Dr Helen Watchirs, the ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner, has been named the 2012 Telstra ACT Business Woman of the Year.
The ACT was the first jurisdiction in Australia to enact a Human Rights Act, which provides an explicit statutory basis for respecting, protecting and promoting civil and political rights. The ACT Human Rights Commission was established in 2006 to promote and protect the rights and wellbeing of all people living in the Australian Capital Territory. It is an independent statutory agency established by the Human Rights Commission Act 2005.
Dr Watchirs manages the handling of discrimination, vilification and sexual harassment complaints. She also educates the community about human rights and discrimination law obligations and examines human rights of vulnerable people, including detainees (such as the 2011 audit of the ACT’s Bimberi Youth Detention Centre).
Prior to her work as the ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commission, she worked for a number of Federal Government agencies and United Nations agencies.
Claire Naidu & Co congratulate Dr Watchirs on her award.