President Gillian Triggs has announced the finalists for the 2015 Young People’s Human Rights Medal.
“It is testimony to the critical role that young people play in human rights that each year the number of nominees for the Young People’s Medal continues to grow.
“In schools, universities, and right across Australia young people are making a difference on issues ranging from racism and LGBTIQ discrimination to indigenous affairs and mental health,” said Professor Triggs.
The Young People's Human Rights Medal is sponsored by Colin Biggers & Paisley.
This year’s finalists are:
- Justice King (QLD)
Justice King (17) is a young Aboriginal Australian woman from Mt Isa. Justice has made an outstanding contribution to human rights by speaking out about youth mental health issues.
Justice has written about her experiences with depression and produced the innovative “Raise your Cards” campaign that encourages the sharing of stories by survivors of mental illness.
- Drisana Levitzke-Gray (WA)
Drisana (22) is a committed advocate for the rights of the Deaf community. She has campaigned for the rights of deaf children and their families to access Auslan.
Drisana has worked hard to change community attitudes and to change the sense of isolation felt by many Deaf children. Drisana has been recognised as the 2015 Young Australian of the Year.
- Prudence Melom (QLD)
Prudence (20) is a hardworking advocate focused on racial equality. She has helped to create E-Raced, a series of workshops held in small towns that are about erasing racism through storytelling.
Prudence has used the story of the struggle of her family while escaping conflict in her home country of Chad to promote harmony and respect in regional Australia.
- Yen Eriksen (ACT)
Yen (23) is an exceptional campaigner on LGBTIQ issues. She has fought for safety and respect for LGBTIQ students and influenced change through her role on the ACT Government Ministerial Council for LGBTIQ.
She has fostered inclusion for vulnerable members of the LGBTIQ community through founding a radio show for LGBTIQ women and a gender inclusive roller derby league.
- Adam Schwartz (NSW)
Adam (24) has been selected to recognise his work destigmatising depression and providing counsel to young people and their families. He has done this through bravely speaking out about his experiences with depression in his book, ‘Mum, I Wish I Were Dead’.
At the age of 10, Adam began periods of school refusal, endless trials with unsuccessful drug regimes and contemplation of suicide.
The Human Rights Awards will be held 12-3 pm on Thursday December 10 at the Westin Hotel in Sydney.
The event will feature an address by President Gillian Triggs on ‘The Future of Human Rights in Australia’.
Tickets and further information are available here Human Rights Awards tickets