28 May 2024

Next president of Human Rights Commission named

| Chris Johnson
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Hugh de Kretser. Photo: Human Rights Commission.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has announced the appointment of a “dedicated and effective advocate for positive change” as the new president of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Mr Dreyfus said the appointment of Hugh de Kretser followed an open merit selection process.

Mr de Krester will replace Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher, who departs the Commission at the end of July after her seven-year term as president ends.

The outgoing president praised the appointment of her successor.

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“On behalf of commissioners and staff, I am delighted to welcome Mr de Kretser to the Commission,” she said.

“For over 20 years, he has been a dedicated and effective advocate for positive change for people and communities whose human rights are at risk.

“I look forward to handing the baton to Mr de Kretser as he takes the commission into its next phase in its critical role of protecting and promoting human rights in Australia.”

Described as being at the forefront of Australian public interest legal action to advance human rights, Mr de Kretser has played a critical role in several landmark human rights cases and issues, including in relation to protecting the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum, marriage equality, securing justice for First Nations peoples, and in advancing democratic freedoms including the right to protest and freedom of expression.

He is currently chief executive officer of the Yoorrook Justice Commission, the first formal truth-telling process into historical and ongoing injustices experienced by First Nations peoples in Victoria.

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Prior to that, Mr de Kretser was the executive director of the Human Rights Law Centre and executive officer of the Victorian Federation of Community Legal Centres.

He has also served as a commissioner of the Victorian Law Reform Commission and a director of the Sentencing Advisory Council.

Mr de Kretser begins his five-year term on 30 July 2024.

The Australian Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory organisation established by an act of Federal Parliament. It is Australia’s national human rights institution, charged with protecting and promoting human rights in Australia and internationally.

The Commission is a collegiate body comprising a president and seven commissioners, with the president also acting as the CEO.

Original Article published by Chris Johnson on Riotact.

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