Skip to main content


All-star Vivid show pits leading thinkers against a dystopian future to give festivalgoers the time of their rights

Rights and Freedoms
Black and white headshots of various people with teh words Rights On Time underneath them
Content type: Media Release
Topic(s): Civil and Political Rights

Waleed Aly, Michael Kirby, Jennifer Robinson, Adam Spencer and Nazeem Hussain are part of a unique and compelling show during the upcoming Vivid Sydney festival which will explore how an Australian Human Rights Act could help stop rights going wrong in the future. 

Part of the Vivid Ideas program, Rights On Time puts a fresh spin on the panel format by locating Nazeem Hussain in a hypothetical 2034, where a populist government has a created a bleak future with compulsory brain implants, backyard nuclear waste dumps, AI judges, outback water wars, Pacific climate refugee crackdowns and Centrelink debt recovery gulags. Check out Nazeem’s message from the future:

Nazeem uses his hilarious satire to set the scene for each issue which the panel – led by broadcaster and comedian Adam Spencer – then explores from a range of perspectives, including the ways in which a Human Rights Act would provide people and communities with increased protection from breaches of their rights now and in the future.

Australia is the only liberal democracy in the world without a charter or bill of rights, and the show explores how an Australian Human Rights Act would help improve how people in Australia experience justice, equity, compassion and respect. A week before the conference, the Federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights is set to release its highly-anticipated report into the elements of a new national human rights framework, including whether an Australian Human Rights Act should be enacted.

The panel includes:

  • Writer, academic and TV presenter Waleed Aly
  • International human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson (represents Julian Assange)
  • International jurist, educator and former High Court judge Michael Kirby
  • Writer, presenter and comedian Nazeem Hussain (beaming in from the future via video) 
  • Writer, commentator and social justice advocate Sisonke Msimang
  • First Nations advocate and AFL Diversity & Inclusion Gen. Mngr Tanya Hosch
  • Australian Human Rights Commission President Em. Prof. Rosalind Croucher

The show is the curtain raiser for the Free + Equal Human Rights Conference on Friday 6 June, a landmark national gathering of hundreds of human rights advocates and supporters aimed at paving the way for a revitalisation of Australia’s human rights framework with an Australian Human Rights Act at the centre:

The conference is being presented by the Australian Human Rights Commission. Commission President Em. Prof. Rosalind Croucher said: “Our Rights On Time panel show provides a wonderfully entertaining way for people to engage with this very significant potential reform to Australia’s legal and administrative frameworks that would change the face of human rights in our country.”

“Tickets for the show are now available from as low as $35. We’re eager to share information about the benefits of a Human Rights Act with as many people as possible, so I encourage anyone with an interest in how human rights are practised in Australia to take advantage of this generous offer to attend this timely and entertaining discussion about advancing human rights in Australia.”

Rights On Time

  • Thu 6 June, 7pm – 8.30pm
  • Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom, Sydney
  • Tickets from $35 - $150

ENDS | Media contact: or +61 457 281 897