Web and social media reach
Social media analytics show growth that meets the 5% target for Facebook. The Commission earned 120,089 Facebook ‘likes’ during the period, an increase of 5% on last year. The Commission decreased its number of Twitter followers to 131,327, a drop of 17%. The drop in Twitter followers reflects the end of term of Commissioners with large followings on that platform.
The Commission monitors its website reach through page views and visits. In this reporting period, web analytics show a reach of 9,999,096 page views and 5,744,534 website visits. This translates to a growth of 4% and 8% respectively, with visits exceeding the PBS performance benchmark of 5% annual growth.
Events and launches
Our public presence helps us to reach large and diverse audiences and to facilitate informed debate. In this period, we hosted and promoted at least six major events that have engaged substantial audiences and generated significant awareness and debate through positive media coverage:
- Technology and Human Rights Conference, 24 July 2018
- Human Rights Awards, 14 December 2018
- Human Rights Day Oration, 10 December 2018
- Rights Talk: Refugees with Disabilities, 8 April 2019
- Business and Human Rights Event: ‘The Financial Sector: A Key Player in the Prevention of Modern Slavery’, 10 April 2019
- Rights Talk: Casey Legler, 6 May 2019
Human Rights Awards and Human Rights Day Oration
The 2018 Human Rights Awards ceremony was held on Friday 14 December 2018 and marked the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Day of Human Rights. This year we introduced the Government Award to recognise the contribution of local, state, territory and federal government bodies to the advancement and protection of human rights in Australia.
The ceremony was attended by 580 delegates from the government, legal, business and community sectors. This is the highest number of attendees ever to attend the Human Rights Awards. We received 379 nominations across nine Awards categories. This represents a 25% increase from the previous year. Nominations increased across almost all categories.
On Monday 10 December 2018 the Commission, in partnership with King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), delivered the inaugural Human Rights Day Oration: ‘Reflecting on the Northern Territory Royal Commission, one year on’. Hosted by the Commission President and KWM Chief Executive, the oration was delivered by former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner & NT Royal Commissioner, Mick Gooda, and former Queensland Justice & NT Royal Commissioner Margaret White.
The National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, also provided her reflections on justice for children in the NT and Australia more broadly. The oration was a highly successful event with all tickets filled, the Commission receiving 290 registrations, and was also attended by Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar.
Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee and National Health Leadership Forum
The Close the Gap (CTG) Campaign aims to raise the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to that of the non-Indigenous population within a generation: to close the gap by 2030. It aims to do this through effective advocacy for the implementation of a human rights-based approach to Indigenous health as set out in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner’s Social Justice Report 2005.
The Campaign consists of two elements. First, the Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee (CTGSC) is comprised of a coalition of Australia’s peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations, health professional bodies and human rights organisations and is co-chaired by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.
Second, the National Health Leadership Forum (NHLF) brings together expertise and senior leadership from representatives across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health peak organisations. As a collective, the NHLF engages with government and senior levels of the bureaucracy to advance collective priorities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.
The NHLF Chair is actively involved in the CTGSC and co-chairs the Implementation Plan Advisory Group with senior executives from the Australian Government Department of Health.
Throughout the 2018–19 financial year, the Commission provided secretariat support for both of these committees. In July 2019, the NHLF established its own separate secretariat housed outside of the Commission. The Commission will continue to provide secretariat support for the CTGSC.
The Campaign released its Annual Report, ‘Our Choices, Our Voices’ on National Close the Gap Day, 21 March 2019. The report, prepared by the Lowitja Institute, highlights the incredible work being carried out by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the need to have genuine and meaningful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in decision-making processes.
Racism. It Stops with Me Campaign
Further to the Muslim research project reported earlier, work continued on the National Anti-Racism Partnership Strategy and the ‘Racism. It Stops with Me’ Campaign.
In this period the Commission created the ‘Let’s talk race: A guide on how to conduct conversations about racism’ and tailored website content to complement the international premiere of ‘The Final Quarter’ documentary at the Sydney Film Festival on 7 June 2019.
This documentary about AFL legend, former Australian of the Year and ‘Racism. It Stops with Me’ Ambassador, Adam Goodes, was created by Shark Island Productions. It considered the last three years of Goodes’ playing career when he became a lightning rod for a heated public debate and widespread media commentary including about racism.
In the lead up to the documentary’s premiere the Commission participated in workshops with the film makers and other partners such as Reconciliation Australia to create and identify education resources to support organisations, students and young people with conversations about the film and about racism.
Our work often involves using our national profile to lend support to other initiatives. For example, under a goal to promote positive ageing, the Age Discrimination Commissioner supports the ‘100: The Centenarian Portrait Project by Teenagers’. This is a professional community arts project that promotes inter-generational friendships, celebrates elders and fights negative ageing stereotypes.
One hundred centenarians in each participating state or territory sit for portraits created by young artists, largely from local secondary schools. For most of the artists, it is an opportunity to meet a centenarian for the first time; for the centenarians it is a chance to share history. Through the process, both generations are able to develop fresh intergenerational perspectives. In this period, the Commissioner participated in the Sydney campaign. This support will continue in the coming years as the Campaign moves to more states and territories.
The Commissioner also released an updated new edition of ‘Your Rights at Retirement’. This popular resource is a guide for older Australians to making decisions and navigating through later life. It covers topics including government services, financial decisions, working, housing and aged care.