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Indigenous Welfare Advocate Wins Human Rights Medal


Monday, 12th December 2016 at 9:41 am
Lina Caneva, Editor
An advocate for the rights and welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Pat Anderson AO, has won the 2016 Human Rights Medal.


Monday, 12th December 2016
at 9:41 am
Lina Caneva, Editor


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Indigenous Welfare Advocate Wins Human Rights Medal
Monday, 12th December 2016 at 9:41 am

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

Anderson is the chair of the Lowitja Institute and co-chair of the Prime Minister’s Referendum Council.

President of the Human Rights Commission Professor Gillian Triggs said Anderson had 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.

“Pat Anderson has a great love for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and is greatly loved and respected by them,” Triggs said.

“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.”

Triggs praised her work with the Lowitja Institute, a 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.”

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.

The 2016 Human Rights Awards winners are:

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 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 – 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 Yorta Yorta woman with an intellectual disability and a passionate advocate for people with disability.

Community Organisation Award: Bus Stop Films

  • For approximately eight 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.

The 2015 Human Rights Medal was won by journalist Peter Greste.

Greste was detained in Egypt for almost two years for allegedly spreading false news. He has since campaigned tirelessly for the release of his colleagues, and campaignedfor freedom of speech as a cornerstone of democratic societies.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and Editor of Pro Bono Australia News since it was founded in 2000.

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