Human Rights Medal (Australia)
The Human Rights Medal is awarded by the Australian Human Rights Commission each year. It was established in 1987 by the then Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) to recognise the "contribution to Australian society of a wide variety of men and women committed to issues of human rights, social justice and equality". The Australian Human Rights Commission receives nominations for the Human Rights Medal and other award categories, with the choice of recipient made by an independent panel.
The Human Rights Medal is awarded only to an individual who, to be eligible, must have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights in Australia in at least one of the following areas:
- action to overcome discrimination or infringements of human rights within Australia.
- encourage greater harmony between people of different race, sex, sexuality, age or ethnic origin within Australia.
- enhance the rights of Indigenous Australians.
- promote equal opportunity for people with a disability in Australia.
- increase awareness of issues of injustice or inequality in Australia.
(the entrant must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident).
The medals are presented at the Commission’s annual Human Rights Medal and Awards ceremony.
In 2008 the Young People’s Human Rights Medal was awarded for the first time.
- 1987 - Rose Colless OAM
- 1988 - Reverend Dorothy McMahon
- 1989 - Reverend Robert Ridley
- 1990 - Professor Fred Hollows AC
- 1991 - Justice Michael Kirby AC, CMG
- 1992 - Eddie Mabo - Reverend Dave Passi - Sam Passi - James Rice - Celuia Mapo Salee - Barbara Hocking
- 1993 - No Medal
- 1994 - Dr. Roberta Sykes
- 1995 - Justice Elizabeth Evatt AC
- 1996 - Rebecca Peters - Robert Riley
- 1997 - Dr. Faith Bandler AM
- 1998 - Vivi Germanos-Koutsounadis
- 1999 - Helen Bayes
- 2000 - Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH
- 2001 - Dr. Arnold "Puggy" Hunter
- 2002 - Michael Raper
- 2003 - Marion Le
- 2004 - Dick Estens - Deborah Kilroy
- 2005 - Kevin Cocks
- 2006 - Phillip Adams AO - Father Chris Riley AM
- 2007 - Jeremy Jones AM
- 2008 - Les Malezer
- 2009 - Stephen Keim SC
- 2010 - Thérèse Rein
- 2011 - Ronald Merkel QC
- 2012 - Ian Thorpe OAM
- 2013 - Sister Clare Condon