• National Human Rights Consultation: Final Report Released

    editor     |      October 8, 2009

    Recommendation 1: The Committee recommends that education be the highest priority for protecting and promoting human rights in Australia.

    Recommendation 18: The Committee recommends that Australia adopt a federal Human Rights Act.

  • Human Rights

    Kym Houghton     |      July 6, 2009

    Effective Human Rights = effective legal aid!  Pay for it, or lose it!  

  • We Need an Australian Bill of Human Rights

    Bill Miller     |      June 22, 2009

    I am in no doubt that we need to enact an Australian Bill of Human Rights. The behaviour of State and Federal Governments over the past decade attest to that.

    Thomas Jefferson’s famous aphorism ‘The price of freedom is eternal vigilance‘ applies to the struggle for the protection of human rights.

    The struggle for a single law protecting human rights is, of necessity, eternal. There will always be people who will argue that it is unnecessary or unworkable or too costly and or deny that the unimaginable happens.

    We delude ourselves when we argue that human rights abuses haven’t, couldn’t, wont, happen in Australia, committed here and elsewhere by Australians. It has happened and it will again. It is part of the human condition it seems. So we must protect ourselves from ourselves.

  • Freedom of Association & Human Rights

    sandie perry     |      June 17, 2009

    The so called "Bikie Legislation" leaves the door open to very dangerous and serious misuse and abuse of police power, particularly when people can be charged with a criminal offence "on the balance of probabilities". 

    I would like to share my concern regarding the so called "Bikie Legislation". 

    I wonder how many others realise that the new Laws can apply to many people outside of a "Bikie" profile? Via the police and media we are led to believe that the laws only affect bikie gangs, however if you look closer you will find that the laws extend to any particular organisation at the behest of the Police Commissioner of the States that passed these Legislations (SA, NSW, QLD). 

  • Which human rights and responsibilities should be protected and promoted?

    Fr Frank Brennan     |      May 19, 2009

    When you are trying to describe human rights, think of the core values which you believe should underpin our society.

    In 2005, an inquiry was conducted into the Government’s handling of Australian citizen Cornelia Rau. This inquiry brought up a number of issues relating to human rights in Australia. Namely, rights relating to immigration, detention and the rights of the mentally ill.

    The inquiry and accompanying public debate raised a number of questions about our responsibilities to protect those rights. What is the responsibility of Government? Of the community? Of the individual?

    Not everyone knows which human rights we have in Australia. Not everyone agrees about which rights we should have. Questions exist about what those rights should be and whose responsibility it should be to protect them.

    When becoming an Australian citizen a person says:

  • Are human rights and responsibilities sufficiently protected and promoted?

    Fr Frank Brennan     |      May 19, 2009

    Would you be able to explain to a new Australian citizen how our rights and liberties are protected and promoted?

  • How could Australia better protect and promote human rights and responsibilities?

    Fr Frank Brennan     |      May 19, 2009

    When it comes to human rights, there is always room for improvement.

  • Should Australia Have a Statutory Bill or Charter of Rights?

    Fr Frank Brennan     |      May 19, 2009

    The question of a bill or charter of rights is integral to our national conversation about how human rights might be better protected and promoted in Australia.

    As a lawyer with a keen interest in human rights and youth issues, it has always struck me as strange that many Australians, whilst familiar with America’s Bill of Rights, understand little about how human rights are protected and promoted in our own backyard. Many seem to be under the impression that Australia has our own Bill of Rights. We don’t.

    The question of an Australian bill or charter of rights has certainly been a hot topic during the National Human Rights Consultation. It is consistently raised both at our consultations and in people’s submissions. It has also inspired great debate in the political arena as well as in the media.

  • Talk Openly: Indigenous e-Health Forum with special guest blogger, The Hon. Tony Abbott

    editor     |      November 24, 2008

    The Hon. Tony Abbott MHR, Federal Shadow Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, was our guest blogger in a forum on the potential benefits of e-Health practices for Australia’s remote Indigenous communities.

  • Measures to start addressing affordable rental housing

    Andrew Meehan     |      November 6, 2008

    It is now widely accepted that Australia has a huge housing affordability problem. Indeed, rarely a day goes by in the media without discussion of house prices, interest rates, first home buyers, and the lack of affordability.

  • WA Housing Roundtable

    Scott Ludlam     |      November 5, 2008

    This is a sector that has been in crisis for so long that the word barely holds meaning; people simply should not have to work under this kind of stress and official neglect.

  • Many Faces to the Housing Crisis

    Stan Small     |      October 30, 2008

    The Government should allocate more resources towards the provision of public and community housing as a matter of urgency. Unfortunately, that's a much harder sell to the electorate than the First Home Buyers Grant.