Jewish leader wins human rights prize



An Australian Jewish leader was honored with his nation’s top human rights honor.


Jeremy Jones, a former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, was presented with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s Human Rights Medal at a ceremony Monday.


Jones, the co-chair of the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews, has been an advocate of interfaith dialogue for three decades.


“Mr Jones has dedicated his life to promoting freedom from racial discrimination, persecution, harassment, and [for] freedom of religion,” the commission said. “[He] has tirelessly undertaken voluntary work within Indigenous, Jewish and Muslim communities, as well as other minority groups.”


Jones, who has collated the executive council’s annual report on anti-Semitism in Australia since 1989, also spearheaded the two major court actions against Holocaust deniers in Australia: Olga Scully in Tasmania in 2000 and Fredrick Toben in South Australia in 2002.


“If you relate to other human beings by thinking of them first and foremost as being people who deserve to be treated with dignity, you see unfairness,” Jones told media. “And where you see unfairness you should do something about it wherever you can.”

Past recipients of the human rights prize, which has been awarded annually since 1987, include former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.




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