The HRLC’s Director of Advocacy and Strategic Litigation Anna Brown has been recognised for her work to advance the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
Anna was declared Victorian GLBTI Person of the Year at the inaugural GLOBE (Gay and Lesbian Organisation of Business and Enterprise) community awards held on 17 October 2014. These awards celebrate outstanding and exceptional achievement in Victoria’s GLBTI community and were judged by former High Court judge Michael Kirby, Lady Mayoress Emma Page Campbell and Sunday Age political state editor Farrah Tomazin.
In the words of Age journalist Miki Perkins, who interviewed Anna about the award, “from the successful bid to expunge historical gay sex convictions, to Victoria Police's recent apology for the Tasty nightclub raid, Anna Brown's fingerprints are on almost every legal or political win for the state's gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex residents in the past few years.”
Since commencing with the HRLC in 2011, Anna has established the HRLC as a leading voice in the promotion of LGBTI rights, working in collaboration with LGBTI community leaders and contributing legal expertise to a range of important rights issues. Since 2012, Anna has also been the Co-Convener of the Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby, acted as national spokesperson for the ground breaking No To Homophobia campaign and served on the boards of a number of LGBTI organisations. Her work during this time has included the following achievements:
- intensive lobbying and advocacy to achieve the passage of federal discrimination protections for LGBTI people, including protections for transgender and intersex people that represent leading international practice.
- advocacy to “expunge” historical convictions for homosexual conduct, including providing legal assistance to men affected by convictions and leading the development of a significant research report.
- marshalling a legal team to intervene on behalf of a transgender and intersex organisation, A Gender Agenda, in the landmark “Norrie” case that allowed an androgynous transgender person to be recognised as neither male nor female.
- ongoing work in close collaboration with transgender and intersex people to support the development of legal frameworks for appropriate and respectful recognition of sex and gender.
- strategic litigation and legal support for the marriage equality movement, including representing Australian Marriage Equality (AME) in Cth v ACT  HCA 55 and briefing counsel to prepare.
- Providing key support and acting as national spokesperson for the ground breaking No to Homophobia campaign.
Anna was also short listed for an individual award in the AHRC’s 2014 human rights awards, awarded annually on human rights day in December. The Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Award recognises individuals with a track record in promoting and advancing human rights in the Australian community on a not-for-profit basis. Anna was nominated for her tireless efforts to advance the human rights of LGBTI people.
The HRLC also congratulates and thanks Allens, shortlisted for the Law Award in recognition of its legal work to promote LGBTI rights, including partnering with the HRLC in its interventions in the cases of Cth v ACT and NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages v Norrie.
The HRLC congratulates all winners and finalists in the 2014 Human Rights Awards (full details available here: https://hrawards.humanrights.gov.au )