Another year, another incredible UTS Human Rights Awards done and dusted!
Held every two years, the Awards are our chance to acknowledge the contribution of staff and students at UTS who, through their spirit and commitment, are creating a more equitable university and society.
This year there were 15 winners across seven categories, as well three High Commendations and six Commendations presented.
Our guest speaker Dr Munjed Al Muderis, an Associate Professor, author and human rights activist who came to Australia as a refugee from the Saddam Hussein regime, captivated the audience with his wit, charm and inspiring story. Since arriving in Australia he has gone on to become one of the country's most respected orthopaedic surgeons, as well as an active voice on human rights issues.
This year also saw the announcement of a new award category, the Champion for Social Justice award, recognising a UTS community partner who has demonstrated enduring commitment to defending human rights, as well as ongoing support for UTS and the work we do. The announcement of this category was a pleasant surprise for all in attendance, especially our award recipient and special guest Dr Tim Soutphommasane, who coincidentally was celebrating his final formal public engagement as Race Discrimination Commissioner.
We would like to once again thank all those who celebrated the Awards with us this year and congratulations to all the nominees and award recipients. See you in 2020!
Winner: Peter McNeil and Christine Dean
For consultation and intellectual framing of The Unflinching Gaze: photo media and the male figure, a Bathurst Regional Art Gallery exhibition and related catalogue, community outreach, advocacy and DAB curriculum development.
Commendation: Matthew Hodges, Eilidh Mellis and Grace Back for the project Queersay.
Full list of Ally Award nominees
Aadarsh Prasad, UTS Queer Collective
Alice McAuliffe, UTS Art
Isabelle Laker, UTS Society of Communications
Jason Prior, Institute For Sustainable Futures
Matthew Hodges, Eilidh Mellis and Grace Back, UTS students
Peter McNeil and Christine Dean, DAB
Creative Media Social Justice Award
Winner: Adbul Hekmat and the UTS ART Team: Eleanor Zeichner, Stella McDonald, Alice McAuliffe and Tania Creighton
For The Invisible, a curated exhibition in painting, video, sculpture, installation and photography, drawing on artists’ refugee backgrounds to explore the effects of displacement, dispossession, trauma and memory, and which created a humanising space for others to connect.
High Commendation: Ariellna Cheryl Chan, Manon Drielsma, Jessica Faccin, Lucinda Kearney, Maylene Lam-Hang, Fanfei Lu, Lee Barone, Rachel Zellis, Thuy Kha Ngo and Yizhuo Zhang for their design work for Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services NSW (WDVCAS)
Commendation: UTS Society of Communications for UTS ‘Racism: It Stops With Me’, integrated campaign
Full list of Creative Media Social Justice Award nominees
Abdul Hekmat, FASS and the UTS ART Team
Ariellna Cheryl Chan, Maon Drielsma, Jessica Faccin, Lucinda Kearney, Maylene Lam-Hang, Fanfei Lu, Lee Barone, Rachel Zellis, Thuy Kha Ngo and Yizhuo Zhang, UTS students
Aishah Ali, UTS student
Cherine Fahd, DAB
Debra Adelaide, FASS
Imran Firdaus and Alex Munt, FASS
Elizabeth Hastings Memorial Award for Community Contribution
Winner: Kimberley Pressick-Kilborn
For the Picture Books Project at Youth Off The Streets, a program to share the joy of reading to increase literacy among young people who experienced disadvantage in their schooling – and the community benefit generated through ongoing involvement as a volunteer with Youth Off The Streets.
Commendation: Bronwen Dalton for Ruff Sleepers
Commendation: Won-Hae Shim for volunteering in Nepal to take part in post-earthquake reconstruction, as part of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan Scholarship
Full list of Elizabeth Hastings Memorial Award for Community Contribution nominees
Apple Lyn Davalos, FASS
Bronwen Dalton, Business School
Emily Virgona, FASS
Intisauril Hoque, The Big Lift Society
Kimberley Pressick-Kilborn, FASS
Mena Basaly, FEIT
Naomi Malone, UTS Alumni and PhD recipient
Ramya Prabhakaran, Business and IT
Sambavi Seermaran, Law
Tasman Munro, DAB
UTS VisCom Team, DAB
Won-Hae Shim, DAB
Ying Wang, DAB
UTS Indigenous Excellence Award
Winner: Larissa Behrendt, Paddy Gibson and Craig Longman
For their work on a transformative research project addressing the contemporary crisis of Indigenous child removals, providing family and community support alongside advocacy for broader policy change.
Commendation: Allan Teale for the Revitalising Murrin Bridge project.
Commendation: Shannon Foster for work on sharing D’harawal stories as D’harawal Saltwater Knowledge Keeper, artist and educator
Full list of UTS Indigenous Excellence Award nominees
Allan Teale, DAB
Michelle Trudgett, Susan Page and Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews, Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges
Gavin Stanbrook, FASS, CAIK
Matthew Walsh, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research
Shannon Foster, Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges
Larissa Behrendt, Paddy Gibson and Craig Longman, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research
Jo Wilton Memorial Award for Women
Winner: Jo Pugsley
For sustained contribution to the abolition of human trafficking and slavery in Australia through Anti-Slavery Australia, providing legal representation, policy development and advocacy to improve outcomes for vulnerable women.
High Commendation: Thalia Anthony and Larissa Behrendt for establishing Sista2Sista, a peer-to-peer support group for Aboriginal women
Full list of Jo Wilton Memorial Award for Women nominees
Alice Rummery, FASS, Transdisciplinary Innovation
Angela Dawson, The Australian Centre for Public and Population Health Research, Faculty of Health
Ayla Darling, Vanessa Ocansey, Anna Freeland and Sevin Pakbaz
Jo Pugsley, Law
Samantha Donnelly and Sue Dean, DAB/Health
Thalia Anthony and Larissa Behrendt, Law
UTS Social Inclusion Award
Winner: Emily Quinn Smyth
For raising community awareness of hearing loss and Auslan use in science through the project ‘Falling on Deaf Ears – current gaps in Auslan and the scientific world’, involving the deaf community in the development and expansion of Auslan to address the gap in science vocabulary.
Full list of UTS Social Inclusion Award nominees
Anne Prescott, FASS
Emily Quinn Smyth, Institute for Interactive Media & Learning
Jane Hunter, FASS
Jock Collins, Business School
Katt Robertson, Business School
Lucy Fiske, Nina Burridge and Damian Maher, FASS
Marina Brizar, Law
Rosemary Johnston, FASS
UTS Vice-Chancellor’s Social Justice and Human Rights Award
Winner: Bruce Pascoe
For research on Aboriginal agriculture, food production and land management, and bringing Indigenous knowledge and culture to the broader Australian community through advocacy and through his book ‘Dark Emu’, retelling the story of systems of food production in early Aboriginal history.
High Commendation: Samira Aili for extensive volunteering to support women, detainees, immigrant communities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including Lou’s Place, the Northern Beaches Women Shelter, and the Villawood Detention Centre and AIME
Full list of UTS Vice-Chancellor’s Social Justice and Human Rights Award nominees
Chris Cunneen, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education & Research
Jacqueline Gothe, DAB
Hervé Harvard, Eugene Vostrikov, Jimmy Tang and Valeria Plutino, FEIT
Keren Winterford, Institute for Sustainable Futures
Loraine Holley, ex Faculty of Science
Bruce Pascoe, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research
Samira Aili, Science
UTS Law Educational Partnership with Gawharshad Institute for Higher Education
WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Development, UTS
UTS Champion for Human Rights Award
Recognising a UTS community partner who has demonstrated enduring commitment to defending human rights, as well as ongoing support and enthusiasm for UTS and the work that we do.
Winner: Dr Tim Soutphommasane
For being a fearless and vocal defender of human rights and multiculturalism throughout is distinguished career in academia, policy and advocacy as Race Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission.