It is with great sadness we learned last week of the death of our patron, the Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser AC.
Mr. Fraser was a strong supporter of human rights, which was evident during his time as the 22nd Prime Minister of Australia (1975 -1983), with his vocal opposition to Apartheid in South Africa and white minority rule in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and his commitment to the resettling of refugees in Australia, particularly from Vietnam and East Timor. His compassion was also evident at home with his efforts to improve the living standards of Indigenous Australians and the passage of the “Aboriginal Lands Act” in 1976 and the establishment of the first Federal Human Rights Commission Act in 1981.
After leaving politics, Mr. Fraser was able to pursue his humanitarian agenda with even more vigor. He became President of Care International in 1991 and also worked with a number of other charity organisations. He voiced his opposition to American policies regarding terrorism and Iraq and openly questioned the way the then Commonwealth government dealt with the David Hicks, Cornelia Rau and Vivian Solon cases. Right up until 2 days before his death, Mr. Fraser was publicly advocating for action regarding the current state of human rights in Australia and the rest of the world.
We have lost a great humanitarian and advocate for the rights of Australians detained anywhere in the globe.