Farewell to brilliant Ben Schokman

After 10 incredible years our Director of Advocacy, Ben Schokman, has decided the time is right for him to pursue new challenges and opportunities.

Ben joined the Human Rights Law Centre as a secondee lawyer in 2006 and has been an integral part of the HRLC’s success and growth over the past decade. Ben led the HRLC’s work on child rights, prisoner rights and disability and much of our early international work.

In 2012, he spearheaded the establishment of our Indigenous Rights Unit. At first, Ben was the unit – it is now three lawyers. The reputation and relationships Ben developed with Indigenous organisations and leaders have been crucial to the unit’s success. One of Ben’s major legacies is the Change the Record coalition – an unprecedented national coalition established to tackle the crisis of Indigenous over-imprisonment. Ben’s outstanding work in this area and more broadly was recognised in 2013 when he received a prestigious Myer Foundation Fellowship to investigate ways to address Indigenous over-imprisonment.

We are all losing a deeply valued, trusted and extremely talented colleague.

Opinions will vary on the extent to which we will miss his Dad jokes but Ben’s Lord’s Prayer for Human Rights at the 2013 Human Rights Dinner (‘Give us this day our daily bread…and other social and economic rights’) is firmly entrenched in HRLC folklore.

Ben will be undertaking consultancy work in the social justice space. Needless to say, he will continue to make a great contribution to human rights and social justice in Australia. We look forward to following his incredible future!