Human Rights Awards (Australia)

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The Human Rights Awards is the highest human rights award of Australia, bestowed by the Australian Human Rights Commission at the Human Rights Day Ceremony on 10 December in 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 Awards and Medals categories, with the choice of recipient made by an independent panel.

The individual Human Rights Award and 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:

  • 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.

In addition, the entrants must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.[1]


There are ten categories

  • Human Rights Medal (Highest in this awards)
  • Young People’s Human Rights Medal (from 2008)
  • Law Award
  • Business Award
  • Community Individual Award – Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Award
  • Community Award – Organisation
  • Literature Award
  • Print and Online Media Award
  • Radio Award
  • Television Award

The Awards are presented at the Commission’s annual Human Rights Medal and Awards ceremony.

Recipients of the Human Rights Medal[2][edit]

Young People’s Human Rights Medal[5][edit]

  • 2008 - Alan Huynh
  • 2009 - Venay Menon
  • 2010 - Jack Manning Bancroft
  • 2011 - Tshibanda Gracia Ngoy
  • 2012 - Krista McMeeken
  • 2013 - Mariah Kennedy
  • 2014 - Daniel Haile-Michael and Maki Issa
  • 2015 - Yen Eriksen
  • 2016 - Arash Bordbar
  • 2017 - Georgie Stone


External links[edit]