The Anna McPhee Memorial Oration on Diversity and Inclusion

29 May 2019


This year's Anna McPhee Memorial Oration on Diversity and Inclusion was delivered by Retired Justice of the High Court of Australia, The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, who asked: ‘Has the time at last come for Australia to embrace a national Bill of Rights?’

Proudly sponsored by Telstra.  Event details and photo of Michael Kirby #DCAOration

With virtually every other civilised nation in the world having statutory protections for fundamental human rights, perhaps it’s time Australia followed suit.

Mr Kirby is an international jurist, educator and former judge, and was inaugural Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission. He has also undertaken international activities for the United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the OECD and the Global Fund Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Watch highlights from this major event:

Mr Kirby asked: "Why has Australia had such a deep hostility to incorporating the universal principles of human rights in the law of this country, which every other modern, civilised country has done? ... As one of the oldest functioning democracies in the world and as a land of hope and opportunity, Australia should be a beacon of freedom, equality and dignity for all. But are we?"

Lisa Annese, DCA's Chief Executive Officer moderated a conversation on the implications for inclusion in the workplace with our guest panel:

Head and shoulders pictures of the panelists

  • The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMGinternational jurist, educator and former judge.
  • Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission.
  • Julian Clarke, Talent & Organisational Effectiveness Executive, Transformation & People, Telstra.
  • Jill Gallagher AO, Victorian Treaty  Advancement Commissioner.  

This much-anticipated annual DCA event recognises and honours the contribution of the late Anna McPhee, DCA’s former Chair and passionate advocate for diversity and equal opportunity.

Download the highlights video transcript.

Read event report or oration transcript.

DCA members can login to watch the video of the full event below.

The rest of this content is restricted to DCA members.