On 8 August 2019 the Anglo-Australasian Law Society had E-Prof Rosalind Croucher, President of The Human Rights Commission (HRC) address members on the topic “to our children’s children, the glad tomorrow”.

E-Prof Croucher, who had previously spoken on the same topic in London in March (a full copy of its text can be found at the Human Rights Commission Website ), spoke of the national conversation she started in 2018 on human rights, reform and what kind of future do Australians want.

She drew inspiration from indigenous poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s poem “A Song of Hope” which includes the words:-

“To our fathers’ fathers
The pain, the sorrow;
To our children’s children
The glad tomorrow.”

From what I heard and saw, E-Prof Croucher is likely to prove to be a real “change agent” in her presidency of the HRC.

Amongst other things, she spoke, in a brilliant ex tempore presentation, of the need to look to the past to see:-
1. what we have; and
2. what we have had;
better to consider how a particular law fulfilled that then societal need a
as well as querying how well it suits current societal needs;

This is all with a view to informing how we need to refine the Law and rights for the future. E-Prof Croucher gave examples of some laws which were framed in a particular time which now seem no longer apt.

E-Prof Croucher spoke of a societal driver for and embracing of change, rather than leaving it to merely party political drivers and of the need to avoid negatively framed reform and Law.

This, of course, makes it more likely that members of society will buy into an “own” changes.

The presentation was truly inspirational (especially for one, like me, brought up on a philosophical diet of the late Prof Julius Sumner-Miller and his famous question “Why is it so?” as well as encouraging aspiration.