Human Rights Medal
Sister Clare Condon
Sister Clare Condon is the Congregational Leader of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict. Sister Clare has been with the Sisters of the Good Samaritan for about 40 years. Under her leadership, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan have helped provide emergency housing for women and children experiencing domestic violence and have strongly supported self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Near Alice Springs, the Sisters work and live at Santa Teresa (Ltyentye Apurte), which is home to about 600 Aboriginal people. The Sisters work with local women on an Aboriginal painting and silk venture. This provides some income for the women and according to the local health centre makes a “significant contribution to the health, mental and emotional well-being of people in the community”. Sister Clare’s ability to make a difference is underpinned by her capacity to keep her eye on the big picture. She is never afraid to take her message directly to Government, relentlessly lobbying politicians to help those in need.
Young People’s Human Rights Medal (sponsored by Department of Social Services)
Mariah Kennedy is a Young Ambassador for UNICEF and the author of the children’s book, Reaching Out, Messages of Hope. At just 16 years of age, Mariah approached some of Australia’s best loved children’s authors and illustrators for contributions to the book, which addresses social justice issues such as child labour, refugee rights and global poverty. In June 2013, Mariah’s extraordinary anthology was published by Harper Collins with all proceeds going to UNICEF. Mariah compiled this book with the aim that other young Australians like herself will read the stories and become human rights advocates.
Law Award (sponsored by the Law Council of Australia)
Professor Andrea Durbach
Professor Andrea Durbach is a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales, and Director of the Human Rights Law Centre. Prior to joining UNSW, she spent 13 years at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and was the director of PIAC for the majority of that time. At PIAC, Associate Professor Durbach established the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service and led the establishment of the Public Interest Law Clearing House. At PIAC, Professor Durbach also led important work to promote justice for members of the Stolen Generations and initiated a number of significant human rights cases in relation to disability discrimination and sex discrimination. Before coming to Australia, Professor Durbach, represented 25 black defendants in the notorious Upington death penalty case in South Africa. Professor Durbach has had an extraordinary career underpinned by using the law to advance human rights. Through her public interest litigation, legislative interventions, submissions to inquiries, positions on boards and teaching and writing she has taken action to overcome infringements of human rights wherever possible.
Business Award (sponsored by Audrey Page & Associates)
Freedom Housing allows people with disabilities and their families to live under the same roof in homes that are privately-owned or leased. Freedom Housing operates in line with the rights and values espoused in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Community Individual Award – Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Award (sponsored by iHR Australia)
Carolyn Frohmader has made a significant contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights for women and girls with disabilities. As executive director of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), Carolyn is a strong voice for gender equality and an advocate for the prevention of violence against women and girls with disabilities. She has increased awareness of issues of injustice for women and girls with disabilities and worked tirelessly to counter discrimination on the basis of gender and disability.
Community Award – Organisation
National Centre of Indigenous Excellence
The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence provides a safe and innovative space for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to participate in life-changing programs and pursue opportunities.
Dying for a Chat by Dr Ranjana Srivastava (Penguin, April 2013)
Thanks to the stunning advances of modern medicine, life for many Australians is prolonged at all costs. But as the case of 90-year-old Mrs. Johnson shows, these life-saving measures can cause harm and suffering when used inappropriately.
Print and Online Media Award (sponsored by Deadly Vibe Group)
Debra Jopson, The Global Mail – ‘Rock art at risk’
This series of articles investigates the demise of rock art sites across the nation. As a result of the articles, the NSW government took action to protect two rock art sites in the Blue Mountains.
Carol Dowling, The State of Our Children’s Hearing, Noongar Radio
This 30-part series highlights the prevalence of ear disease among Noongar communities in Western Australia. The documentary raises awareness and empowers listeners by including the voices of local Noongar people affected by ear disease.
Naomi Chainey, Elvira Alic and Phineas Meere, No Limits (season 12), C31 Community TV
No Limits is a disability-focussed program that engages with current news and issues by hosting panel discussions, commentary and comedy. It has had a strong positive effect in giving people with disability a voice in the media as well as some creative control over their representation.