Keynote Address: Protecting and Promoting Human Rights: The Role of Associations
Lorraine Finlay (Human Rights Commissioner)
Lorraine Finlay will speak about the work undertaken by the Human Rights Commission in protecting and promoting human rights in Australia and internationally. Human rights recognise the inherent value of each person, regardless of background, where we live, what we look like, what we think or what we believe.
They are based on principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect, which are shared across cultures, religions and philosophies. They are
about being treated fairly, treating others fairly and having the ability to make genuine choices in our daily lives. Respect for human
rights is the cornerstone of strong communities in which everyone can make a contribution and feel included. As such, it is essential that
associations not only embrace the protection of human rights in their own operations, but also encourage their members to do the same.
Lorraine Finlay, Human Rights Commissioner
Lorraine Finlay is the Human Rights Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, commencing in this position in November 2021. In this role Lorraine has particular responsibility for protecting and promoting fundamental rights and freedoms, including freedom of speech, religion, movement and association. She also leads the work of the Commission in areas including business and human rights, asylum seekers and refugees, and modern slavery.
Prior to joining the Commission, Lorraine worked as a lawyer and academic specialising in human rights and public law. Her past roles have included working as the Senior Human Trafficking Specialist with the Australian Mission to ASEAN, an academic at Murdoch University, and a State Prosecutor with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (WA). Lorraine holds a dual master’s in law from New York University and the National University of Singapore, where she studied as a Singapura Scholar