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Inclusion & rights


Human rights: Young Australian of the Year to speak in Sydney


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The 2023 Young Australian of the Year Drisana Levitzke-Gray, an advocate for the deaf community, will take part in an important event during mid-July in Sydney, and tickets are now available (they are free but you will need to register).

‘2023 Australians of the Year: Inspiring Change in Human Rights’ is the title of the event, which will feature all of the 2023 Australians of the Year: Rosie Batty (Australian of the Year), Jackie French (Senior Australian of the Year) and Juliette Wright (Australia’s Local Hero). All four women will talk about what inspires them and what keeps their passion to initiate change alive.

This is the first time that all the Australians of the Year have been women, and it is a great opportunity to see Drisana tell her story. Annabel Crabb, ABC journalist, will host the event.

The event will take place at Sydney Town Hall on 13 July at 5.30pm. To register to attend, click here. 

Source:Australian Human Rights Commission e-bulletin, 3 June 2023.

Spotlight on bullying laws in Tasmania


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The Tasmania Law Reform Institute has put the spotlight on bullying in all its forms and what legislation exists to deal with it, in a recently released issues paper.

The paper looks at current laws and legal frameworks in Tasmania and elsewhere, to assess whether legislative reform is necessary to tackle the full range of bullying behaviours, including cyberbullying. It also presents a number of options for reform in this increasingly problematic and complex issue.

You can download the paper from the University of Tasmania’s website.

Source:CFCA News, 3 June 2023.

Federal support required to improve Indigenous youth incarceration rates, says Amnesty International


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Indigenous communities are taking new, innovative approaches to keep children out of detention, but their success hinges on Australian Government support, according to an Amnesty International report released this month.

The report, A brighter tomorrow: Keeping Indigenous kids in the community and out of detention in Australia, indicates that Australia is detaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at the highest rate since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody 20 years ago.

It gives an overview of Indigenous youth incarceration in Australian states and territories, highlighting the relevant laws in these jurisdictions that breach international human rights obligations.

The report makes 16 recommendations for action that the Australian Government can take to comply with international human rights obligations, such as ending mandatory sentencing of young people; working with state and territory governments to measure the level of unmet legal need and unmet need for bail accommodation among Indigenous young people and their families, and improving access to legal assistance for these people; working with COAG to develop justice targets to reduce Indigenous youth detention rates and create safer communities; and identifying and addressing gaps in data collection related to Indigenous youths’ contact with the justice system.

In the Foreword to the report, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda highlights the change in approach urgently needed to address the issue of Indigenous youth incarceration, which he calls a ‘national emergency’.

‘We need an approach that starts to address the underlying causes of crime and starts to divert resources away from imprisonment and into local communities. This is a justice reinvestment approach, that suggests that both early intervention and community responses are necessary to achieving long-term change,’ he said.

Download the report (44 pages) from the Amnesty International website.

Source:Amnesty International media release, 2 June; Amnesty International report, 'A brighter tomorrow'

Classroom resources place Magna Carta in an Australian context


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New resources on human rights designed for students and just published by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) place the importance of Magna Carta in context for young people in Australian schools.

As the world celebrates the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and its importance throughout history, the AHRC has produced cartoon-like resources (rather in the Horrible Histories vein) for use by students in primary and secondary schools.

 The resources include a short video, an interactive infographic and teacher resources. All resources have been mapped to the Australian Curriculum for History and Civics and Citizenship for primary students in years 5 and 6, and secondary students in years 9 and 10.

At the launch of the resources, Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson said: ‘We must ensure that current and future generations of Australians understand and appreciate the evolution of human rights over the centuries, and the reasons why past generations have fought so hard to advance and defend them’.

For more information and to access the resources, go to the AHRC website.

Source:Australian Human Rights Commission e-bulletin, 17 June 2023.