Funds In Court Human Rights Advisory Committee receives Public Advocate Award 2022
The Funds in Court Human Rights Advisory Committee (HRAC) has been awarded the 2022 Public Advocate Award by the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA).
The Public Advocate Award is presented annually to an organisation that has provided an outstanding contribution to improving the lives and outcomes for people with disability.
Funds in Court is a division of the Supreme Court of Victoria that is responsible for the administration of all funds paid into the Court in civil proceedings.
A core function of Funds in Court is to administer funds paid as compensation to persons with a legal disability who are unable to manage their own financial affairs.
The Senior Master, Associate Justice Fiona Steffensen, who administers Funds in Court, extends her congratulations to the members of the committee. Her Honour said, “This award deservingly casts a brighter light upon the important work done by the HRAC to address complex issues that have a direct impact on Victorians with a disability”.
Ceremony in the Law Library Victoria
The award was officially presented to the HRAC by the Public Advocate of Victoria, Dr Colleen Pearce AM, on Wednesday 22 February 2023 at a ceremony in the Law Library Victoria.
The Honourable Associate Justice Steffensen holding the Public Advocate Award, and Dr Colleen Pearce AM, Public Advocate of Victoria
The ceremony also featured Miranda Bain, deputy chair of the HRAC as the master of ceremonies, who thanked the Committee, the former Chief Justice Marilyn Warren AC, and the former Senior Master Associate Justice John Efthim for their long-standing support.
Guest speakers of the evening were John Bolitho, retired Principal Lawyer at Bolitho + Legal; Kathryn Booth, Principal Lawyer at Maurice Blackburn, and the Senior Master, Associate Justice Fiona Steffensen.
During the ceremony, Dr Colleen Pearce AM also presented to Funds in Court artwork created by artist Robert Croft to commemorate the occasion.
Left to right: The Honourable Justice Croft, Robert Croft, The Honourable Associate Justice Steffensen, Dr Colleen Pearce AM, and Krystyna Croft
Members of the HRAC, with Dr Colleen Pearce AM, and the Croft family
Watch the Launch of the Charter of Rights
The HRAC initiated a Charter of Rights for Parents and Carers with disabilities, who have an involvement with Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (Child Protection). The charter has been endorsed by the Department and was officially launched on 6 February 2023.
The launch event was held online, and a full recording of the event is available to watch. An Auslan interpreter was also present for the ceremony and a transcript is available.
The Charter of Rights marks a major cultural change and is the result of the HRAC and the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing consulting with welfare and advocacy organisations, the National Disability Service, the Office of the Public Advocate, and more than 50 organisations who work with people with disability.
The charter is a first for Victorians with a disability to have their rights recognised by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, and will be made available to Funds in Court beneficiaries, victims of crime and any person with a disability.
Access and download the Charter of Rights For Parents And Carers With Disabilities Involved With Child Protection In Victoria
About the Human Rights Advisory Committee
In 2016, with support from the former Chief Justice Marilyn Warren AC and the former Senior Master, Associate Justice John Efthim, the HRAC was established to develop a reform agenda to make a difference for people who identify with a disability.
The Committee sought to recognise and remedy gaps in accessing the justice system for persons with a disability and addresses issues that are complex and have a direct impact on Victorians with a disability, their rights to equality in accessing justice, and to civil society.
The HRAC’s achievements are aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which promotes, protects and ensures the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and promotes respect for their inherent dignity.
For any enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org@niab.adnarim , Deputy Chair of the HRAC.