Tuesday 17 March 2015 to Friday 19 February 2016

The Human Rights Commissioner is conducting a national consultation about how well we currently protect people’s rights and freedoms in Australia. The consultation will focus on what each of us can contribute to achieve better protection of rights and freedoms, and to build an understanding of the responsibilities that come with this.

A particular focus of the consultation will be on building a culture of respect for rights and responsibilities among the Australian community. The consultation is interested in learning about initiatives at the local and community level that advance rights and freedoms, and the responsible exercise of these. This might be through developing voluntary codes of conduct and practice, service provision, sporting events or other community-based education activities.

The consultation will focus discussions on some of the key rights and freedoms that have traditionally underpinned our liberal democracy in Australia. These include:

  • the right to freedom of opinion and expression
  • the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religious worship
  • the right to freedom of association
  • property rights.



The Australian Human Rights Commission would like to invite you to the launch of the Rights & Responsibilities Consultation Report by the Human Rights Commissioner, Tim Wilson.

When: Monday 30 March 2015: 11.00am – 12.00pm.
Where: Australian Human Rights Commission, Level 3, 175 Pitt St Sydney.
RSVP: by Friday 27 March 2015 - Click here to register .

Rights & Responsibilities Consultation Report


Rights & Responsibilities 2014 Discussion Paper



Information from the consultation will inform a public report that will identify the key issues raised during the consultation process, identify best practice initiatives to promote human rights and freedoms, and set out recommendations for further advancing the protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms in Australia.


How to participate in Rights & Responsibilities 2014?

Consultations will be held across Australia between August and December 2014.


  • Hosted by the Law Council of Australia, the first public event was held in Adelaide at 4:30pm on Tuesday 2 September 2014 at the Radford Auditorium at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Alice Springs

  • The public event in Alice Springs was held by the Centre for Appropriate Technology at 11am – 12:30pm on Tuesday 23 September 2014 at the Centre for Appropriate Technology Conference Room, Heath Road, Alice Springs.


  • The public event in Darwin was held by the Law Society Northern Territory at 11am – 1pm on Thursday 25 September 2014 at the Signatures Room, Hilton Hotel Darwin, 32 Mitchell Street, Darwin.


  • The public event in Canberra was held by the ACT Human Rights & Discrimination Commissioner at 5pm  - 6.30pm on Wednesday 1 October 2014 at the Community Legal Centre Hub, 21 Barry Drive, Turner , ACT 2612.


  • The public event in Perth was hosted by King & Wood Mallesons at 5pm  - 6.30pm on Tuesday 14 October 2014 at the King & Wood Mallesons Boardroom, Level 30, QV.1 Building, 250 St Georges Terrace, Perth.


  • The public event in Cairns was hosted by the Cairns Regional Council at 5:30pm - 6:30pm on Monday 27 October 2014 at the Council Reception Rooms, 119 - 145 Spence Street, Cairns , QLD 4870.

Charters Towers

  • The public event in Charters Towers was hosted by the Charters Towers Regional Council and the Charters Towers Neighbourhood Centre at 1pm - 3pm on Wednesday 29 October 2014. The venue was the Excelsior Library, 130 Gill Street, Charters Towers, QLD 4820.


  • The public event in Brisbane was hosted by Allens Linklaters at 12noon - 2pm on Wednesday 12 November 2014. The venue was Allens Linklaters Riverside Centre, Level 31, 123 Eagle Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000.


  • The public event in Sydney was hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies at 6pm  - 7.30pm on Wednesday 19 November 2014. The venue is the Centre for Independent Studies, Level 4, 38 Oxley St, St Leonards, Sydney 2065.

Singleton NSW

  • The public event in Singleton NSW was hosted by the Singleton Council at 5pm - 6.30pm on Thursday 20 November 2014. The venue is the Library Meeting Room, Singleton Public Library, 8-10 Queen St, Singleton NSW.


  • The public event in Hobart was held at the office of the National Disability Services at 3:30pm-5pm on Monday 24 November 2014. The address is 1/160 Collins Street, Hobart, TAS 7000.

Lorne VIC

  • The public event in Lorne VIC was hosted by the Lorne Historical Society at 5pm-6:30pm on Tuesday 25 November 2014. The venue is the Lorne Bowls Club, 35 Mountjoy Parade, Lorne, VIC 3232.


  • The public event in Melbourne was hosted by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission at 5:30pm-7:00pm on Wednesday 26 November 2014. The venue is the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, Level 3, 204 Lygon Street, Carlton VIC 3053.

Survey and Submissions - now closed

The closing date for written submissions and completion of the online survey for Rights & Responsibilities 2014 was Friday 14 November 2014.

Individuals and organisations were invited to participate in an on-line survey.


Clarification: Australian Law Reform Commission

Please note that this consultation is separate from the inquiry by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) about ‘traditional rights freedoms and privileges’ in Commonwealth laws. For information about the ALRC’s inquiry, go to