Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Remarks at Rev. Elenie Poulos - Closure of Ministry

Padma Raman, Executive Director, Australian Human Rights Commission:

It is a great honour and privilege to be here today to share in the celebration of Elenie Poulos and her ministry.

To me - and I’m sure to everyone here today, Elenie embodies the essence of Christian goodness.

She cares about the people around her and she cares most deeply for those around us who are most vulnerable or disadvantaged – and her care is not passive.

It is active, practical and focused on protecting peoples’ basic dignity.

Elenie builds communities and she builds bridges between different parts of the community.

Perhaps one of the greatest legacies of Elenie’s work over the last 15 years has been how she has served as a liaison between people of faith and other parts of civil society.

She’s also served as a liaison between people of faith and government.

She is universally respected for bringing people together and finding common ground in the most respectful way.

Elenie’s innate decency shines through in all of this work.

Within civil society, Elenie’s perhaps best known for her commitment to social justice and human rights.

She’s entered some of the country’s most febrile debates, including on refugees, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the rights of LGTBI people.

While this can be fiery terrain, Elenie’s contribution offers a soothing balm.

She encourages the better angels of our nature, by promoting solutions that are informed by decency, goodwill and the innate dignity of all people.

Elenie has an amazing ability to translate complex human rights principles into meaningful and understandable messages for the community.

Elenie has worked very constructively with the Commission over many years on a range of human rights issues.

She has made an invaluable contribution to the Commission’s various inquiries, processes and other consultations over the years.

On behalf of the Commission, Commissioners and Presidents I thank her deeply for her contribution.

In short, Elenie is an absolute joy to work with. She is condensed goodness.

We will miss her terribly both professionally and personally, but we all look forward to continuing to work with her in the next stage of her work.

Thank you, Elenie.