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Historic forum to build momentum for Australian Human Rights Act

Rights and Freedoms
three blue face with maps of Australia laid over them
Content type: Media Release
Topic(s): Civil and Political Rights

Revitalising Australia’s human rights framework – including efforts to introduce an Australian Human Rights Act – will be the focus of a landmark conference in June during the Vivid Sydney festival.

Presented by the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Free + Equal Human Rights Conference will take place over 6 and 7 June at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney and will include 12 engaging sessions and events featuring a diverse line-up of more than 50 eminent experts, thought leaders, social justice advocates and community heroes.

Hundreds of delegates from across Australia’s human rights, civil society, legal, justice, government and business sectors are set to attend the event at which the Federal Government is expected to respond to recent reviews by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Australian Human Rights Commission into revitalising our country’s approach to human rights, including a proposal from the Commission for an Australian Human Rights Act. Find out more:

Delegates will learn about the benefits and opportunities a Human Rights Act will deliver as well as how to activate community support and engagement for this long overdue reform. Sessions will also focus on other key human rights-related issues including: enhancing Australia's anti-discrimination laws; preventing racism; improving children’s rights and youth justice; exploring the intersection of business, technology and human rights; and marking 40 years of Australia’s ground-breaking Sex Discrimination Act.

A conference highlight will be Rights On Time, a time-travelling panel show hosted by ‘sleek geek’ Adam Spencer who’ll tussle with some of Australia’s favourite legal eagles, rights advocates, media personalities and comedy stars including Jennifer Robinson, Nazeem Hussain and Tanya Hosch as they try to save the future from rights gone wrong.

The conference will also include: eminent human rights law professors Philip Alston, Ben Saul, Kim Rubenstein, John Tobin and George Williams; human rights and social justice advocates Sisonke Msimang, Alan Wu, Tasneem Chopra, Juliana Nkrumah, Anna Brown, Samantha Connor and Zahra Al Hilaly; business and human rights expert Dr Pichamon Yeophantong; and tech, science and rights academic Prof. Toby Walsh.  

Commission President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher said: “The conference is the culmination of the Commission’s five-year Free + Equal project and will provide an important platform for advancing Australia’s approach to justice, equity, compassion and respect.

“In particular, an Australian Human Rights Act would be a major reform that would have a significant impact on Australia’s legal, justice, government, civil society and business sectors, so understanding the trajectory of its introduction is vital for people working across these areas.

“Delegates will also be able to get the latest information on a range of other key human rights and anti-discrimination issues, ensuring they come away informed, connected and activated in new and exciting ways which will help them develop their professional practice and personal advocacy.”

The conference is also part of this year’s Vivid Sydney festival, providing visiting delegates with opportunities to indulge in all the fabulous entertainment, food, music and spectacle that the Vivid Sydney festival offers. Stay for the King’s Birthday long weekend and make your time in Sydney a memorable getaway! 

15% super early bird discounts are available on all conference registrations purchased by 5pm Monday 18 March.  

Free + Equal Human Rights Conference 

  • Thu 6 June, 5pm – 8:30pm + Fri 7 June, 8.30am – 5.30pm
  • Hyatt Regency, Sydney
  • Registrations from $325 - $650

Rights On Time

  • Thu 6 June, 7pm – 8.30pm
  • Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom, Sydney
  • Tickets from $70 - $150

ENDS | Media contact: or +61 457 281 897