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Cinema chains, Ian Thorpe win Human Rights Awards

Cinema chains, Ian Thorpe win Human Rights Awards
December 28, 2012

Australia's four major cinema chains have received an award from the Australian Human Rights Commission for their roll-out of the Cinema Access Implementation Plan.

Commencing in 2010, the four cinema operators: Hoyts Cinemas, Village Cinemas, Event/Greater Union/Birch Carroll & Coyle Cinemas; and Reading Cinemas have provided captioned and audio described movie sessions.

Where, historically, accessible movie sessions had been limited to just a few a week at major city locations, the Cinema Access Implementation Plan (CAIP) had, at the time of judging in October this year, been introduced at more than 74 cinemas and more than 134 screens around Australia.

The plan, the only one of its kind in the world, will bring accessible movies to at least 242 screens nationally by the end of 2014.

For this initiative, the four cinema chains, traditionally each other's competitors, jointly received the Business Award at the Australian Human Rights Commission's recently presented 25th Human Rights Awards.

Among other award winners, Ian Thorpe OAM received the Australian Human Rights Commission's Human Rights Medal for more than a decade of work as a passionate advocate for Indigenous people and young Australians.

Thorpe's Fountain for Youth charity is working with twenty remote communities across the country, with the former Olympic swimming champion taking a hands-on role in building better literacy for Aboriginal children. His work has extended beyond the Foundation to becoming an active advocate as the Co-Patron for the Close The Gap campaign.

Australian Human Rights Commission's Human Rights Awards honour the contributions each nominee has made to the protection and promotion of human rights.

Other winners were:

• Young People's Human Rights Medal (sponsored by Department of Immigration and Citizenship): Krista McMeeken
• Law Award (sponsored by the Law Council of Australia): Human Rights Law Centre
• Community Individual Award Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Award (sponsored by iHR Australia): Pat Anderson
• Community Organisation Award: Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia
• Literature (non-fiction) Award (sponsored by the Co-op Bookshop): The People Smuggler by Robin de Crespigny Penguin Australia, May 2012
• Print and Online Media Award (sponsored by Vibe Australia): Professor Sharon Pickering and The Conversation Academic Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers series
• Radio Award: Intellectually Disabled People Fight for Access to Justice PM ABC Radio National - Produced by Nance Haxton Aired in January 2012
• Television Award: Age of Uncertainty The Project Network Ten - Produced by Hamish MacDonald and Sam Clark Screened over April and May 2012.

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