Intersex pioneer & NSW gay lobby get nods for Human Rights Awards

Intersex pioneer & NSW gay lobby get nods for Human Rights Awards

Gina WilsonThe 2013 Australian Human Rights Awards will have a LGBTI flavour with the likes of trailblazing intersex activist Gina Wilson and the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (GLRL) honoured with nominations ahead of next month’s awards ceremony in Sydney.

Founder of Organisation Intersex International (OII) Australia, Wilson has been named one of the four finalists for the Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Award recognising individuals with a track record in promoting and advancing human rights in the Australian community on a not-for-profit basis.

Having retired in September of this year, Wilson’s advocacy for intersex rights is considered groundbreaking with her work helping see the adoption of “intersex status” under the country’s federal anti-discrimination legislation earlier this year. Wilson has also been a strong voice on ending involuntary and coerced sterilisation of intersex people.

“Gina’s work has promoted greater awareness of intersex issues and she has established constructive working partnerships with parliamentarians and human rights and advocacy organisations,” Gillian Triggs, president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, said.

OII Australia’s current president, Morgan Carpenter, said Wilson’s nomination was a fitting result for her tireless activism.

“We’re proud that our founding, now retired, president, Gina Wilson has been shortlisted for a major national human rights award, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Community Individual Award.

“Gina’s work to promote human rights for intersex people has been ground-breaking both within Australia and internationally, and we’re delighted that the panel agreed with our recommendation.”

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the GLRL was nominated for the Community Organisation Award “for its long-term commitment to advocacy and law reform for LGBTI citizens”.

GLRL co-convener Justin Koonin told the Star Observer the group was delighted to be recognised for its achievements over the decades and was thrilled to be sharing the spotlight with Wilson.

“This is an acknowledgement of the tireless work our staff and volunteers have done – not just recently, but over the last twenty-five years,” he said.

“We are also thrilled that our strong ally Gina Wilson from OII Australia has been nominated for the Community Individual Award. This is worthy recognition of the pioneering work she has done for intersex people.”

Meanwhile, under the media category, Jane Hutcheon’s interview with Cate McGregor, the Chief of Army’s speechwriter, on ABC TV’s One plus One program has been nominated for an award for highlighting discrimination faced by transgender people, as has a feature article by journalist Luke Williams that appeared in the Global Mail on ex-gay therapy sessions at Toongabbie Christian School in Sydney’s west.

The 2013 Australian Human Rights Awards will be held on December 10 at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art with ABC broadcaster Craig Reucassel from The Chaser acting as the evening’s host.

INFO: ‘2013 Australian Human Rights Awards’, 5.30pm-7.30pm, Tuesday, December 10. For tickets or further information, visit here

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