John Searle appointed Chair of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

August 24, 2011 by  
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The Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark has 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).

John 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.

Attorney-General Robert Clark said Mr Searle’s leadership skills, professional experience and ability to engage the community made him well-placed to fulfil the role of chairperson of the VEOHRC board.

He added: “Mr Searle has been the President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), the peak body for Jewish community organisations in Victoria since 2008′

He has held senior positions in a wide range of community organisations since 1974.

In many of these roles, Mr Searle has been at the forefront of work to eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and a fair go for all.

Mr Seale has shown great leadership in actively engaging with a wide range of organisations to build goodwill and positive relations across different communities.

Mr Searle has made a significant contribution to the Victorian community, and was  recognised by Victoria Police with an award for his community service in 2009.

He has also been a practising barrister for 22 years, specialising in civil litigation.”

Mr Searle completed his schooling at Melbourne High School and then attended Monash University where he completed his Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws.

“The appointment of Mr Searle as chairperson fulfils the Coalition Government’s commitment to restore an independent chair of the VEOHRC, in line with established principles of good governance,” Mr Clark said.

“I congratulate Mr Searle on his appointment and look forward to his contribution to the 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.

“He exemplifies the best of Jewish and societal values as a leader and a family man, and Victoria can expect from him total dedication to advancing human rights and equal opportunity.”

Mr Searle completed his schooling at Melbourne High and then attended Monash University where he completed a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws.

The President of the ECAJ Dr Danny Lamm welcomed the announcement today by Attorney-General of Victoria, Robert Clark, of 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.

John Searle

He said: “I am delighted that the President of one of the ECAJ’s major State constituent bodies has been honoured with such an important government appointment.  John is admirably suited for this role, having committed years of communal service to human rights in a voluntary leadership position. He exemplifies the best of Jewish and societal values as a leader and a family man, and Victoria can expect from him total dedication to advancing the cause of human rights and equal opportunity.”

Dr Lamm also praised Victorian Attorney-General, Robert Clarke, and Premier Ted Baillieu and his Cabinet for the appointment.  “They could not have placed their confidence in a better person”, Dr Lamm said.  “John has devoted his communal life and much of his professional career as a barrister for the last 22 years towards combatting discrimination and promoting equal opportunity for all.  The Victorian government has made an excellent choice.”

John Searle  received a Victoria Police award in 2009 in recognition of his community service.

Comments

3 Responses to “John Searle appointed Chair of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    The Attorney General is going to need all the help he can get with the campaign for a Parliamenry Inquiry into sex-abuse in the Catholic Church, especially the conservative number so far of 30 suicide related deaths.
    A smart political move and I’ll leave it at that.

  2. The Jewish News reports this week that John Searle will be stepping down from the position of President of the JCCV at the end of his current term.

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