ALHR Newsletter

ALHR Newsletters → 2011 → December → 15

ALHR (Vic) - A Short Round Up - So This is Christmas - And What Have You Done?

Dear loyal members

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who attending our international aid and development seminar on Wednesday, 30 November. All who attended would agree that the panel was inspiring, insightful and enabled a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with leading social justice and human rights personalities in an intimate setting. So thank you to everyone (including our speakers and generous host, Maddocks) for your support!

Secondly, who can believe it is that time of the year again. And my what a year it has been!

In an Australian context (amongst many other opportunities to put human rights?on the national agenda):

- it is a year that saw our national human rights record come under review before the UN Human Rights Council and which saw Australia commit to following up on certain human rights recommendations;

- it is a year which saw the Commonwealth Attorney-General Department seek guidance on (including now on a proposed draft) National Human Rights Action Plan;

- it is a year which saw momentum build ... and then regress ... on a Tasmanian Charter of Human Rights;

- it is a year which saw proposals by the Commonwealth Government to introduce off-shore processing of asylum seekers in Manus Island and Malaysia;

- it is a year which saw the Commonwealth Government attempt to pursue David Hicks under proceeds of crime legislation;

- it is a year which saw the Australian High Court preserve human rights through its decisions in Momcilovic, M70;

- it is a year which saw the Victorian Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee recommend that certain protections under the Victorian Charter of Human Rights be weakened (including with respect to individual remedies and judicial review);

- it is a year which saw world leaders converge on our doorstep for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, but with relatively little or no human rights discussion.

Conversely, on the international front, it?s a year which saw the world explode with public condemnation and protests in many parts of the world including in relation to peace, security, privacy, social change, respect for the rule of law and the recognition of basic yet fundamental human rights and freedoms.

So are we doing enough? If not, what more could be done and how can we do what we are doing better? (This is a question which ALHR genuinely wants your views on). Indeed, the end of 2011 and start of 2012 provides a new opportunity to reflect on these questions and bring new opportunities to frame human rights as part of a common dialogue to the surface. And this is especially so as welcome our first female Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon.

Events to bring us to the close of 2012

Despite the Christmas season there is still plenty of opportunities to support human rights by contributing to your local community. A few of these opportunities are set out below.

And for those looking for industrious ways to spend your Christmas / new year / summer, why not consider contributing to an ALHR submission!? We always welcome expressions of interest to contribute to ALHR submissions - including to those we will be working on into the new year.


1. SAIL 2011 Christmas Present Appeal

The Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) Program is holding its end of year Christmas celebrations at its various campuses across Australia this Saturday, 17 December 2011.

SAIL students have experienced war, famine and disease in Sudan before being accepted into Australia as part of its offshore refugee intake.

Every year, SAIL organises a Christmas gift for each of its students - from grandparents to babies.

It is not too late to donate and any new gifts you can spare (be they books, soft toys, pencils, clothing, toiletries, accessories, vouchers, event tickets) are greatly appreciated.

If you would like to make an immediate, positive impact on your local community whilst at the same time spreading some Christmas cheer please donate to the SAIL Christmas appeal by contacting [email protected]

2. Young Media Makers Project Screening and DVD Launch - Saturday, 17 December, 2.30pm

The Young Media Makers invites you to its launch and screening of a DVD resource that covers (amongst other things) refugee issues, young people and identity, migrant stories, youth and politics.

* When: 2.30 for a 3.00 pm screening, Saturday, 17 December 2011;
* Where: Phoenix Youth Centre, 72 Buckley Street, Footscray;
* Cost: Free. The DVD will be on sale for $10 on the day only;
* For information and questions: Contact Sam Burrell / Amie Batalibasi by emailing [email protected] or calling 0434 957 313, or visiting

3. Fair Trade Christmas Shopping Tour - Thursday, 15 December, 6.00pm

Are you looking for a fun yet meaningful way to do your Christmas shopping? Why not round up some friends and join a Fair Trade Shopping Tour!

* When: 6 to 9.00 pm, Thursday, 15 December 2011
* Where: Visit Sankofa, Koguis, Seven Women,, with finger food by the Cutting Table (Social Studio?s social enterprise cafe);
Cost: $30;
* For bookings and information call Kym on (03) 9416 4584, or email [email protected]


4. ALHR submission on the antidiscrimination law consolidation paper

ALHR is preparing its submission on the antidiscrimination law consolidation paper. We welcome contact from those who would to contribute (whether by focusing on a particular question or more generally), by providing insights or case studies regarding what works or what does not work, and / or by assisting with overall streamlining and proofing of the final submission.

5. ALHR submission on draft human rights action plan

ALHR is preparing its submission on the draft human rights action plan. Again, we welcome contact from those who would to contribute specifically by speaking to a particular question, by providing insights or case studies regarding what works or what does not work, or by assisting with overall pooling, streamlining and proofing of the final submission document.

6. ALHR submission on Crimes Legislation Amendment (Powers and Offences) Bill 2010

ALHR is currently preparing its submission on the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Powers and Offences) Bill 2010. We welcome contact and contribution from interested persons.

Call for papers

7. ICCSN - 2012 Hague Conference on the Luganga Trial: Lessons Learned, 8 - 9 March 2012
The International Criminal Court Student Network (ICCSN) invites submissions for its 2012 Hague Conference: The Lubanga Trial: Lessons Learned, which will be held at the Hague from 8 - 9 March 2012.

For information regarding papers, visit
For information regarding the conference, visit

Stay tuned as we will touch base again very, very soon!

Yours always in human rights

Lily Tsen (0414 77 5167) and Mandy Lister (0407 023 053)