Australian Human Rights Commission Annual Report 2017-2018

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Human Rights


© Australian Human Rights Commission 2018

The Australian Human Rights Commission encourages the dissemination and exchange of information presented in this publication and endorses the use of the Australian Governments Open Access and Licensing Framework (AusGOAL).


All material presented in this publication is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence, with the exception of:

photographs and images

the Commission’s logo, any branding or trademarks

where otherwise indicated.

To view a copy of this licence, visit

In essence, you are free to copy, communicate and adapt the publication, as long as you attribute the Australian Human Rights Commission and abide by the other licence terms. Please give attribution to: © Australian Human Rights Commission 2018.

ISSN 1837-6444

This publication can be found in electronic format on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s website at:

For further information about the Australian Human Rights Commission or copyright in this publication, please contact:
Communications Unit, Australian Human Rights Commission, GPO Box 5218, SYDNEY NSW 2001 Telephone: (02) 9284 9600, email:, website:

To order more publications from the Australian Human Rights Commission, download a Publication Order Form at:, call: (02) 9284 9600, fax: (02) 9284 9611 or email:


Contents 8

About the Commission 10

Our purpose 10

Achieving our purpose 11

Organisational structure 11

Our functions 12

Legislation 12

Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) 12

Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) 13

Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) 13

Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) 13

Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth) 14

Responsible Minister 15

Location 16

Achieving a national reach 17

The year in review 19

President and Commissioners 22

Annual performance statement for
non-financial outcomes 23

Introductory statement 23

Purpose 24

Results 24

Introduction 24

Performance criteria 25

Appendices 25

Snapshot of Commission activity 26

Outcome 1:
Effective promotion and engagement builds increased awareness and understanding of human rights 27

Leadership 27

National survey on sexual assault and sexual harassment experienced by students at Australian universities 27

Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) 27

Implementing the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) 28

Age and employment 29

Accessible housing 29

Regional conversations on racism and social cohesion 29

Engagement with United Nations Mechanisms 30

Effective reach among identified audiences—demonstrated by web analytics that exceed previous year by 5% 31

Web and social media reach 31

Events and launches 31

Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee and National Health Leadership Forum 32

Positive ageing 33

National Anti-Racism Partnership and Strategy (NARPS) 33

Contribution of expertise on human rights to court processes 35

Increased capability among organisations and employers to be diverse, inclusive and respectful workplaces 35

Business and Human Rights Program 35

Analysis—Outcome 1 37

Outcome 2:
Effective and timely information assists compliance with discrimination law and human rights, and effective investigation and conciliation of complaints 38

Efficient and effective information and dispute resolution services 38

The terms on which disputes are resolved include systemic outcomes 39

Legal information and resources assist employers and organisations to comply with discrimination and human rights 40

Analysis—Outcome 2 41

Outcome 3:
Expert and persuasive research contributes to preventing human rights breaches and proactively improving compliance with human rights obligations 43

Parliamentary debates and committee inquiry reports reference the work of the Commission 43

Submissions 43

Major reports and national inquiries lead to increased understanding of human rights 45

National survey on sexual assault and sexual harassment experienced by students at Australian universities and university responses to the Change the course report 45

Cultural Reform in the Australian Defence Force 45

Children’s Rights Report 2017 46

Stakeholders use our research increasing their capacity to promote human rights issues 47

Disability institutional violence report 47

Building capacity for child safety 47

Immigration detention and asylum seeker program 47

Analysis—Outcome 3 48

Outcome 4:
Human rights education activities increase understanding and build capacity about human rights 50

Education and training programs and resources are engaging, meet quality standards and increase knowledge to apply human rights in different settings 50

School Education Resources 50

Public Service Training 51

Participation in the investigation and conciliation process results in increased understanding of rights and responsibilities in the law 54

International technical cooperation activities increase human rights capacity and advance national reform in partner states 54

China-Australia 2017–21 Human Rights Technical Cooperation Program (HRTCP) 55

2017–21 Lao PDR-Australia Human Rights Technical Cooperation Program (HRTCP) 55

Access to Public Spaces for People with Disability Cooperation between the Human Rights Commissions of Sri Lanka and Australia 55

A developing relationship with the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights 55

Analysis—Outcome 4 56

Financial statements 58

Independent Auditor’s Report

to the Attorney-General 58

Statement by the Accountable Authority

and Chief Finance Officer 61

Statement of Comprehensive Income

for the period ended 30 June 2018 62

Statement of Financial Position

as at 30 June 2018 64

Statement of Changes in Equity

for the period ended 30 June 2018 66

Cash Flow Statement

for the period ended 30 June 2018 68

Notes to and forming part of the financial statements

for the period ended 30 June 2018 71

Overview 71

1. Financial Performance 74

Note 1.1: Expenses 74

Note 1.1: Expenses (continued) 76

Note 1.2: Own-Source Revenue and Gains 77

Note 1.2: Own-Source Revenue and Gains (continued) 78

2. Financial Position 80

Note 2.1: Financial Assets 80

Note 2.1: Financial Assets (continued) 82

Note 2.2: Non-Financial Assets 83

Note 2.2: Non-Financial Assets (continued) 84

Note 2.2: Non-Financial Assets (continued) 85

Note 2.2: Non-Financial Assets (continued) 86

Note 2.2: Non-Financial Assets (continued) 88

Note 2.3: Payables 90

Note 2.4: Non-interest Bearing Liabilities 91

Note 2.5: Other Provisions 91

3. Funding 92

Note 3.1: Appropriations 92

Note 3.2: Net Cash Appropriation Arrangements 92

4. People and Relationships 94

Note 4.1: Employee Provisions 94

Note 4.1: Employee Provisions (continued) 96

Note 4.2: Key Management Personnel Remuneration 96

Note 4.3: Related Party Disclosures 98

5. Managing Uncertainties 99

Note 5.1: Contingent Assets and Liabilities 99

Note 5.2: Financial Instruments 100

Note 5.2: Financial Instruments (continued) 102

Note 5.3: Fair Value Measurement 103

Appendix 1:
Outcomes and indicators 104

Appendix 2:
Projects, services and activities 106

Appendix 3:
Major events, reports, publications and
education resources 109

Events & launches 109

2017–18 Reports, publications, education resources 109

Index of Annual Report requirements 112

20 September 2018

The Hon Christian Porter MP

Parliament House

Dear Attorney,

I am pleased to present the Annual Report of the Australian Human Rights Commission for the period ending 30 June 2018. The report has been prepared pursuant to section 45 of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) and in accordance with the requirements of section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth).

As the Accountable Authority of the Australian Human Rights Commission, I am responsible for the preparation and contents of the Annual Report of Operations. I approved the Annual Report 2017–18 on 20 September 2018 by signing a memorandum.

Yours sincerely,

Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM


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