Professor Gillian Triggs named Daily Life Woman of the Year for 2015

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Jenny Noyes

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Gillian Triggs stays put despite calls for resignation

President of the Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs refused to succumb to "highly personalised" attacks from the government.

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Australian Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs has been named the 2015 Woman of the Year by Daily Life, Fairfax Media's leading website for women.

Professor Triggs was chosen from a diverse shortlist of 20 distinguished Australian women across social activism, academia, science, law, politics, sports and the arts.

Finalists for the award included Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, RAAF Group Captain Cate McGregor, Daily Life columnist and activist Clementine Ford, neurosurgeon Dr Caroline Tan, CSIRO prize-winning nanotechnologist Amanda Barnard and 14-year-old Josie Pohla, who started a change.org petition which triggered an increased focus on family violence awareness in high school syllabus.

Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Human Rights Commission, in her Sydney office.

Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Human Rights Commission, in her Sydney office. Photo: Louise Kennerley

A judging panel made up of Daily Life editors, senior Fairfax editorial staff and a representative from ANZ, which sponsored the award, voted on the shortlist after thousands of nominations were sent in by the website's readers.

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The announcement was made at a special award ceremony in Sydney on Monday night.

Rosie Batty, the Daily Life Woman of the Year for 2014, addressed the audience; and a panel chaired by the ABC's Julia Baird discussed the year's biggest issues and moments for women.

Rosie Batty was last year's Woman of the Year, and was also among this year's finalists.

Rosie Batty was last year's Woman of the Year, and was also among this year's finalists. Photo: Brendan Esposito

In addition to last year's winner Rosie Batty, the annual award has previously been won by the ADFA cadet known as 'Kate' and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Daily Life editor Candice Chung said it was an honour to recognise and thank Professor Triggs for her courage in the fight against human rights abuses in detention centres.

"Professor Triggs has stood up for the most vulnerable members of our society and has done so with grace, leadership and dignity," Chung said.

Professor Gillian Triggs and 2014 Woman of the Year winner, Rosie Batty.

Professor Gillian Triggs and 2014 Woman of the Year winner, Rosie Batty.

"Her steadfast professionalism and refusal to be silenced by the bullying tactics of the Abbott government is truly admirable."