NT Human Rights Awards 2014

“THE FITZGERALDS”

Keynote speaker for 2015 NT Human Rights Awards announced

Frank Brennan SJ AO

Frank Brennan is a Jesuit priest, professor of law at Australian Catholic University and Adjunct Professor at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, the Australian National University College of Law and the National Centre for Indigenous Studies.

In May 2015 he returned to Australia, having spent a year as the Gasson Professor at the Boston College Law School. His latest books are No Small Change: The Road to Recognition for Indigenous Australia (University of Queensland Press, 2015) and Amplifying That Still, Small Voice (ATF Theology, 2015). His forthcoming books are The Quest for Leadership in Church and State (ATF Theology) and The 2015 Gasson Lectures: Maintaining a Convinced and Pondered Trust (ATF Theology).

An Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for services to Aboriginal Australians, particularly as an advocate in the areas of law, social justice and reconciliation, he was the recipient of the Migration Institute of Australia’s 2013 Distinguished Service to Immigration Award.

Frank Brennan

When launching Frank’s book Acting on Conscience on the place of religion in Australian politics and law, Kevin Rudd described Frank as ‘an ethical burr in the nation’s saddle’. Earlier during the 1998 Wik debate, Paul Keating labelled him ‘the meddling priest’.

The National Trust has classified him as a Living National Treasure. In 2009, he chaired the Australian National Human Rights Consultation Committee. His research interests include conscience and faith, human rights and the rule of law, and the rights of Indigenous peoples and asylum seekers.

NT Awards

The Northern Territory Awards are being co-ordinated by a steering committee comprising members from the Anti Discrimination Commission (ADC), the Darwin Community Legal Service (DCLS), the Criminal Lawyers Association of the Northern Territory (CLANT), the Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council (NTAHC), the Melaleuca Refugee Centre (Melaleuca), and the Rotary Club of Darwin South.

The judging panel of three comprises the Hon. Justice Jenny Blokland, Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sally Sievers, and Chips Mackinolty.

The Fitzgeralds are sponsored by a number of organisations, as well as generous private donors who have contributed in honour and memory of their friend and colleague Tony Fitzgerald, the NT Anti-Discrimination Commissioner from 2002 until his death in February 2009.

The NT Human Rights Awards ceremony will be held on Thursday 10th December.

For further information or to attend, please email: nthumanrightsawards@nt.gov.au

About Tony Fitzgerald

Tony Fitzgerald was a passionate advocate for human rights. He was born in Sydney and moved to Melbourne at 16 years of age. He studied and then practiced law before coming to Darwin in 1978 to work at the North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service.

Tony Fitzgerald had a vision that all Territorians could achieve community harmony if we could work together. He fought for equal opportunity employment that recognised and valued diversity. Tony was passionate about the need to promote a fair and just society that was free from racial discrimination and inequality.

He was a fierce opponent of the NT Intervention, and what he referred to as the “one-size fits all approach” inherent in measures that accompanied it. Tony was particularly appalled at the Intervention’s suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act, which had been important in ensuring the protection of all Australians from racial discrimination.

Tony Fitzgerald

He believed it removed the human rights of the community members to complain about unfair treatment. In his submission to the Commonwealth Review of the Intervention in 2008, he called for long term initiatives aimed at overcoming remote Indigenous disadvantage and raising Indigenous quality of life.

The NT Human Rights Awards commemorate the work Tony did and acknowledges the need to continue to recognise and celebrate those who today promote, encourage and advocate on a day to day basis for human rights.

Background

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On 10 December, United Nations Day for Human Rights, people around the world commemorate the day that the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. The UDHR sets out those rights and freedoms that many of us take for granted.

10 December is a day to raise public awareness and knowledge of why human rights matter, both among people who are lucky enough to enjoy their rights, and those who are not so lucky, who have little freedom and few rights. It’s a day to focus on core human values reflected in the UDHR: a commitment to inherent human dignity, non-discrimination, equality, fairness and universality.

It’s a day to consider what any one of us can do to defend our rights, and help others find and protect theirs.

Australia, like many other countries, has chosen to honour people who have made a special contribution to human rights.

The Northern Territory Human Rights Awards celebrates the achievements of those in the NT who have worked to promote human rights, and raises awareness of fundamental human rights.

Award Winners

The Fitzgerald Youth Award

The Fitzgerald Youth Award recognises a person or organisation who has taken action to ensure the promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights of young people.

2015 Joint Winners

  • Shahleena Musk
  • Stronger Sisters – Tennant Creek

Highly Commended

  • Project 21

Shahleena Musk and Stronger Sisters

The Fitzgerald Justice Award

The Fitzgerald Justice Award recognises a person or organisation who has taken action to ensure the promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights in the area of justice.

2015 Joint Winners

  • Aboriginal Interpreter Service - Police Caution
  • Larrakia Nation Night Patrol

Highly Commended

  • Daryl Murdock
Police Caution Larrakia Nation Night Patrol

The Fitzgerald Social Change Award

The Fitzgerald Social Change Award Recognises a person or organisation who has taken action to achieve or ensure the promotion of social change in the area of human rights.

2015 Winner

  • Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN)

Highly Commended

  • CSSU Wadeye Safe House
  • Tangentyere Women’s Council – Family Safety Group.
Social Change DASSAN

The Fitzgerald Diversity Award

The Fitzgerald Diversity Award is for individuals or organisations whose activities focus on promoting, protecting and fulfilling human rights of diverse communities in the Northern Territory.

2015 Joint Winners

  • Football Without Borders
  • Somerville Community Service - Workplace Diversity Group.

Highly Commended

  • Jared Sharp
  • NT Legal Aid Commission - CALD Project
Football Without Borders Somerville Workplace Diversity

2014 Winners

The Fitzgerald Youth Award

2014 Winner – Stewart Willey,for his work with disadvantaged youth in Tennant Creek.


The Fitzgerald Justice Award

2014 Winner – North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA),for 40 years work representing the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Northern Australia.


The Fitzgerald Social Change Award

2014 Winner – NT Working Women’s Centre,who have provided advice and support to women about work related issues in the Territory for 20 years.


The Fitzgerald Diversity Award

2014 Winner– Jeswynn Yogaratnam,CDU lecturer, for his involvement in NT community, asylum seeker, indigenous and LGBTI human rights.

The Nominees for 2015 are:

The Fitzgerald Youth Award

  • Cameron Illett
  • Charlie Larkins
  • Darwin Community Arts - CemeNT Stars
  • Indigenous Hip Hop Program (IHHP) & Northern Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA)
  • Pippa Rudd
  • Project 21
  • Shaleena Musk
  • Star Lady
  • Stronger Sisters - Tennant Creek
  • Young Justice League

The Fitzgerald Diversity Award

  • Angela Ninnal
  • Anglicare NT
  • Football Without Borders
  • James Gaykamangu
  • Jared Sharp
  • Joan Washington and Jane Black
  • Mahongo Fumbelo
  • NT Legal Aid Commission - CALD Project
  • Pat Sim
  • Richard Trudgen
  • Sommerville Community Service
  • Star Lady




The Fitzgerald Social Change Award

  • Aditi Srinivas
  • Anglicare NT
  • Charlie Larkins
  • Children’s Services Support Unit (CSSU) Wadeye Safe House
  • Daniel Alderman
  • Darwin Community Legal Centre
  • DASSAN
  • David Taylor
  • Domestic Violence Directorate
  • Dr Suzanne Belton
  • Dr Christine Fejo-King
  • Gary Fry
  • Georgina Bracken
  • IHHP & NAAJA
  • James Parfitt
  • Justine Davis
  • Richard Davis
  • Richard Trudgen
  • Star Lady
  • Starwin Social Enterprise
  • Tangentyere Women’s Committee - Family Safety Group

The Fitzgerald Justice Award

  • Aboriginal Interpreter Service (AIS) - Police Caution
  • Daryl Murdock
  • Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN)
  • Larrakia Nation Night Patrol
  • Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission (NTLAC)
  • NTLAC - Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Project
  • Star Lady
  • Tanya MacIntyre

Sponsors

The NT Human Rights Awards Steering Committee acknowledges the sponsorship of The Fitzgeralds by these organisations: the Law Society Public Purposes Trust, the Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission, the Criminal Lawyers Association of the Northern Territory (CLANT),

the Rotary Club of Darwin South, the Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council, the Law Society Northern Territory, the Melaleuca Refugee Centre, and the Darwin Community Legal Service.

Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination CommitteeLaw Society Public Purposes TrustLaw Society Northern TerritoryCLANT - Criminal Lawyers Association of the Northern TerritoryNTAHC - Northern Territory Aids and Hepatitis CouncilDarwin Community Legal ServicesMelaleuca Refugee CentreDarwin South Rotary