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Michael Kirby on board for historic human rights forum

Rights and Freedoms
Black and white headshot of Michael Kirby
Content type: Media Release
Topic(s): Civil and Political Rights

Esteemed international jurist, human rights advocate and former Australian High Court judge Michael Kirby is one of several new speakers and panellists who have been announced as participants in the Free + Equal Human Rights Conference during this year’s Vivid Sydney festival. 

Justice Kirby will join the line-up for the Rights On Time show on the evening of Thursday 6 June in the Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom where he’ll panel through time with Waleed Aly, Jennifer Robinson, Nazeem Hussain, Adam Spencer and others as they try to save the future from rights gone wrong.

Other speakers and panellists who have just been announced include:

  • Academic, lawyer and First Nations rights advocate Dr Hannah McGlade
  • Human Rights Law Centre CEO Caitlin Reiger
  • Human Rights Law Centre Campaign Manager Daney Faddoul
  • Transgender rights advocate Aisya Zaharin
  • Daily Aus co-founder and media commentator Sam Koslowski
  • Cheek Media Founder/CEO and media commentator Hannah Ferguson
  • Common Cause Director and values-based messaging expert Mark Chenery
  • Common Cause Associate and values-based messaging expert Gemma Pitcher

Presented by the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Free + Equal Human Rights Conference will take place over 6 and 7 June at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney and will focus on revitalizing Australia’s human rights framework, including efforts to introduce an Australian Human Rights Act. The conference will include 12 engaging sessions and events featuring a diverse line-up of more than 60 eminent experts, thought leaders, social justice advocates and community heroes.

Hundreds of delegates from across Australia’s human rights, civil society, legal, justice, government and business sectors are set to attend the event at which the Federal Government is expected to respond to recent reviews by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Australian Human Rights Commission into revitalizing our country’s approach to human rights, including a proposal from the Commission for an Australian Human Rights Act. Find out more:

Conference delegates will learn about the benefits and opportunities a Human Rights Act will deliver as well as how to activate community support and engagement for this long overdue reform. Sessions will also focus on other key human rights-related issues including: enhancing Australia's anti-discrimination laws; preventing racism; improving children’s rights and youth justice; exploring the intersection of business, technology and human rights; and marking 40 years of Australia’s ground-breaking Sex Discrimination Act.

Commission President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher said: “An Australian Human Rights Act would be a major reform that would have a significant impact on Australia’s legal, justice, government, civil society and business sectors, so understanding the trajectory of its introduction is vital for people working across these areas.

“Delegates will also be able to get the latest information on a range of other key human rights and anti-discrimination issues, ensuring they come away informed, connected and activated in new and exciting ways which will help them develop their professional practice and personal advocacy.”

Early bird discounts of 10% are available on all conference registrations purchased by 5pm 14 April 2024. 

Free + Equal Human Rights Conference 

  • Thu 6 June, 5pm – 8:30pm + Fri 7 June, 8.30am – 5.30pm
  • Hyatt Regency, Sydney
  • Registrations from $325 - $650

Rights On Time

  • Thu 6 June, 7pm – 8.30pm
  • Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom, Sydney
  • Tickets from $70 - $150


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