The people’s choice: HRLC in the top three greatest Australian philanthropic gifts ever

Two weeks after being announced as one of Australia’s Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts ever, the seed funding for the Human Rights Law Centre yesterday came in at number three in the People’s Choice award.

Almost 8,000 votes were cast as people chose their favourites among the Top 50 list. The establishment of the HRLC was third behind the Epworth Hospital and the Wyatt Trust.

The HRLC’s Executive Director, Hugh de Kretser, said it was a great honour for the HRLC to selected in the top three.

“This a wonderful recognition of the vital work the Human Rights Law Centre undertakes. There are still major challenges facing the realisation of human rights in Australia. The fact that the HRLC is here to help tackle those challenges is a great tribute to the foresight of our original funders," said Mr de Kretser.

The HRLC was founded in 2006 with philanthropic funding from PILCH, the National Australia Bank, the Victoria Law Foundation, the RE Ross Trust and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust. Since then, 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.

“With less than 15% of our funding coming from government, philanthropic support has always been critical to our success,” said Mr de Kretser.

An initiative of the Myer Family Company, The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund, Pro Bono Australia, Swinburne University and Philanthropy Australia, the Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts celebrates Australia’s most significant and influential philanthropic donations. For further information click here.

Donations to the HRLC are tax deductible and can be made online here: