The Australian Human Rights Institute produces world-leading research and advances debate on critical human rights issues. Our strategic and rigorous research transforms practices to mainstream human rights, with a focus on inequality and accountability.

Our successful approach is driven by:  


The Institute’s interdisciplinary research, developed by our 200+ Academic Associates, informs our understanding of the root causes of human rights challenges and innovates practical and sustainable solutions to create systemic change.    

Engagement and collaboration 

We strategically engage with government, business and civil society to inform public debate and empower the next generation of human rights leaders. Our collaborative partnerships place the Institute at the forefront of human rights issues globally. 

Our history

The Australian Human Rights Centre logo

The Australian Human Rights Institute was created as part of Strategy 2025 to enhance the ability of the University of NSW (UNSW) to create a world-class research institute focused on human rights to further the strategic goals of pursuing academic excellence and enhancing social impact.

Launched under the directorship of Professor Louise Chappell in 2018, the Institute built on the outstanding legacy of one of the oldest centres in the faculty, the Australian Human Rights Centre, established at UNSW in 1986 and led by such formative directors as Emeritus Professor Andrea Durbach.

Professor Justine Nolan – who also had a long history of involvement with both the Centre and now Institute – took the helm as Director in early 2021.