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

Phone02 9284 9779 
Fax02 9284 9849

Past talks

Kenneth Roth
RightsTalk with Kenneth Roth
Tuesday 17 April 2018

We are watched like never before. Governments, corporations and others are using new technologies to gather huge amounts of information about us. How will this unprecedented surveillance affect our human rights?
International human rights leader, Kenneth Roth, will consider this issue at a public event in Sydney. He will also discuss issues such as the global challenge of refugees and mass displacement, and the rise of populist leaders
Based in Geneva, Mr Roth is the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch. Since he started as its worldwide leader in 1993, HRW has become one of the world’s leading human rights organisations, operating in more than 90 countries.
Mr Roth will be joined by Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow for a RightsTalk hosted by the Australian Human Rights Commission from 5.30pm on Tuesday, 17 April 2018, followed by an audience Q&A.
This event is free and open to the public but spaces are limited. Arrive from 5pm for 5.30-6.30pm.

Please register to reserve your place

Rusty Young icon
RightsTalk: author Rusty Young
Tuesday 22 August 2017

Rusty Young and cover of book Columbiano

Rusty Young is the author of the international bestseller Marching Powder, the true story of an English drug smuggler in Bolivia’s notorious San Pedro Prison. Rusty, then in his 20’s, was backpacking through Bolivia when he first visited the prison on a tour. He ended up living on the inside, by choice, dodging danger and developing unlikely, life-long friendships.

Following the global success of Marching Powder, Rusty settled in Bogotá, Colombia for seven years. He was recruited by the U.S. Government to provide arms and training to Colombian SWAT teams in the fight against drug and child traffickers and other violent criminals who ruled the streets. He has a passion for human rights, particularly child rights, and strong views on how drugs laws should be changed to improve human rights outcomes around the world.

Rusty interviewed special forces soldiers, snipers, undercover intelligence agents and members of two terrorist organisations – the FARC and Autodefensas. During this time he was both shocked and touched by the stories of child soldiers he encountered and decided to incorporate these stories into a novel, Colombiano, which has just been released.

Rusty grew up in Sydney and studied Finance and Law at the University of New South Wales.

Join Rusty and AHRC President, Professor Rosalind Croucher for an hour-long discussion on Tuesday 22 August.

The event is free but numbers are limited. Please register to reserve your place.


Register Here


2017 Australians of the Year: inspiring change in human rights
Wednesday 14 June 2017

Australians Of The Year - Inspiring Change In Human Rights - 6 speakers

Join us for the Australians of the Year Human Rights event!

Introduced by the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, and presented by ABC's Kumi Taguchi, these four remarkable Australians will share their inspiring stories and views on human rights issues.

Register >

2017 Australians of the Year: Inspiring Change in Human Rights panellists:

Jason Ball
2017 VIC Young Australian of the Year
Jason, an openly gay AFL player, used his profile to shine a light on homophobia in sport, taking the conversation to schools, sporting clubs and conferences, highlighting the link between mental health and inclusion.

Andrea Mason
2017 NT Australian of the Year
As the Chief Executive Officer of the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Women's Council, Andrea brings together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal thinking to create employment, support health and wellbeing, and tackle domestic violence and other social challenges. 

Deng Adut
2017 NSW Australian of the Year
From an illiterate child soldier in his homeland of Sudan, to a criminal lawyer in Western Sydney; Deng’s inspiring story demonstrates the contributions that refugees can make in Australia.

Yasmin Khan
2017 QLD Australia’s Local Hero
Yasmin is a dedicated diversity champion – working with schools, media and community groups to enhance their understanding of Islam – and helps victims of domestic violence.

Event details
Wednesday 14 June
Doors open at 5pm, for 5:30 - 7:00pm

Watch on ABC News24 6:00 - 7:00pm

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is essential -


Accessibility: The venue is wheelchair accessible via the Druitt Street entrance (opposite the Queen Victoria Building). There will be interpreters at this event, if you also require captioning, you can view live captions on your personal mobile device.

If you have any queries or requirements that will assist in your full participation of this event please contact the National Australia Day Council via phone (02 6120 0600) or

Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins
RightsTalk: Gender equality, women’s work and care
Thursday 2 March 2017

As part of the Commission’s International Women’s Day celebrations, please join Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins for a special International Women's Day RightsTalk on gender equality and women’s work and care.

This IWD RightsTalk will explore the recognition of unpaid care and domestic work that remains the burden of women in their gendered roles as wives, mothers and daughters in Sri Lanka, and the current dynamics in work, care and family policy in Australia.

Guest speakers:

Dr Sepali Kottegoda - Executive Director of the Women and Media Collective in Sri Lanka and Member of the Steering Committee Asia Pacific Women's Watch

Dr Elizabeth Hill - Chair of the Department of Political Economy, University of Sydney. Her research focuses on gender, work and care in both developed and emerging economies.

LGBTI flag
RightsTalk: Creating Equality - The Role of Law in Protecting SOGII Rights
Wednesday 22 February 2017

RightsTalk: Mardi Gras event

In the lead-up to the 38th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, please join Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner, Ed Santow, and a panel of leading Australian LGBTI human rights advocates to discuss the past, present and future role of law in protecting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Australians.


Anna Brown - Director of Advocacy and Strategic Litigation, Human Rights Law Centre;

Morgan Carpenter - Co-Executive Director of Organisation Intersex International (OII) Australia, and;

Imam Nur Warsame - Founder of Marhaba, a social support group for LGBTIQ Muslims.


Our three panellists will draw on their personal and professional experiences to reflect on the success and limitations of past law reform initiatives, current law reform challenges, and the possible role of law into the future.

Access: The venue is wheelchair accessible. If you have any other access or support requirements, eg Auslan interpreting, live captions, please let us know: