Balancing the Act: ADCQ newsletter -

Cec Fisher OAM, vale 1933-2009

This article first appeared in Balancing the Act Issue 27, Summer 2009/10 page 8.


Nugent Allan Fisher OAM, better known as Cec, was one of the Commission's most memorable staff members and a passionate human rights advocate. He was very active and well-known in his community and in political circles, and had a deep knowledge of Aboriginal history. He also worked across racial borders to assist all marginalised people.

Cec worked in human rights and anti-discrimination in Queensland for more than 20 years, from the establishment of the first Queensland branch of the Commonwealth Human Rights Commission in 1984. He stayed with the Commission when it became the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) in 1986 and witnessed the ascent of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 .

Cec provided advice to many people through his work in the commissions; assisting them to understand the challenges Aboriginal people experience with racism. These include wellknown politician Sir James Killen, Governor-General Quentin Bryce AC and senior State and Commonwealth public servants.

He was a highly-respected member of the Board of the Brisbane Legal Service, a member of the Link-Up Board for Queensland and an ATSIC Regional Councillor for the Ipswich area.

His contributions to human rights advocacy have been recognised through many awards, including the Year of Indigenous People Queenslander of the Year in 1993 and the Australia Day Achievement Medallion in 1998. The recognition of Cec's work culminated in the receipt of both the Order of Australia Medal and the Male Elder of the Year national NAIDOC award in 2001.

People who had the privilege of knowing Cec learned so much by working beside, listening to and talking with him.

We will miss you Cec.