2020 Gandhi Lecture
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 2020 Gandhi Lecture brings together Pat Anderson AO, an Alyawarre woman known for her powerful advocacy for the health of Australia’s First Peoples; former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty AO, human rights lawyer Anna Brown OAM who fights tirelessly for LGBTQI+ rights; Vice-Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rosemary Kayess; and GetUp! Campaign Director for Shen Narayanasamy. Delivering a series of short talks, these fearless faces share their experiences at the frontline for the fight for human rights.
About the Gandhi Lecture
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.
Sir John Clancy Auditorium is located at UNSW Sydney's Kensington campus, C24 on this map (PDF). The closest accessible parking is available at Gate 9, High Street.
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Pat Anderson is an Alyawarre woman and a powerful advocate for the health of Australia’s First Peoples. She has extensive experience in community development, advocacy, policy formation and has been the chair of multiple Aboriginal health organisations. She has spoken before the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous People, published many essays and reports, and was awarded the Human Rights Medal by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
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.
Human rights lawyer and Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown’s fingerprints are on nearly every major reform for LGBTQI+ people in recent years including playing a crucial role in achieving marriage equality as Co-Chair of the YES Campaign. Anna Brown has been integral in securing LGBTI+ discrimination law protections; expunging historical homosexual convictions; and strategic litigation to recognise gender diversity.
Rosemary Kayess has devoted her career to disability policy and reform, having advised on issues such as housing, education, guardianship and employment. She is a human rights lawyer, the Director of Engagement at the Disability Innovation Institute UNSW, and also teaches in the UNSW Faculty of Law. In 2019 she became the Vice Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Shen Narayanasamy is GetUp!'s Human Rights Campaign Director. She also founded the No Business in Abuse project, targeting corporate involvement in offshore detention of asylum seekers, and led #LetThemStay, which prevented the deportation of hundreds of asylum seekers to Nauru. She has previously worked as a human rights lawyer in Asia-Pacific on issues of economic justice and land rights.