Wednesday 23 March 2016


Close the Gap Campaign celebrates 10 years

Dr Raymond Blackman, Close the Gap 2016 Campaign

Australians across the country last week celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Close the Gap Campaign, participating in more than 1,600 community and corporate events.

Campaign Co-Chairs Dr Jackie Huggins and Mick Gooda said the groundswell of support on National Close the Gap Day sends a strong message to governments to recommit to closing the gap.

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Changes to Safe Schools program: keep children in mind

National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence

The Australian Human Rights Commission has welcomed reasonable adjustments to the Safe Schools program but urged careful consideration of the needs of children.

“We would support measures to improve and enhance the resources, and to ensure the age-appropriateness of materials for children and young people.

“However, there does need to be careful consideration of the impact of the Government’s proposed parental consent measures on children struggling with sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status,” said National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell.

Speaking on National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence, Commissioner Mitchell said all children have the right to be respected, safe and free from violence, harassment and bullying.

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Anti-racism focus for Harmony Day events

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane

For Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, Harmony Day on 21 March is an opportunity to take a stand against racism wherever we encounter it.

Speaking at a Commonwealth Bank of Australia event, Dr Soutphommasane noted that 21 March 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

“Although the majority of Australians welcome multiculturalism and reject racism, there’s still work to do,” Dr Soutphommasane said.

On 22 March, South Australian Parliamentarians acknowledged Harmony Day by pledging its support for the Commission’s Racism. It Stops With Me campaign.

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Pride in Sport supports LGBTI players and fans

Ian Thorpe, Pride in Sport

Six major Australian sporting codes have agreed to an initiative designed to measure and improve support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

The Pride in Sport Index  (PSI) – endorsed by the Australian Human Rights Commission – will be used by the Australian Rugby Union, National Rugby League, Australian Football League, Football Federation of Australia, Cricket Australia and Water Polo Australia.

The index will regularly measure how sporting codes support their LGBTI players, staff, spectators and supporters.

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Commissioner appears before surrogacy inquiry

Pregnant woman

National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell has appeared before a parliamentary inquiry into the regulatory and legislative aspects of international and domestic surrogacy arrangements

Commissioner Mitchell told the inquiry that the regulatory regime dealing with surrogacy must be consistent with human rights, making a number of recommendations to government.

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What happens when the Commission conciliates a complaint?

Each year the Commission undertakes roughly 1500 conciliations, and it’s a key function of the organisation

Conciliation is not like a public hearing before a court or tribunal. Those involved are not required to prove or disprove the allegations and the Commission does not make a decision about whether discrimination has occurred.

So what happens when the Commission conciliates a complaint?

Work at the Commission

The Commonwealth Attorney-General is seeking expressions of interest for the statutory positions of Age Discrimination Commissioner, Disability Discrimination Commissioner, and Human Rights Commissioner.

The Australian Human Rights Commission is also seeking a Communications Assistant, and Project Officers/Senior Project Officers.

Further details are on the Commission website.

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