MIL-OSI Australia: June 2024: Commission News | President’s letter

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Source: Australian Human Rights Commission

Dear friends,

 I’m delighted to welcome the appointment of Hugh de Kretser as our President. For over 20 years, he has been a dedicated and effective advocate for positive change for people and communities whose human rights are at risk. We look forward to him taking the Commission into its next phase in promoting and protecting human rights in Australia when he commences in the position on 30 July. 

Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)

Last month, Chief Executive Leanne Smith and I attended the annual meeting of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI). GANHRI is an important opportunity for national human rights institutions worldwide to come together, exchange experiences and learn from each other about the promotion and protection of human rights globally. At the event, the Commission was formally re-accredited as an ‘A status’ NHRI in accordance with the Paris Principles. In addition to conducting the necessary business of an annual meeting, we participated in regional network meetings discussing human rights protection in our region. We also attended a thematic conference on Business and Human Rights, focused on sharing insights and innovative solutions to human rights challenges in business.

“Let’s talk ageing”

Hot on the heels of the recommendation that the UN General Assembly consider a binding International Convention on the Rights of Older Persons, Age Discrimination Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM launched a new interview series – presenting insights from prominent thought-leaders about ageing in Australia and beyond. I had the pleasure of being his first guest in an interview that explored ageing positively and some of the challenges older persons face from a human rights perspective.

You can watch the interview on the Commission’s YouTube channel

Meeting with Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Department of Justice and Attorney General

Pictured are Rosalind Croucher and Leanne Smith with: Dr Eric Kwa, Secretary, Department of Justice & Attorney General (DJAG) , Stanley Raka, Deputy Secretary, National and Provincial Coordination and Crime Prevention Division, DJAG, Cecilia Eli Kore, Team Leader, Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Unit, Ombudsman Commission, Technical Working Committee Member, Betrina Geluwa, Legal Officer, Constitutional Law Reform Commission, TWC representative, Steven Laeok, Assistant Director for Human Rights, International Conventions and Treaties, Department for Community Development & Religion , Patricia Gure, Director, HRS Secretariat, Department of Justice, Jacquelyn Uware, Office Manager, Executive Management and Office of the Secretary, DJAG.

It was encouraging to connect with colleagues from Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Department of Justice and Attorney General during their visit to Australia. PNG’s Department of Justice and Attorney General is exploring the possibility of establishing their own National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) in PNG and ministers travelled to Australia to speak with key institutions to learn more about what it means to be an NHRI. The Commission had a fruitful discussion with PNG colleagues, sharing knowledge and experiences of the unique role we play in promoting and protecting human rights in Australia and in our region.

I’m looking forward to welcoming you at the Free + Equal Conference in Sydney!

Wishing you a happy month ahead,

President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM FAAL FRSA FACLM (Hon) FRSN