Is it time for Australia to embrace a Bill of Rights to enshrine equality for all?

Media releases

“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 constitutional democracies in the world and as a land of hope and opportunity, Australia should be a beacon of freedom, equality and human dignity for all people. But are we?"

These questions will be posed by The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG as he delivers DCA’s third Anna McPhee Memorial Oration on Diversity and Inclusion, sponsored by Telstra. 

Retired Justice of the High Court of Australia, 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.

At the Oration, Mr Kirby will provide his vision for human rights in Australia, exploring Australia’s less than perfect record in according respect and legal protection to its minorities, and considering whether a Bill of Rights might ensure legally protected equality for all.

Joining Mr Kirby on stage will be DCA’s CEO Lisa Annese to moderate a conversation with an impressive panel line-up including:

  • 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 and proud Gunditjmara woman. 

When:              Wednesday 29 May 2019

Time:               11.30am to 2.30pm (AEST)

Where:            Zinc at Federation Square, Melbourne

Format:           Two course lunch, speaker oration and panel discussion

Audience:        Business leaders, HR directors and managers, diversity practitioners.

For more information: visit our website at

To RSVP: Email Diane Falzon on [email protected] or call 0430 596 699.

Join the conversation

* Required information