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Past talks

Photo of David Malouf
RightsTalk: David Malouf on longevity and creativity
David Malouf
Tuesday 1 October 2013

To mark the International Day of Older Persons, the next RightsTalk will feature the distinguished author, poet and essayist, David Malouf.

The Age Discrimination Commissioner, Susan Ryan, and Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane will join Mr Malouf to discuss longevity and creativity.


Ron McCallum
RightsTalk: International Monitoring of the Disabilities Convention
Ron McCallum
Wednesday 14 August 2013

Australia ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in mid-2008. On the domestic level, The Australian Government launched a National Disability Strategy (NDS) in 2010, and in July of this year, Disability Care Australia (DCA) which was formerly known as the NDIS, will commence on a trial basis in several states. At the International level, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) is charged with the function to monitor the implementation of the CRPD in all ratifying countries. Professor McCallum is the immediate past Chairperson and a current Vice-Chairperson of the CRPD Committee. Australia will be holding a constructive dialogue with the CRPD Committee next September. As an Australian citizen, Professor McCallum will not be participating in this constructive dialogue. However, now is an opportune time for Professor McCallum to analyse the manner in which the CRPD Committee has conducted its monitoring role since 2011.


Two heads facing each other with social media icons inside them
RightsTalk: Human rights responses to online hate, discrimination and bullying
Dr Emma A. Jane, The Antibogan, Professor Andrew Jakubowicz, Andree Wright
Wednesday 7 August 2013


How do we balance freedom of expression with maintaining positive and safe online environments? This talk will examine the prevalence and nature of online hate, discrimination and bullying - including racism, homophobia, sexism and sexual harassment – and discuss how we can respond to these issues.

Speakers include:

  • Dr Emma A. Jane (previously Emma Tom) - Senior Lecturer in media at UNSW who has worked for more than two-and-a-half decades in print, electronic and online media. She is also the award-winning author of six books. Her current research interests include vitriol on the internet, the ethics of new media use, and the characteristics of mob formation and behaviour online.
  • The Antibogan - an Australian website that shames people who post racist, sexist or homophobic points of view on social media.
  • Professor Andrew Jakubowicz - Professor of Sociology at UTS who has published widely on ethnic diversity issues, disability studies and media studies. Andrew is currently leading a project on cyber-racism in partnership with the Commission.
  • Andree Wright, General Manager, Digital Economy Division, The Australian Communications and Media Authority - Andree has been a pioneer in cybersafety for over the past decade and overseen a wide range of initiatives to promote safe and positive online engagement. This includes The ACMA’s Cybersmart Program and the recently launched Digital Citizens Guide.


Jeff Gallop
RightsTalk: Stigma is still the number one issue
Geoff Gallop
Thursday 25 July 2013

Stigma remains the number one issue for individuals with mental health illness. It is a barrier for people who need to present for treatment not just because it distorts public perceptions of illness but also because it is often internalised by the sufferer.

Unfortunately, however, the sources of our prejudice lie deep within our culture and are difficult to shift. They take us to issues of human freedom and human difference – and how they are perceived


Julian Disney
RightsTalk: The impact of the internet on media standards
Julian Disney
Thursday 11 July 2013

Julian Disney, Chair of the Australian Press Council, will discuss the impacts of the internet on traditional media standards concerning news and comment. This includes impacts on accuracy, fairness and balance and on respect for core personal rights such as privacy and safety. 

Prof Julian Disney AO has been the independent Chair of the Australian Press Council since 2009. He is also a Professor in the Law Faculty of the University of the New South Wales and the founder and national Chair of Anti-Poverty Week. He has previously been a Law Reform Commissioner, Coordinator of the Welfare Rights Centre in Sydney, President of the Australian Council of Social la Service and World President of the International Council on Social Welfare. He has also been Director of the ANU Centre for International and Public Law and Chair of the National Affordable Housing Summit.