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JCCV President Appointed Chair of Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

JCCV President Appointed Chair of Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

23 August 2011

Attorney-General Robert Clark today announced the appointment of Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) President John Searle as the new chairperson of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC).

Mr Searle has been a practising barrister for 22 years and president of the JCCV – the peak body of Victorian Jewry – since November 2008. Prior to this, he held senior positions in a wide range of community organisations, gaining considerable experience in combatting discrimination and promoting equal opportunity for all.

“I am humbled and to some extent daunted by my appointment  and express my thanks to the Attorney General, Robert Clark, for displaying the confidence in me that he has shown,” said Mr Searle.

“The preservation, protection and, where necessary, enhancement of human rights across the board is a fundamental cornerstone of our democracy. We are privileged to live in a state where this is well understood.

“We all have a role to play to ensure that as a community we remain ever- vigilant to prevent any erosion of human rights and, so far as possible, abuse of them. I only hope that in my position as Chairman of the Commission I can adequately fulfil my part and serve all Victorians in the manner they deserve. As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I truly understand the depths to which a society that does not safeguard human rights can plunge.”

Mr Searle congratulated  the outgoing Commissioner, Helen Szoke, for her “outstanding” service and for leaving the Commission in a very healthy state. “We all owe her a debt of gratitude,” he said, and added that he looked forward to working with the other board members at VEOHRC.

Dr Danny Lamm, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, expressed delight at Mr Searle’s appointment:  “John is admirably suited for this role, having committed years of communal service to human rights in a voluntary leadership position.

Click here to read Media Release from the Attorney General's Office:

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