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Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM FAAL

Australian Human Rights Commission President
Free + Equal: Safeguarding the rights of all Australians
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Wednesday, 3 July 2024

Arrival 11:30am, Lunch served 12pm, Address commences 12:30pm, Concludes 1:30pm

The National Press Club of Australia

Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM FAAL, Australian Human Rights Commission President, will Address the National Press Club of Australia on "Free + Equal: Safeguarding the rights of all Australians"

Australia has before it a once-in a generation opportunity to ensure the basic rights of all Australians are fully protected, now and into the future.

No matter who we are or where we live, all Australians deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. When we know what our legal rights are, we can stand up for ourselves and our communities.

But under our present legal framework, human rights protections are scattered across a patchwork of often contradictory laws and some rights are not protected at all.

By creating a National Human Rights Act, Federal Parliament would put all our rights in one place and create a powerful legal instrument to protect ourselves and our communities, and to seek justice when governments fail to protect us.

Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM has been a leading figure in Australian law reform over the past 17 years, including as President of the Australian Law Reform Council and, currently, as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission since July 2017.

As she concludes her seven-year term, Professor Croucher will discuss the major issues and events that have brought the need for a National Human Rights Act into focus.

The Federal Government has already made progress towards a National Human Rights Act. It established a Parliamentary Inquiry to examine Australia’s human rights framework, which is due to report in late May. But there is still a long road to travel.

As one of the country’s leading law reformers, Professor Croucher has a unique vantage point and will make the case for comprehensive changes to Australia’s human rights framework that embed a National Human Rights Act at its core.

She will share insights from her long and distinguished career in public service, during which she has dealt with many of Australia’s most pressing legal and human rights challenges.

Rosalind’s Bio:

Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM FAAL is President of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Rosalind commenced her seven-year term as Commission President on 30 July 2017.

Prior to joining the Commission, Rosalind was President of the Australian Law Reform Commission (2009–2017) and Commissioner (2006–2009), where she led significant law reform inquiries, including on Client Legal Privilege, Secrecy Laws, Family Violence, Discovery, Age Barriers to Work, Disability Laws, Encroachment on Freedoms in Commonwealth Laws and Elder Abuse. As President, she also oversaw inquiries such as Native Title, Copyright, Serious Invasions of Privacy and Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

In 2019, Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW awarded Rosalind the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rosalind’s public agency career built on distinguished contributions in legal education, with 25 years in university teaching and management. She was Dean of Law at Macquarie University (1999–2007) and Sydney University (1997–1998) and lectured and published extensively, principally in the fields of equity, trusts, property, inheritance and legal history. She became a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law in 2007 and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2015 for significant service to the law as an academic, to legal reform and education, to professional development and to the arts.

Rosalind holds a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of New South Wales, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Sydney. Both the University of New South Wales and Macquarie University conferred on her an Honorary Doctor of Laws. She is an Honorary Fellow of St Andrew’s College of the University of Sydney (2002); Honorary Fellow of the Australian College of Legal Medicine (2004); and an Honorary Life Member of the Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW (2013). In 2014, Rosalind was the winner of the Australian Women Lawyers’ Award in recognition of her ‘outstanding contribution to the legal profession’ in supporting and advancing women in the legal profession. In 2014 she was also acknowledged for her contributions to public policy as one of Australia’s ‘100 Women of Influence’ in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac awards.

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