Aung San Suu Kyi (Nobel peace prize 1991)

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been a major voice for human rights and freedom in Burma (Myanmar), a country dominated by a military government since 1962. Born in Rangoon and later educated at Oxford University, she became politically active in 1988 when the Burmese junta violently suppressed a mass uprising, killing thousands of civilians. In 1989 she was placed under house arrest. Suu Kyi remained in either in prison or under house arrest almost continuously since that time, until her release in November 2010. She remains a living expression of her people’s determination to gain political and economic freedoms. Suu Kyi has called on citizens around the world to “use your liberty to promote ours”.


The Reverend Desmond Tutu (Nobel Peace Prize 1984)

Desmond Tutu is one of South Africa’s most well-known human rights activists, winning the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in resolving and ending apartheid. Born in 1931 in South Africa, he became the first black Anglican Archbishop of both Cape Town and Johannesburg. When South Africa’s first multiracial elections were held in 1994—electing Nelson Mandela as the nation’s first black president—Mandela appointed Tutu chairperson of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC). In addition to the Nobel Prize, Tutu has been bestowed numerous awards, including the the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.


José Ramos Horta (Nobel Peace Prize 1996)

José Ramos-Horta has spent most of his adult life fighting for freedom from oppression for his homeland. At the age of 18, Ramos-Horta was exiled from Timor-Leste for his outspoken criticism of government policies. Ramos-Horta spent over 25 years in exile, bringing the plight of Timor-Leste to the attention of the world. He convinced the United Nations to pass a resolution supporting the independence of Timor-Leste. In 2002, largely through Ramos-Horta's efforts, Timor-Leste was granted independence. In 2006, Ramos-Horta was elected as Timor-Leste's Prime Minister, and in 2007, as President.


Professor Bernard Lown (Nobel Peace Prize 1985)

Dr. Bernard Lown has long been an activist to abolish nuclear weapons and promote world peace. Dr Lown has founded or chaired a number of organisations dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of people all over the world including: Physicians for Social Responsibility educating millions of people on the medical consequences of nuclear war; the USA-China Physicians Friendship Association; the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; SATELLIFE, a non-profitthat uses satellite technology to serve health information needs in developing countries, and; ProCor, an ongoing, global electronic conference that addresses the emerging epidemic of cardiovascular diseases in the developing world. Dr. Lown is the recipient of the UNESCO Peace Education Prize, the George F. Kennan Award, the Ghandi Peace Prize, and the first Cardinal Medeiros Peace Award, as well as 20 honorary degrees from leading universities both in the USA and abroad. In 1993, he delivered the most distinguished Indira Gandhi Memorial Lecture in New Delhi.


Professor Amartya Sen (Nobel Memorial Prize (Economics) 1998)

Born in India, Amartya Sen is an esteemed economist and philosopher, and is currently the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. With previous roles as Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, Professor of Economics at Jadavpur University Calcutta, the Delhi School of Economics, the London School of Economics, and Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford University, Amartya Sen has also served as President of the Econometric Society, the American Economic Association, the Indian Economic Association, and the International Economic Association.  He was previously Honorary President of OXFAM and is now Honorary Advisor.  His research includes social choice theory, economic theory, ethics and political philosophy, welfare economics, theory of measurement, decision theory, development economics, public health, and gender studies.  Amartya Sen’s books have been translated into more than thirty languages. Amartya Sen’s awards include Bharat Ratna (India); Commandeur de la Legion d’Honneur (France); the National Humanities Medal (USA); Ordem do Merito Cientifico (Brazil); HonoraryCompanion of Honour (UK); Aztec Eagle (Mexico); Edinburgh Medal (UK); the George Marshall Award (USA); the Eisenhauer Medal (USA); and the Nobel Prize in Economics.


Professor Lowitja O'Donoghue (Australian of the Year 1984, CBE, AM)

Lois (Lowitja) O’Donoghue is one of the most admired and influential Aboriginals in Australian history. Lois was born at Indulkana in the remote north-west of South Australia in 1932. Lois never knew her white father and at the age of two she was taken away from her mother for the next 33 years. After a long struggle, Lois became the first black nurse in South Australia. In 1976, Lois was the first Aboriginal woman to be awarded an Order of Australia Medal. In March 1990 Lois became the founding chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. In 1993 she was a leading member of the Aboriginal team which negotiated with the Federal Government the agreement which provided the basis for the Native Title Act. She led the Australian delegation working on the proposed United Nations Declaration of Rights for Indigenous People and was the first and only Aboriginal person to address the UN General Assembly in 1993. Her formidable list of honors and achievements includes honorary doctorates from five universities.


The Hon Sir William Deane (AC, KBE)

Sir William Deane was born in Melbourne in 1931, and was educated at Sydney University, where he graduated in Arts and Law. He studied international law and was awarded the Diploma (cum Laude) of The Hague Academy of International Law in 1955. After his return to Australia, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1966, and in 1977 was appointed a judge of the Federal Court and the President of the Australian Trade Practices Tribunal. In 1982, then Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, appointed him a Justice of the High Court of Australia. In his 14 years on the High Court bench, Sir William favoured the rights of individuals over governments and sat in judgement over significant cases including the 1992 Mabo case. In November 1995 he was appointed Governor-General of Australia by then Prime Minister, Paul Keating. As Governor-General, Sir William made Australia’s disadvantaged his priority and he spoke out on his desire to see meaningful reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.