The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

Stan GrantThirty five years ago, Australian human rights lawyer, Ron Castan and a team of lawyers initiated an unlikely land rights case, sparking a ten year labour of love that eventually led to the famous Mabo decision handed down on 3 June 1992.

The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, named after the legendary Ron Castan, is celebrating this significant anniversary for the Mabo decision which recognised the concept of native title over land for the first time.

When the Centre's founders decided to name the new centre after Ron, his role in Mabo was a key reason. So too was his wide-ranging work to protect human rights, ranging from discrimination to privacy and free speech. The Centre attempts to honour Ron's legacy every day by working on these same issues.

Over the past few years, the Castan Centre has increased its policy work to achieve systemic change that strengthens human rights in Australia. Right now, it is playing a key role in pushing expungement laws for consensual gay sex crimes in Tasmania and the Northern Territory; banning corporal punishment in South Australian and Queensland schools; and strengthening human rights laws in Victoria.

Centre staff are also preparing landmark reports to curtail the use of force against those in detention and to improve the education of children living with disability.

Based in the Monash Law Faculty, the Castan Centre is currently running its annual appeal to help fund an ambitious five year vision to transform the legal landscape for Indigenous Australians, people with disabilities, asylum seekers, and a number of other vulnerable groups.

It manages to do all of this with very little external funding. Help them to achieve their vision by giving a gift to support their important work.