Pat Anderson AO wins 2016 Human Rights Medal

Date: 
Friday 9 December 2016

Pat Anderson AO, a tireless advocate for the rights and welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, has won the prestigious 2016 Human Rights Medal. 

As Chair of the Lowitja Institute and co-chair of the Prime Minister's Referendum Council, Pat Anderson has made an exceptional contribution to advancing the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly in regards to education, health, early childhood development, and violence against women and children. 

Growing up in Parap camp in Darwin, she was acutely aware from a very young age of the extreme forms of discrimination and racism experienced by Aboriginal people.

“Pat Anderson has a great love for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and is greatly loved and respected by them,” said President of the Human Rights Commission Professor Gillian Triggs.

“Over the years, she has used her skills to drive better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with her sharp strategic mind, a great warmth and sense of humour.

“She is sister, grandmother and aunty to many members of her community. Throughout her career she has been driven by the desire to celebrate success and help nurture the possibility of fulfilment in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

In congratulating Ms Anderson, Professor Triggs commended her work with the Lowitja Institute, an innovative research body facilitating collaborative, evidence-based research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

“Pat Anderson has played a leading national role in building collaborative relationships between researchers, Aboriginal communities and health service providers.”

Professor Triggs also congratulated the winners of the seven other Human Rights Awards, among them Arash Bordbar, a refugee from Iran who won the Young People’s Human Rights Medal for his work on asylum seeker issues.

“Today we honour individuals, businesses and organisations from across Australia who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to advancing human rights,” Professor Triggs said.

“I would like to acknowledge all those who were nominated for awards and who have taken the time to attend today’s awards.”

The 2016 Human Rights Awards winners are as follows:

  • Human Rights Medal: Pat Anderson AO
    Pat Anderson is an Alyawarre woman and advocate for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly in regards to education, health, early childhood development, and violence against women and children.
     
  • Young People’s Human Rights Medal: Arash Bordbar
    Since arriving in Australia as a refugee, Arash Bordbar has volunteered for a number of local and international organisations on asylum seeker issues.
     
  • Media Award: Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Mary Fallon, Elise Worthington (Four Corners)
    ABC’s Four Corners program, ‘Australia’s Shame’, exposed the mistreatment of young people in the Northern Territory detention system.
     
  • Business Award: Joint winners
    Etiko

    Etiko is a small business that has focused on supply chains by developing an accredited and scalable ethical supply chain model.

    Lendlease, Westpac, and the Australian Network on Disability
    Also winning a Business Award was a collaboration that led to the Design for Dignity guidelines which incorporate accessibility and were implemented at Barangaroo Tower Two.
  • Law Award: Anna Cody
    As Director of Kingsford Legal Centre, Anna Cody has provided high quality case work to thousands of disadvantaged people, as well as advocating for law reform to address systemic human rights breaches.
     
  • Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Individual Award: Jane Rosengrave
    Jane Rosengrave is a proud Yorta Yorta woman with an intellectual disability and a passionate advocate for people with disability.
     
  • Community Organisation Award: Bus Stop Films
    For approximately 8 years, Bus Stop Films has provided film studies and film-making opportunities for people with disabilities, as well as advocating for inclusion in the film industry.
     
  • Racism. It Stops With Me Award: National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council
    The National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council is the peak organisation of ethnic community broadcasters in Australia.

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Human Rights Awards 2018 Nomination Form

Conditions of entry

To be eligible for nomination, entrants must have made a significant contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights IN AUSTRALIA and been active in this area between August 2017 and August 2018.

All nominations must include the application form along with supporting documentation.

If you wish to apply for more than one award, an individual application form for each award must be submitted.

Please select ONE of the following Award categories *
Nominee details - details of the person or organisation being nominated
* This is the name/s of the individual, organisation, government body or business that will appear on the medal or award if the nominee wins
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Tell us about the business you are nominating

How has the business contributed to the promotion and protection of human rights in Australia? Please provide a short written explanation with your nomination.

Examples can include:

  • taking action to overcome discrimination or infringements of human rights within Australia
  • encouraging greater social harmony within Australia in a range of areas such as race relations, gender equality and the treatment of children and young people
  • enhancing the rights of Indigenous Australians
  • promoting equal opportunity for people with a disability in Australia or countering discrimination on the basis of age or sexuality
  • increasing awareness of issues of injustice or inequality in Australia

We want to understand how the business you are nominating impacts human rights, for example, through:

  • Programs and initiatives that demonstrate leadership and commitment to responsible business practices
  • Business protection and promotion of human rights within direct operational control as well as across the value chain
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Where possible, please provide quantitative and/or qualitative evidence of the outcomes of the work, program or initiative (e.g. case studies, reports, testimony, etc).

Tell us about the person or organisation you are nominating

How have they contributed to the promotion and protection of human rights in Australia? Please provide a short written explanation with your nomination.

Examples can include:

  • taking action to overcome discrimination or infringements of human rights within Australia
  • encouraging greater social harmony within Australia in a range of areas such as race relations, gender equality and the treatment of children and young people
  • enhancing the rights of Indigenous Australians
  • promoting equal opportunity for people with a disability in Australia or countering discrimination on the basis of age or sexuality
  • increasing awareness of issues of injustice or inequality in Australia
Supporting Documentation

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Should your nomination be successful, you must be available to accept the award at the ceremony on Friday 14 December 2018 in Sydney.

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I/we confirm, that I/we have read and understand the requirements which relate to my/our nomination category. Where the nominee is an individual, I/we confirm that the nominee is an Australian citizen or permanent resident and that the Young person was under 25 on 30 September 2018.

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