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The Commision

We exercise our functions under this federal legislation by:

  • investigating and conciliating complaints of discrimination or breaches of human rights
  • developing an extensive and accessible website containing research, publications, resources and education programs for young people, teachers, community groups, business, media and the community at large
  • working with the media to raise and promote public awareness about important human rights issues
  • working with organisations and leaders in the community, government and business sectors to provide education on relevant human rights issues and to support them in their efforts to better protect and promote human rights
  • holding public inquiries and consultations to resolve systemic human rights issues of national importance that we have identified
  • working closely with the federal government to provide independent advice regarding the development of laws, programs and policies that will better protect and promote human rights
  • publishing reports on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice and native title and children’s rights
  • making submissions to parliamentary and other inquiries in order to identify human rights issues which may arise in proposed or existing laws and policies
  • working in the legal system by appearing as an intervener or as amicus curiae in cases that involve human rights
  • working with other national human rights institutions, particularly through the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions.

The President, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, the National Children’s Commissioner and the Sex Discrimination Commissioner have additional responsibilities.