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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

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



Annabel Crabb
RightsTalk: 2015 Australians of the Year, Inspiring change in human rights
Annabel Crabb MC, Rosie Batty, Jackie French, Drisana Levitzke-Gray and Juliette Wright. With Gillian Triggs and Clover Moore
Monday 13 July 2015

This year for the first time ever all four Australians of the Year are women. Led by Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, each of these impressive Australians has an inspiring story to tell and is passionate about the human rights issues that drive them.

Australians of the Year: Rosie Batty, Jackie French, Drisana Levitzke and Juliette Wright

  • Rosie Batty, family violence campaigner Australian of the Year (pictured top left)
  • Jackie French, author Senior Australian of the Year (pictured top right)
  • Drisana Levitzke-Gray, advocate for the deaf community Young Australian of the Year (pictured bottom left)
  • Juliette Wright, social entrepreneur Australia’s Local Hero (pictured bottom right)

The Australian Human Rights Commission in partnership with the Australian of the Year Awards, City of Sydney and ABC News 24 present this one off special event at Sydney Town Hall.

ABC journalist and presenter Annabel Crabb will be leading the discussion, broadcast live on ABC News 24.  Please send in questions you would like Annabel to ask to  Annabel will ask some of the best questions on the night.

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

Also featuring

Clover Moore
Clover Moore

Gillian Triggs

Event sponsors

Event partners: National Australia Day Committee, City of Sydney and ABC News 24


The venue is wheelchair accessible.

Nick Bryant
RightsTalk: Australia - punching above or below its weight?
Nick Bryant
Monday 4 May 2015

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane will host a discussion with BBC correspondent and author Nick Bryant. In his recent book, The Rise and Fall of Australia, Bryant – formerly the BBC’s Sydney correspondent and currently the BBC’s correspondent in New York – offers an outsider's take on the great paradox of modern-day Australian life: of how the country has got richer at a time when its politics have become more impoverished. Have things changed? And how does Australia fare on the global diplomatic stage?

Nick Bryant is the BBC’s New York and UN correspondent. Before that he had postings in Washington, South Asia and Australia. He has also written for The Economist, The Independent, The Monthly and The Australian Literary Review. He studied history at Cambridge and completed a PhD in American politics at Oxford. He is the author of three books, including a history of John F. Kennedy’s response to the struggle for black equality and, most recently, The Rise and Fall of Australia.

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

Jon Lawrence
RightsTalk: The Digital Rights Agenda with Jon Lawrence
Hosted by Tim Wilson Human Rights Commissioner
Tuesday 24 March 2015

Join Executive Officer of Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc, Jon Lawrence to discuss the hot topics and current issues of the digital rights movement in 2015.

In this session Jon will cover:

  • protecting freedom of expression
  • achieving meaningful privacy
  • resisting mass surveillance
  • promoting copyright reform
  • realising equality of access (bridging the digital divide)
  • data retention
  • copyright enforcement
  • fair use
  • net neutrality

Jon Lawrence has 20 years of experience in the IT/Internet industries, primarily in product and relationship development roles. He has worked in Australia, the UK, Denmark and the US for a wide range of commercial organisations, from four person start-ups to large-scale media companies.

He has been an interested observer of the international internet governance field since 1999 and has been an active advocate for digital rights since 2011. His areas of policy interest include freedom of speech, privacy, copyright reform, bridging the digital divide and resisting unnecessary mass surveillance.

Jon completed a Master of International Relations at the University of Melbourne in 2011 and is also a non-Executive Director of the Internet Society of Australia.