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Former High Court Justice Michael Kirby delivers 2018 human rights lecture

Media release

Former High Court Justice, the Honourable Michael Kirby, will deliver the 2018 Annual Human Rights Lecture at Curtin University tonight.

Mr Kirby’s lecture, titled ‘Where to now? The Future of LGBTIQ+ Human Rights’, is part of the two-day Australian Ally Network Conference, held at Curtin’s Bentley Campus and hosted by the University.

Mr Kirby, an international jurist, educator and Patron of Curtin’s Centre for Human Rights Education (CHRE), said his lecture explored the important next steps following the 2017 Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey in which 61.6 per cent of Australians showed their support for legalising same-sex marriage.

“Following the postal survey outcome, as a society we must now turn our focus to the work that is still to be done if we are to truly realise and secure equality in this country,” Mr Kirby said.

“The survey result was just the beginning and this acceptance of same-sex equality must now manifest itself across society, such as in our education system.

“My lecture will discuss issues such as religious exemptions to non-discrimination, the provision of anti-discrimination laws and other challenges that lie ahead in what is an historic time for this country.

“The support for same-sex marriage which Australians showed through the survey must now translate into real-world change and how this is done requires careful consideration.”

Professor Baden Offord, Director of CHRE, said it was an honour to be able to draw on Mr Kirby’s impressive background and passion for human rights since he was appointed Patron of the Centre.

“It is a privilege to welcome Mr Kirby to Curtin during the Australian Ally Conference, an ideal opportunity for the Centre to utilise his extensive expertise in promoting human rights and social justice at local, national and international levels,” Professor Offord said.

“Mr Kirby’s visit is also a great chance for him to witness the progress made and work done by the Curtin LGBTIQ Collaborative Research Network, which he helped launch in 2016.”

Professor Offord, Convener of the Curtin LGBTIQ Collaborative Research Network, said the Network served to enable, enhance and sustain LGBTIQ research and advocacy at Curtin.

“The Network has brought together Curtin researchers carrying out important LGBTIQ research in multi-disciplinary contexts – cultural studies, anthropology, human rights, humanities, sexology, psychology, and health sciences – for the first time,” Professor Offord said.

“The Curtin LGBTIQ Collaborative Research Network has allowed Curtin University, which is a leader in social justice and inclusive education, to showcase its research in regard to LGBTIQ issues.”

Mr Kirby will deliver the 2018 Annual Human Rights Lecture at Curtin’s Elizabeth Jolley Lecture Theatre tonight.

The 2nd Australian Ally Conference, which brings together academic and professional staff, students and practitioners from across the Ally communities in the higher education sector and showcases best practice in private enterprise and government, was hosted by Curtin University from September 27 to 28, 2018.