TRANSGENDER Victoria and Victoria and Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby co-convenor Anna Brown are among those shortlisted as finalists for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2014 Human Rights Awards.

They were part of the first shortlist of finalists announced on Friday for the Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Award – Individual, and the Community Organisation Award.

Transgender Victoria was nominated for its dedication to achieving justice, equity and quality health and community services for trans* people, their partners, families and friends.

Meanwhile, Brown was nominated for her efforts in LGBTI human rights advocacy through her work as a lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre and as a volunteer at several LGBTI organisations such as the VGLRL.

Last month, she was honoured with the Victorian GLBTI Person of the Year award at the inaugural GLOBE Community Awards.

Commission president Professor Gillian Triggs said the record number of nominations received for this year’s awards meant determining a shortlist was more difficult than previously.

“We received 42 nominations this year for the Community Individual Award and 48 nominations for the Community Organisation Award,” she said in a statement.

“With such a diverse collection of inspiring individuals and organisations, it was extraordinarily difficult to narrow the field down to a shortlist of just four in each category.”

The other shortlisted community organisations are:

  • Settlement Services International: a not-for-profit organisation that provides resettlement and case management services to refugees and asylum-seekers, as well as to people with disability and children who require out-of-home care.
  • No FGM Australia:  a non-profit organisation aimed at stopping female genital mutilation in Australia.
  • Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS): For over 25 years, RACS has been protecting and advocating for human rights for vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees through the provision of legal advice, case management and representation; community education; outreach services to partner organisations; and advocacy for systemic reform. Some of their clients identify as LGBTI, too.

The other shortlisted individuals are:

  • Alex Mills, for his fundamental commitment to overcoming discrimination of all kinds and promoting equality through his work as coordinator of the Opening Doors Social Inclusion Program, and for his contributions as a White Ribbon Ambassador and volunteer at Dixon House Neighbourhood Centre.
  • Kat Armstrong, who established the Women In Prison Advocacy Network and has made a significant contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights of women,  and particularly young women affected by the criminal justice system.
  • Damian Griffis, who is the chief executive of the First Peoples Disability Network (Australia) and a leading advocate for the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability.

The Australian Human Rights Awards will be presented on December 10 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Click here for tickets.

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