Dr Diane Sisely

My most rewarding work is raising awareness of how human rights apply in our everyday life and why they must be protected.

Honour Roll

Diane was a Commission Member, Chief Executive and Chief Conciliator of the Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission (VEOC) from 1994 to 2004. Diane's legacy as head of the VEOC relates to the leadership she showed in addressing systemic discrimination and in promoting human rights.

Diane demonstrated that equal opportunity was an issue that applied to all Victorians, as well as to minority groups. She led an inquiry into the discrimination against same sex couples in 1998, the findings of which led to the introduction of the Statute Law Amendment (Relationships) Acts and changes to other Victorian laws to remove discrimination against same sex couples.

Diane was also a member of the Victorian Reconciliation Committee and became co-Chair of Reconciliation Victoria where she worked with others to organise the Melbourne Reconciliation Walk in 2000, which was attended by over 350,000 people.

Diane has been involved in many initiatives challenging racist attitudes and behaviours. In 1998, she worked with community groups to organise the Walk against Racism and in 2001, she worked with Muslim and Islamic groups to combat the racism being experienced by Muslim communities.

In 2007 Diane went on to establish the Australian Centre for Human Rights Education at RMIT University, making way for the first higher education qualifications specifically concerned with the application of human rights from a social development perspective.