Johnathan Thurston has been awarded the prestigious Human Rights Medal in honour of his ongoing commitment to improving life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
The Queensland Cowboys co-captain has championed Indigenous education through Achieving Results through Indigenous Education Academy and Cowboy House, a program that provides support and accommodation for Indigenous students from remote Queensland Communities.
“What I’m most proud about is my culture,” an emotional Thurston said when accepting his medal.
The 2018 Queensland Australian of the Year is also involved in a number of organisations that target Indigenous health outcomes.
Melbourne based transgender advocate Georgie Stone was awarded the Young People’s Human Rights Medal at the ceremony, hosted by The Australian Human Rights Commission in Sydney on Friday.
The Messenger and They Cannot Take Sky, a podcast by oral history project Behind the Wire, was awarded this year’s media award for its reporting on immigration detention in Nauru and Manus Island.
The event also featured a marriage proposal.
Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner Alastair McEwin proposed to his partner in the US via Facetime before presenting the Tony Fitzgerald Community Award (see video below).
Friday marked the day same-sex marriage was signed into Australian law by the governor general.
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