Below is the media release of 20/03/18 announcing that Gillian Triggs is the 2018 Australian Humanist of the Year


Council of Australian Humanist Societies (CAHS) 

Media Release


Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, has been awarded this year’s title of Australian Humanist of the Year (AHOY) by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies (CAHS). 

Professor Triggs award is in recognition of her fearless, reasoned and compassionate approach to human rights in Australia, particularly her conduct of the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention, which shone a spotlight on those whose plight is so often forgotten.  Undaunted by political or career considerations, Professor Triggs has been a steadfast voice for recognition and respect for the human rights of all people. Her resolute consistency of purpose is an example to each of us. 

As reported by United Nations special rapporteur Michel Forst, Gillian Triggs faced “government intimidation and public questioning of her integrity, impartiality and judgment” after her inquiry reported. She engaged fearlessly in public debate to ensure that the situation of these children not be continually ignored and forgotten. Gillian Triggs declared she would not be able to live with herself if she wasted her remaining opportunities to speak up nationally and internationally. 

CAHS President Lyndon Storey said: "We’re delighted to present this award to someone who’s done so much to advance the cause of human rights in Australia.  The opposition Professor Triggs  received, shows how many strides Australia still needs to make before we can claim a "human rights" culture with equal respect and dignity for all. The Australian Humanist movement supports the ongoing struggle to improve respect for human rights in Australia."

" Gillian Triggs’ unflinching support for human rights exemplifies a Humanist approach, putting principle before popularity, and relying on reason and calm persuasion to appeal to the best of our humanity. "

Professor Triggs said "It is especially important in this age of 'post truth' and 'false news' that we all speak up  for fundamental common law protections for humanity”.

Former Australian Humanists of the Year include Peter Singer, Eva Cox and Carmen Lawrence. The Australian Humanist of the Year award provides recognition of individual achievement motivated by Humanist values. Humanism offers a path to joy, meaning, human dignity and human rights without recourse to the supernatural. 

This year's award of Australian Humanist of the year will be presented to Professor Triggs at a dinner in Adelaide on Saturday April 14th after the holding of this year's Australian Humanist Convention, earlier in the day. For more information about the award to Professor Triggs or about CAHS and Humanism see the CAHS website at 

Information about booking tickets for the Convention and/or the dinner can be found on the Humanist Society of South Australia's website at   



Media: Lyndon Storey   Ph: 0432 938 739 Website: 

The Council of Australian Humanist Societies Inc. was established in 1965 as a national body to advocate for Humanist views and concerns at a federal level. Humanists believe that meaning in life, ethics and community can be developed through human means rather than relying on God or other supernatural foundations.