Australian Human Rights Institute advisory committee announced

A group of eminent Australians will help guide the Australian Human Rights Institute for the next three years.
The inaugural advisory committee with Professor Louise Chappell. Photo: Maja Baska

The Australian Human Rights Institute at UNSW Sydney has announced its inaugural advisory committee, a group of eminent Australians who will help guide the research institute for the next three years.

The Institute, which launched in March 2018, is part of a broader UNSW Sydney strategy to encourage researchers from various disciplines to work towards breakthroughs for communities around the world that are most in need.

This spirit continues with the Institute’s inaugural advisory group, which features people who have achieved in fields as diverse as business, politics, law, medicine, sport and the arts.

The appointments are:

Advisory Committee Chair, Dr David Cooke, Managing Director of Konica Minolta Australia

Pablo Berrutti – Deputy Chair, Responsible Investment Association of Australasia

Professor Megan Davis – Expert Member, United Nations Expert Mechanism on the rights of Indigenous peoples

Kieren Fitzpatrick – Director, Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF)

Craig Foster – Former Socceroo Captain, Commentator, Sport and Human Rights Advocate

Rebecca Gilsenan – Principal Lawyer, Maurice Blackburn

Kate Harrison – Partner, Gilbert+Tobin

Fran Kelly – Presenter, ABC RN Breakfast

Chris Lamb – Chief People & Culture Officer Greencross Ltd

Professor Robyn Norton AO – Principal Director, The George Institute for Global Health

Elaine Pearson – Australia Director, Human Rights Watch

Magda Szubanski AO – Actor, author and advocate

Professor George Williams AO – Dean, UNSW Law

Dr Phoebe Wynn-Pope – Head of Business and Human Rights, Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Noël Zihabamwe – Founder and Chairperson for African Australian Advocacy Centre

Dr Cooke, whose business last year won an Australian Human Rights Commission Award for its leadership on modern slavery, said the role of the group was to support the Institute’s researchers by providing connections to industry and government, and championing their work.

“The formation of an advisory committee for the Australian Human Rights Institute is an important step in developing the scope and impact of the Institute’s valuable work,” Dr Cooke said.

“I am particularly excited by the multi-sector composition of the committee, which brings together a wide range of people with deep experience and deep commitment to human rights.”

Australian Human Rights Institute Director, Professor Louise Chappell, said the Institute’s research programs and support for human rights defenders would be enriched by the vast experiences of the advisors.

“In these early days of our Institute we are already seeing the potential for progress when experts in STEM consider human rights challenges in the areas of business, health and gender justice,” Professor Chappell said.