Newsletter now available

The Commission just re-launched our quarterly newsletter.

An update from President & Human Rights Commissioner, Dr Helen Watchirs 

The Commission just re-launched our quarterly newsletter and you can subscribe via Mailchimp. The first edition summarises recent developments in the work of the Commission.

This year, our expanded Commission celebrated its third birthday. We have a combined 28 years of protecting and promoting the rights of all Canberrans.

At Law Week recently, I spoke about the contribution the Commission has made over the past 15 years since the Human Rights Act became law, helping to ensure that both public authorities and ACT legislation is compatible with human rights. Our Victims of Crime Commissioner, Heidi Yates, spoke about a Charter of Rights for Victims of Crime, which we hope will soon form part of our legislative rights’ architecture in the ACT.

Colleagues from Canberra Community Law also outlined how they are routinely applying the Human Rights Act to make a substantial difference to the lives of public housing tenants, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.  

On another important issue, our four Commissioners are united in calling for greater external scrutiny of care and protection orders, especially for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. This is in response to the case of several Aboriginal children who were removed from their mother for five and a half years. We hope a recently announced Legislative Assembly Committee inquiry into the case, and a joint Justice and Community Safety Directorate, and Community Services Directorate Discussion Paper on a Review of Child Protection Decisions, help to bring about greater transparency.