Subscribe to RightsTalk Newsletter

RightsTalk Newsletter
Be regularly updated on upcoming talks

Contact us

If you have any queries you can also contact the Commision's Communications unit.

Phone02 9284 9779 
Fax02 9284 9849

Past talks

Jane Aeberhard-Hodges
RightsTalk: Gender-based violence at work
Jane Aeberhard-Hodges
Tuesday 8 March 2016

International Women’s Day Human Rights Talk

> Click here to register for this talk

Guest Speaker

Ms Jane Aeberhard-Hodges


Ms Hodges, is an international Human Rights Consultant and UNRISD Senior Research Associate. She was previously the Director for the Bureau for Gender Equality at the ILO.

She will be speaking on the issue of gender-based violence & sexual harassment at work in the context of international developments on women and work, business and human rights and the recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. She will also speak to the recent ILO decision to develop an international labour standard on violence against women and girls at work and what this might mean for Australia.


The venue is wheelchair accessible. If you have any requirements that will assist in your full participation please contact


RightsTalk events are free and open to the general public, however spaces are limited.  Please register at the link below:

Professor Robert McCorquodale
RightsTalk: Business and Human Rights - Whose Responsibilities?
Professor Robert McCorquodale
Wednesday 17 February 2016

> Click here to register for this talk


Professor Gillian Triggs, Australian Human Rights Commission

Guest Speaker

Professor Robert McCorquodale, British Institute of International and Comparative Law


There have been rapid developments in recent years in clarifying the responsibilities of both governments and corporations for the impact of the actions of corporations on human rights within a state and transnationally. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights 2011 have set parameters for these responsibilities, and some governments and corporations have acted to respond to them. International documents, national legislation and court decisions around the world have proliferated, and there is also a move to draft a treaty. This talk will explore the key issues and responsibilities in this area, including the legal obligations on governments to act, the extent of the corporate responsibility to respect human rights (and if this has legal consequences), and the need to have access to remedies for victims. This talk is of relevance to government officials, senior corporate officials, legal practitioners, judges, civil society, scholars and others.


Professor Robert McCorquodale is the Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in London. He is also Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the University of Nottingham, and a barrister at Brick Court Chambers in London. Before embarking on an academic career, he worked as a solicitor in commercial litigation with King & Wood Mallesons in Sydney and Herbert Smith Freehills in London. Robert’s research and teaching interests are in the areas of public international law and human rights law, with a particular focus on business and human rights issues, as well as the rule of law. He has published extensively on these areas, and has provided advice and training to governments, corporations, law firms, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and peoples concerning these issues.



RightsTalk events are free and open to the general public, however spaces are limited.  Please register at the link below:


The venue is wheelchair accessible. If you have any requirements that will assist in your full participation please contact

Mick Gooda
Dr Allen Benson Chief Executive Officer, Native Counselling Services of Alberta is visiting Australia
Mick Gooda
Wednesday 25 November 2015


A presentation will be given by Allen Benson and Director of Research, Training, and Communication, Dr Patti LaBoucane-Benson on:

‘Violence and healing’

As Chief Executive Officer of Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA) and Chief Executive Officer of BearPaw Communications Limited, he has spearheaded the development of many ground breaking programs, particularly in the areas of corrections, restorative and social justice, health, housing and homelessness. Allen has received the following recognition: the Alberta Centennial Medal, the Alberta Aboriginal Role Model Award in Justice, the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Alberta and the International Community Corrections Association’s highest honour: the Margaret Mead Award. In 2013, Allen was appointed Chair of the Alberta Family Violence Death Review Committee and is the current President of the National Association Active in Criminal Justice.

Dr Patti LaBoucane-Benson is a Metis woman with a PhD in Human Ecology, focusing on Aboriginal Family and Community Resilience. She was the recipient of the two top Canadian social sciences doctoral awards: The Pierre Elliot Trudeau scholarship and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship. Patti has worked for Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA) for 20 years and is currently the Director of Research, Training and Communication, providing leadership for research teams undertaking community-based, applied research. Patti also is executive producer and principle investigator for BearPaw Communications, BearPaw Media video productions and BearPaw Legal Education publications and oversees the development and implementation of the historic trauma healing programs for NCSA. In 2015, Patti’s first novel was published by House of Anansi Press.  Based on her PhD research, The Outside Circle is a work of creative non-fiction about healing and reconciliation for an inner city Aboriginal family struggling with poverty, gang affiliation and hopelessness. The Outside Circle was on the Globe and Mail’s Top Ten Canadian books in May 2015.

Dr Allen Benson Chief Executive Officer Dr Patti LaBoucane-Benson

Peter Greste
RightsTalk: Peter Greste - National Security vs Public Rights
Peter Greste
Monday 24 August 2015

Video will be available after the trial.

Host: Tim Wilson, Human Rights Commissioner.

Overview: Ever since the invention of writing, there has been a tension between what governments want to keep secret, and what reporters want to write about. Now, governments around the world are arguing that national security demands increased controls on what journalists can investigate and talk about. Journalist Peter Greste discusses where governments should draw the line between protecting the national interest, and the public's right to know. 

Bio: Peter Greste has worked as a foreign correspondent for the past 25 years. After leaving Australia in 1991, he worked in London for the BBC, CNN and Reuters before being appointed the BBC’s Afghanistan correspondent. He moved to London in 1997 to help the BBC launch its 24-hour domestic news network, News 24. The following year, he went back on the road, covering Latin America for five years. After the 9/11 attacks, he briefly returned to Afghanistan as a part of the BBC’s award-winning coverage of the collapse of the Taliban. Peter relocated to Africa in 2003, reporting from some of Eastern and Southern Africa’s most volatile regions and in 2011, he won a prestigious Peabody Award for a BBC documentary on Somalia. Later that year he joined Al Jazeera as its East Africa correspondent. He was arrested in Egypt in December 2013, and while in prison, he won a Walkley Award, a British Royal Television Society judges award, and a Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Innovators award for his defense of press freedom.

Note: We expect this event to be popular. If you book a ticket and are unable to attend could you please cancel your ticket via Eventbrite. Please inform us if you no longer require a ticket and cannot cancel it online. Contact us at: .

Access: This venue is wheelchair accessible. If you have any requirements that will assist your full participation in this event please let us know at:

Megan Mitchell
CANCELLED RightsTalk: The voice of the child in family law
Megan Mitchell, National Children’s Commissioner
Wednesday 29 July 2015
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the RightsTalk ‘The Voice of the Child in Family Law’ on Wednesday, 29 July 2015 is cancelled.

Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused and for the late notice.

To what extent are children and young people involved in family law proceedings? Do they have a voice in the decisions that affect their lives?

This RightsTalk will examine how children and young people participate in family law proceedings and how these processes fulfil their right to be heard and to be free from harm.

This talk will cover recent changes to the Family Law Act (1975), which aim to better protect and engage children and young people, and the role of the joint Children’s Committee which was established to advance children’s rights in the Family Court system.

In particular, the Committee is exploring whether the Courts are fulfilling the obligations under Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which affirms that all children capable of forming their own views have the right express their views in all matters that affect them, including in any judicial and administrative proceedings.

The Hon Chief Justice Diana Bryant AO, Family Court of Australia (pictured below, left), and His Honour Chief Judge John Pascoe AO CVO, Federal Circuit Court of Australia (pictured below, right), will be speaking at the event

The Hon. Chief Justice of the Family Court, Diana Bryant John Pascoe