develop and maintain a child safe culture.

“They were developed in consultation with national sector peak bodies, national advocacy and research organisations, Commonwealth, state and territory governments, and with children and young people themselves,” said National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell.

To support organisations to implement the National Principles, the Australian Human Rights Commission has developed practical tools and resources, which, along with the National Principles, are available at


National Close the Gap day

Our Health, Our Voice, Our Choice. Close The Gap

National Close the Gap Day, on March 21 is a time for all Australians to come together and commit to achieving health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
This year, the Close the Gap Campaign is partnering with Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation – Aboriginal Medical Service, in South Western Sydney to host an exciting community event and launch our annual report.
Go to the ANTaR website for more information, to register your support and to get your own ideas about hosting your own Close the Gap event.


Call out to Centenarians to be part of portrait exhibition

A lady painting a portrait of an old man.

After the success of the Centenarian Portrait Project by Teenagers in Sydney last year, the exhibition is heading to Brisbane.

Local residents 100 years or over are being invited to get their portrait painted or drawn by a local teenage artist, and be part of an exhibition in August.

The Age Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Kay Patterson said the project, being supported by the Australian Human Rights Commission, is helping to break down intergenerational boundaries.

If you know someone who might be interested in being involved, please contact Embraced Inc via or 0430 319 561


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For the latest media releases, speeches, opinion pieces, go to the media centre on the Commission’s website and for events go to our Events list.