Human rights: everyone, everywhere, everyday
Leading the promotion and protection of human rights in Australia by:
- making human rights values part of everyday life and language;
- empowering all people to understand and exercise their human rights;
- working with individuals, community, business and government to inspire action;
- keeping government accountable to national and international human rights standards;
We do this by:
- listening, learning, communicating and educating;
- being open, expert, committed and impartial;
- fostering a collaborative, diverse, flexible, respectful and innovative workplace.
Our statutory responsibilities include:
- education and public awareness
- discrimination and human rights complaints
- human rights compliance
- policy and legislative development.
We do this through:
- resolving complaints of discrimination or breaches of human rights under federal laws
- holding public inquiries into human rights issues of national importance
- developing human rights education programs and resources for schools, workplaces and the community
- providing independent legal advice to assist courts in cases that involve human rights principles
- providing advice and submissions to parliaments and governments to develop laws, policies and programs
- undertaking and coordinating research into human rights and discrimination issues.
The Commission works closely with other national human rights institutions, particularly through the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, to address major human rights issues in the region.
We also undertake bilateral international activities as part of the Australian Government's development program run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The most substantial of these is the Human Rights Technical Assistance Program, which is part of the annual Dialogue on Human Rights with China.
The Commission is a collegiate body made up of a President and seven Commissioners. The President is the chief executive officer.
June Oscar AO
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner
The Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO
Age Discrimination Commissioner
Ms Megan Mitchell
Mr Alastair McEwin
Disability Discrimination Commissioner
Mr Edward Santow
Human Rights Commissioner
Race Discrimination Commissioner
Sex Discrimination Commissioner
In this section you can also find:
- Speeches by the Commission's President and Commissioners
- The Commission's Annual Reports 1986 - present
- The Annual Human Rights Awards
- AHRC Corporate Plan 2017-18
- Corporate Plan 2016-2017
- Compliance reports
- Human Rights: Everyone, Everyday: 21 Years of the Australian Human Rights Commission (2007)
2017 Diversity Strategy
As the body with a statutory responsibility to ensure the observance of human rights in Australia, it is important that respect and acceptance of diversity is an integral part of our own workplace. Diversity in our staff is one of our greatest assets and assists us to meet our organisational objectives.
Our diversity strategy, for the first time incorporates all of our commitments and activities across 4 separate reporting areas and includes our Reconciliation Action Plan, our Disability Action Plan, our Agency Multicultural Plan as well as Workplace Diversity Program and has streamlined our processes and intensified our efforts.
- Diversity Strategy 2017 (Word)
- The Commission's Reconciliation Action plan
- Age Friendly Workplace Statement 2014 (Word)