Community & Environment |
Council of Australian Humanist Societies

Lyn White is 2019 Australian Humanist of the Year

Council of Australian Humanist Societies (CAHS)

Humanists Australia

Media Release 


Lyn White, of Animals Australia, has been announced as the 2019 Australian Humanist of the Year.

Lyn White’s award is in recognition of her passionate and effective advocacy of humane treatment of animals everywhere. Her efforts to highlight the sentiency of animals fits seamlessly with the Humanist belief that our sympathy and compassion should ethically be extended to all living beings who suffer, not only human beings. Lyn's work with Animals Australia, investigating and exposing cruelty to animals, has resulted in regulatory changes and increased public awareness and continues to inspire us all. Humanists Australia salutes and supports that work.

Lyn White had been a police officer for twenty years when a chance reading of a magazine article about bear bile farming set her on a path of actions to protect animals from cruelty. Her decision to change the focus of her life, and her success in doing so, provide a great example of an ethical decision inspiring both personal and political change. While this award acknowledges the great progress in reducing animal cruelty that has been achieved it is important to emphasise that much more remains to be done. Lyn White’s achievements are an inspiration for the future.

Lyn White said: I am deeply honoured to be chosen as the 2019 Australian Humanist of the Year.  In so many ways, my efforts and that of my organisation Animals Australia to create a kinder, more ethical world, align with the important work of the humanism movement.

While my work as an animal advocate often entails witnessing great cruelty, I am sustained by an unshakable belief in the human potential, and an unquenchable desire to see that potential fulfilled.

The recognition by the Humanist Society of our human responsibility to consider the interests of all of the vulnerable in our society and ensure their well-being, means a great deal.

Lyndon Storey, president of the Council of Australian Humanist Societies (Humanists Australia), said: This award is richly deserved. Lyn White’s story is an inspiring one of an individual choosing to try to make a difference; and succeeding. She has inspired many others. Her work also illustrates the seamless nature of sympathy and compassion as sources of our care for human and non-human beings.

Former Australian Humanists of the Year include Peter Singer, Eva Cox and Carmen Lawrence. The Australian Humanist of the Year award provides recognition of individual achievement motivated by Humanist values. Humanism offers a path to joy, meaning, human dignity and human rights without recourse to the supernatural.

This year's award of Australian Humanist of the Year will be presented during the Australian Humanist Convention at Humanist House Chippendale, Sydney, on Saturday June 22.


Contact: Lyndon Storey Ph: 0432 938 739 Email:


The Council of Australian Humanist Societies Inc. was established in 1965 as a national body to advocate for Humanist views and concerns at a federal level. Humanists believe that meaning in life, ethics and community can be developed through human means rather than relying on God or other supernatural foundations for meaning.