I rather agree with an early February comment in The Australian that the report of the Human Rights Commission into asylum-seeker children in detention is two years too late. Gillian Triggs, the chair admitted this herself.
But to witness the attempted humiliation of Dr Triggs before the Senate Estimates' Committee earlier in the year is outrageous.It is to her credit that she has not been cowed by the bully-boy (I use that term advisedly, almost always it is "boys" who don't like it when women stand up to them)
Her reputation as an international lawyer is impeccable but the findings she released did not suit the narrow political agenda of the Abbott government.
It does not seem to me that she was in any way partisan. By and large she says that Australia (not any particular party) should be ashamed of its treatment of children seeking asylum.
Yet the Government of the day (very much under siege on all sorts of fronts) chose to demand her resignation. Some of them deny this but the evidence would seem to contradict this.
What I find offensive is the patronising behaviour of certain members of the commitee with some of the male Senators constantly referring to female witnesses as "my dear" and the, what would seem like, bullying tactics by some of the elderly male Senators who seem to think that women should be seen and not heard!
"I thought you might like to hear a man's voice!" says coalition Senator Barry O'Sullivan after he thought women had been speaking too long
I would assure Sen O'Sullivan that there is a lot of catching up to do. Men have been allowed to out -talk women for decades in the political arena.
Well done Dr Triggs!
She has continued to speak out, and may she long do so!