WorldPride announces first speakers for human rights conference

Human Rights Conference

Sydney WorldPride have announced the first ten speakers who will be appearing at their Human Rights Conference, while also addressing concerns about challenges to accessing the expensive event.

The first 10 panellists and presenters at the Human Rights Conference have been confirmed, with human rights advocates, academics and LGBTQIA+ leaders from across the globe coming together to tackle the major human rights issues affecting the LGBTQIA+ community.

These renowned presenters hail from a range of backgrounds and countries including Indonesia, UK, South Africa, Germany, Fiji and New Zealand, as well as Australia. The event is billed as the largest LGBTIQA+ human rights event to ever be held in the region.

The experts include Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the UN’s Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

Up to 60 speakers, panellists and presenters will be attending the Human Rights Conference, with the first 10 confirmed as:

  • Victor Madrigal-Borloz (he/him) – United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and jurist (Costa Rica)
  • Professor Dennis Altman AM FASSA (he/him) – Australian writer, academic and voice of the early Gay Liberation Movement (Australia)
  • Tony Briffa (she/her) – intersex human rights activist and first out intersex person elected to public office in the world (Malta/Australia)
  • Edwin Cameron (he/him) – Former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and LGBTQIA+ advocate (South Africa)
  • Dr Julia Ehrt (she/her) – LGBTQIA+ activist, community leader and Executive Director at The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, ILGA World (Germany/Switzerland)
  • Dr Elizabeth Kerekere MP (she/her/ia) – Member of New Zealand Parliament and LGBTQ+ activist and scholar (New Zealand)
  • Crystal Love (she/her) – Sistergirl and First Nations Elder (Lajamanu, Darwin/Tiwi Islands)
    Noelene Nabulivou (she/her) – activist and Executive Director at Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality (Fiji)
  • Dédé Oetomo (he/him) – Indonesian activist and Founder and Trustee of GAYa NUSANTARA Foundation (Indonesia)
  • Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (she/her) – Co-Founder UK Black Pride and the Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Trust (United Kingdom)

Running from 1-3 March 2023 at Sydney’s International Conference Centre (ICC), the conference hopes to bring together 1,500 community leaders, activists, politicians and human rights experts from across the globe for three days of talks, panel discussions and workshops about the key human rights issues affecting LGBTQIA+ people around the world.

With the full program yet to be announced, the conference will include topics such as the protection of LGBTQIA+ refugees and people seeking asylum; ensuring access to supportive and affirming healthcare for LGBTQIA+ people; the future of inclusive sport; and the international effort to end unnecessary procedures performed on intersex people without their consent.

Kate Wickett, Chief Executive Officer of Sydney WorldPride, said the scale of the event was unprecedented in the Asia Pacific region.

“Never before has an LGBTQIA+ Human Rights Conference of this scale been held in the Asia Pacific. It’s a cornerstone event in the Sydney WorldPride festival calendar.

“The ten highly respected speakers announced today come from across the globe including the UK, South Africa and Indonesia. They have a variety of backgrounds and bring unique perspectives and experiences that will help drive progress for our community.”

New ticket options launched following criticism of the price of the event

In addition to the speakers, four new ticket options have been announced, adding to the existing discount streams for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Community Organisations.

Many people were alarmed when the full ticket price of nearly $1,500 per attendee was announced earlier this year.

As previously announced, the conference will also be streamed online for free for anyone to attend.

On the new ticketing options Kate Wickett said there had always been a plan to open up the event to a diverse range of people.

“The Human Rights Conference is for all of us and from the beginning it has been our intention to have a mix of attendees, from grass-roots organisations and activists, to government, researchers and service providers.

“We have listened to community feedback and today we are introducing four more ticket options that allow small LGBTQIA+ community organisations and changemakers to attend, as well as one-day $25 tickets that give anyone the opportunity to listen to the keynote speakers.

“I am confident we have balanced the scale and ambition of the conference, while also making it accessible and ensuring a diversity of voices.

“From art, activism and healthcare to legal policy and inclusion, the Human Rights Conference is the cornerstone of Sydney WorldPride 2023, with an ambition to create meaningful change for our community right across the region.” Wickett said.

See all the new ticketing options.

OIP Staff


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