Groundbreaking human rights work recognised in Top 50 philanthropic listing

The establishment of the Human Rights Law Centre, the first Australian legal centre dedicated to human rights law, was this morning announced as one of Australia’s Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts.

The Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts celebrates Australia’s most significant and influential philanthropic donations. Selected from hundreds of nominations, the HRLC’s listing recognises the significant philanthropic contribution of PILCH, the National Australia Bank, the Victoria Law Foundation, the RE Ross Trust and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust in supporting the HRLC’s establishment in 2006.

“This recognition is a great tribute to the foresight of our original funders, and to the hard work by our staff, board and partners in repaying their investment in advancing human rights in Australia,” said Hugh de Kretser, Executive Director of the HRLC. “With less than 15% of our funding coming from government, philanthropic support has always been critical to our success.”

Since 2006, the HRLC has established constitutional protection of the right to vote, restored the right to vote for hundreds of thousands of mainly young, homeless and Indigenous Australians, improved healthcare access for prisoners, played a key role in developing landmark anti-discrimination legislation and provided human rights training to over 15,000 people.

In 2012, the HRLC received the Australian Human Rights Law Award. This prestigious award, which is jointly conferred by the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Law Council of Australia, is made annually to an organisation or individual with a proven track record in promoting and advancing human rights in Australia.

‘It’s great that an organisation focused on legal advocacy and education has received a nomination for the Top 50 Gifts. The Human Rights Law Centre continues to make the protection of human rights a reality for everyday Australians.  Victoria Law Foundation is proud to have helped fund its establishment,’ said Erin Dolan, Grants Manager at the Victoria Law Foundation, which nominated the HRLC for the Top 50 listing.

The full list of Australia’s Top 50 philanthropic gifts, and voting for the Top 10 Public Choice Award, is here:’s-top-50-philanthropic-gifts-all-time