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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

Access denied sign
RightsTalk: Access to the Internet as a Human Right
Natalie Collins, Bruce Maguire, Dr Peter Radoll, Nan Bosler, Graeme Innes (chair)
Thursday 7 November 2013

Chair – Graeme Innes, Disability Discrimination Commissioner

The internet has become intertwined with everything we do – including how we access the news and information, how we access goods and services, and how we communicate with each other.

So what happens if you don’t have access to the internet? What happens if you can’t physically tap into the network, afford to pay for the services, or find digital content that is accessible and readable?

Without internet access and sufficient levels of digital literacy, there is a real danger that some people are going to left behind.  And some people are already being left behind.

The digital divide is a serious issue for many people – in particular for older Australians, people with disabilities, and people in remote communities including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

The panel includes:

  • Natalie Collins, Deputy Chief Executive, Media Access Australia
  • Bruce Maguire, Policy and Public Affairs Advisor, Vision Australia
  • Dr Peter Radoll, Acting Director of the Ngunnawal Indigenous Higher Education Centre and Assistant Professor in Information Systems, University of Canberra
  • Nan Bosler, President, Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association

So, what are you waiting for? Get registered here


Tim Soutphommasane
RightsTalk: Culture, citizenship and identity
Tim Soutphommasane
Thursday 24 October 2013

On 24 October, join Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane for a discussion of the philosophical and political debates around questions of who we are.

Dr Soutphommasane commenced his five-year appointment as Race Discrimination Commissioner on 20 August 2013. Prior to joining the Australian Human Rights Commission, he was a political philosopher at the University of Sydney. His thinking on multiculturalism and national identity has been influential in reshaping debates in Australia and Britain.

He is the author of three books: The Virtuous Citizen (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Don't Go Back To Where You Came From (New South Books, 2012), and Reclaiming Patriotism (Cambridge University Press, 2009).


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.