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Rosie Batty AO: The Fight for Women’s Rights

Rosie Batty at the UNSW Gandhi Oration 2020

Despite taking steps towards becoming a more equal and inclusive society for all, Australia has a problem with human rights. Indigenous Australians are the most incarcerated in the world. More than one woman is killed every week by a partner or former partner. Over half of Australians living with a disability lack access to support services they need. The proposed Religious Discrimination Bill threatens to undermine inclusive workplaces for LGBTQI+ people.  

Fighting to address these issues are five fearless human rights champions. From the Australian voice to the United Nations for people living with a disability, to leading the #KidsOffNauru campaign which saw every child detained offshore brought to Australia, their resumes are enviable and inspiring portfolios of human rights advocacy.   

The annual Gandhi Lecture is hosted by UNSW Sydney close to India’s Martyrs’ Day, the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination in 1948.  The event features people making significant contributions to the major human rights issues of our time. Speakers have included journalist Shoma Chaudhury, author Dr Hugh Mackay AO, journalist Peter Greste and Senator Pat Dodson.

In a modern, progressive country like Australia it is astonishing that we are still so resistant to acknowledging violence against women.

Rosie Batty AO

Rosie Batty AO

Rosie Batty has been a tireless crusader against family violence since her son Luke was murdered by his father in 2014. Turning her personal tragedy into a fight to help others, she was named the Australian of the Year in 2015, received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2017 and more recently received an Order of Australia. 

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Photo credit: Prudence Upton

This talk was part of the 2020 Gandhi oration

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