I woke up this morning thinking of the men and women still held by the Australian Government on Manus and Nauru after six long years.
Thinking of First Nations people, LGBTIQ communities, migrant communities and others.
I woke up thinking of people as they contemplate last night’s election results. Thinking of how we must rally. How together we must commit to defending the values we all hold dear – like fairness, respect, equality and compassion. How we must redouble our determination to stand up for human rights in Australia.
We have seen this Government undermine human rights in many ways.
But we have also seen how together, we have challenged and defeated key parts of their agenda and secured real change.
Together, we got all refugee children off Nauru. We reunited refugees families that had been cruelly separated for six years. We brought hundreds of sick people to safety in Australia.
Together, we defeated anti-democratic reforms that would have harmed the ability of charities to criticise government policies. We changed racially discriminatory social security policies and secured commitments to stop religious schools from discriminating against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender kids.
Together, we achieved marriage equality.
Thank you for your belief in human rights and for being part of this movement. Change is only possible because of people like you.
I woke up this morning knowing that now, more than ever, we have a job to do. Knowing that we can make a difference. Knowing that, if we work together, we have the power to achieve positive change in this nation.
In hope, always.
Hugh de Kretser
Human Rights Law Centre