2018 Young Persons’ Human Rights Medal

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Photo: (top left to right) Madison Birtchnell, Scout Sylva-Richarson with her brother Jay (bottom left to right) Narayan Khanal, Saxon Mullins and Apajok Biar. Photo of Scout and Jay by Kruger Hot Images and the City of West Torrens.


Once again, the judging panel was overwhelmed by the stunning calibre of entries for the 2018 Young Persons’ Human Rights Medal.

“The diversity and dedication of young people is not only a great asset for Australia – it is also incredibly inspiring for people of all ages,” said Commission President, Rosalind Croucher.

“I have no doubt that each of these young people is not only making a remarkable impact on their communities, but that they will continue to do so throughout their lives and show others the value of human rights—everywhere, everyday.”

The finalists are:

Narayan Khanal
Born in a refugee camp in Nepal, Narayan and his Bhutanese family came to Australia on a humanitarian visa when he was 12 years old. Now studying at the University of Wollongong, Narayan has established the Multicultural Society of UOW in order to promote inclusiveness, diversity and acceptance through the exchange of stories, food and cultural beliefs.

Madison Birtchnell
Madison is a passionate young advocate for human rights and freedoms particularly gender equality and the rights of people with a disability. Madison holds multiple community-based volunteer roles in Queensland and this year she held a series of events to raise awareness about mental health issues in young people. Madison also champions equal access to public spaces in her community for people with a disability.

Saxon Mullins
Following a five-year criminal legal process consisting of two trials and two appeals with no final resolution, Saxon exhibited immense bravery in publicly sharing her story of sexual assault in order to promote debate around the need for legal reforms. Her advocacy triggered a review into NSW sexual assault laws to better protect victims and survivors of sexual assault and violence.

Scout Sylva-Richardson
13 year old Scout has an autistic 11 year old brother, Jay. Scout created a resource for schools, siblings and families explaining what autism is and understanding how best to engage and understand people with spectrum disorders. The book is written through the eyes of her brother Jay and has been distributed to schools, libraries and community organisations in South Australia.

Apajok Biar
African refugee Apajok has experienced racial abuse first-hand. At 19, she established the South Sudan Voices of Salvation Inc. and is committed to giving refugees a voice and changing the negative perception some parts of the media and community have towards refugees, particularly those from Africa. Apajok is not only a multicultural ambassador and advisor, but has also represented Australia and the UN High Commission for Refugees in Geneva.



Join us at the 2018 Human Rights Awards!

Tickets on sale now at https://hrawards.humanrights.gov.au/tickets