Nominations for the 2017 Human Rights Awards are closed.

The Human Rights Awards recognise and celebrate the extraordinary contributions of individuals, organisations and businesses to the field of human rights each year.

We are calling for nominations for people, organisations and businesses that have made significant contributions to human rights in Australia. While some nominees might be well-known, most are just ordinary people making a difference to human rights outcomes in their work or community.

The best nominees are often the people who wouldn’t dream of putting themselves forward, which is why we encourage you to do it for them!

Nominations can be submitted under eight categories: the Human Rights Medal, the Young People’s Medal, Law Award, Business Award, ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ Award, Tony Fitzgerald Community Award for Organisations, Tony Fitzgerald Community Award for Individuals and the Media Award.

For any questions about the Awards, please contact us at or phone (02) 9284 9779.



To be eligible for nomination, applicants must be an Australian Citizen or have Australian permanent residency as at the date of nomination.

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

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 2016 and August 2017.

Examples could 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

Submitting your nomination

The entry should include a statement as to why the nominee should be recognised; any relevant supporting material should also be submitted.

This could include newspaper articles, online coverage, references and biographies.

For the media category, please include a current online link to the work or provide three copies of the work.

If you require any assistance submitting a nomination, please call 02 9284 9779.

Medal and awards categories

Human Rights Medal 

The Human Rights Medal is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of human rights in Australia. The medal has a rich history of prestigious winners.

Young People’s Human Rights Medal 

The Young People’s Human Rights Medal is awarded to an individual under the age of 25 years (on 30 September 2017) and who has made an outstanding contribution to advancing human rights in Australia.

Law Award

The Law Award is awarded to an individual or an organisation with a track record in promoting and advancing human rights in Australia through the practice of law.

Business Award

The Business Award is awarded to a corporation that has made a practical and/or policy commitment to the promotion and advancement of human rights in the Australian community.

Racism. It Stops With Me Award

The ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ Award recognises the contribution of an organisation to reducing and preventing racism in Australia.  Organisations can include community groups or businesses and they can be recognised for a range of anti-racism work including education and prevention.

Community Organisation Award

Awarded to a non-government or community-based organisation with a proven track record in promoting and advancing human rights in the Australian community on a not-for-profit basis.

Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Individual Award

The Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Award is awarded to an individual who has a track record in promoting and advancing human rights in the Australian community on a not-for-profit basis.

Media Award

The Media Award is awarded for any published work in the media which has been broadcast in Australia.  This can include television and radio programs, documentaries, and print and online articles.


Judging process

The judging process will be overseen by a judging panel made up of people from relevant sections of the Australian Human Rights Commission, and at least one independent representative from either the community, government or business.

The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Details of finalists for each Medal and Award category will be published on the Commission’s website later in the year.