Human rights in focus

This page contains information about recent developments and issues in human rights.


Lockyer Valley community development report

The Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland takes a strength-based approach to community engagement work. This approach helps us to work with community, business, and government to raise awareness of human rights, and build opportunities for people to become involved in the Commission's vision of building a fair and inclusive Queensland.

Between 2013 and 2015, the Commission worked intensively with the Lockyer Valley community: building strong relationships with the community and key stakeholders, and helping them work together to tackle human rights concerns. The concerns identified included: racism and racial vilification; the need for formal English language classes; exploitation of seasonal farm workers; and provision of unsafe accommodation for seasonal farm workers.

The report, Start somewhere, go anywhere ;: how a community development approach worked in a government setting , was produced by staff from the Community Engagement team, and

  • –examines how we applied a strength-based, capacity-building, and participatory community development approach to engagement with the Lockyer Valley community;
  • –illustrates some of the positive outcomes achieved; and
  • –reflects on some of the challenges in this approach.

Access the Start somewhere, go anywhere report.


Timeline: 25 years of the Act in Queensland

The timeline attempts to capture the significant milestones in the Anti-Discrimination Act's twenty-five year history, as well as marking the contributions of individual people to the law, as litigants, as advocates, and administrators.

In the timeline you will find entries for significant cases, events, legislative developments, and contributions of individuals.

Access the timeline: 25 years of the Act in Queensland.


Reflecting on 25 years of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991

To mark 25 years of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, State Library of Queensland and the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland asked activists, politicians, community advocates, social justice professionals, and everyday Queenslanders to share their thoughts about the impact of the Act, and personal and community stories of challenge and triumph against discrimination. This compilation is a selection of those responses.  Each of the individual stories follow.

View Reflecting on 25 years of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 - compilation. Link to external websiteRun time is 4:34 minutes.

Cocks v State of Qld

Kevin Cocks, Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, shares a poignant personal story of his fight to enter with ease, dignity and respect one of Queensland's most iconic buildings, the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Cocks’ resilience and tenacity to advocate for and protect the rights of people with impairments and mobility issues led to a significant change in the Building Code of Australia.

View Cocks v State of Qld. Link to external website Run time is 7:07 minutes

A woman's right

Women in Queensland have every right to live and work free from discrimination. Change in community attitudes influenced by anti-discrimination legislation has brought about significant cultural change. Yet, the struggle for women’s rights continues. Neroli Holmes, Queensland''s Deputy Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, and Kerriann Dear from Working Women Queensland, share their thoughts on how far Queensland has come in fostering a society free of sex discrimination and how important it is for all Queenslanders to keep up the momentum.

View A woman's right.Link to external website Run time is 6:44 minutes.

A clear message

When the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 was amended in 2002 to include gender identity and sexuality as attributes, it sent a clear message that discrimination against and vilification of LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex) Queenslanders would not be tolerated. Today, members of the LGBTI community celebrate such recognition while continuing the struggle for equality. Evie Ryder from Open Doors and Matilda Alexander from the LGBTI Legal Service give an insight into the challenges faced by the LGBTI community and the journey towards a more tolerant Queensland.

View A clear message.Link to external website Run time is 4:23 minutes.

The Chai Community

The Chai Community is more than a gathering of like-minded women from the Gold Coast – it is an inspiring community story of individual responsibility and belonging. Formed in response to negative reactions to the building of a mosque in Currumbin, The Chai Community meets regularly to learn, share ideas, and drink Chai. Ishrat Abdool, Ree Ali, and Lesley Bryant, three members of The Chai Community, share their journey of understanding and how with the help of the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland they are bringing about change in their local community.

View The Chai Community.Link to external website Run time is 5:44 minutes

Building a case to Act

The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 was one of Queensland’s most important laws to be passed as part of major legal reform undertaken by the Goss Labour Government in the early 1990s. The Act was a game-changer that would influence the way Queenslanders lived, worked, and interacted. 25 years later, what was the impact of the Act and is anti-discrimination legislation enough to protect human rights in Queensland? Dean Wells, Barrister and former Queensland Attorney-General (1989-1995), The Honourable Yvette D’Ath, Queensland Attorney-General (2015-current), and Aimee McVeigh, Campaign Coordinator for A Human Rights Act in Queensland, reflect on 25 years of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 and its relevance to all Queenslanders.

View Building a case to Act.Link to external website Run time is 8:37 minutes.

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Human Rights Act for Queensland

Queenslanders are being given the opportunity to have a say on the possible implementation of a Human Rights Act in Queensland thanks to an inquiry launched by the Queensland Government. In December 2015, Queensland Attorney-General, Yvette D’ath announced that the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee of State Parliament would hold an inquiry to determine whether a Human Rights Act is the best way to protect human rights into the future. The committee is due to report back to the Legislative Assembly by 30 June 2016.

The ADCQ has been assisting Queenslanders to understand what a Human Rights Act would mean in practice by holding free public information sessions across the state in February and March. The information sessions have now concluded.

The Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee invite written submissions to the inquiry. All submissions must address the terms of reference and be received by 4pm on Monday 18 April 2016. Information about the terms of reference and how to make a submission is available on the committee’s webpage.

You can also make a submission online via the A Human Rights Act for Queensland campaign page.

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