2020 - ACT Senior Women of the Year
Dr Helen Watchirs OAM was awarded the 2020 ACT Senior Woman of the Year.
Helen is a strong and practical advocate of human rights for people experiencing vulnerability, including women and girls, particularly those in ACT detention facilities. Prior to her appointment as President and Human Rights Commissioner of the ACT Human Rights Commission in 2016, Helen had served as the Discrimination Commissioner from 2004. In this work she has supervised over 1000 human rights and discrimination complaints and conducted multiple Human Rights Audits.
Her systemic advocacy has influenced ACT government reforms on gender diversity, mental health, racial and religious vilification, sex work, anti-terrorism and intimate image abuse.
Among numerous awards, Helen received the Order of Australia Medal for services to Human Rights in 2010 and was a finalist ACT Australian of the Year in 2016.