The Hon. Michael Kirby to Address Perth Symposium on Human Rights for Diverse Genders and Sexualities in Education

May 12, 2016

The Hon. Michael Kirby to Address Perth Symposium

The Hon. Michael Kirby to Address Perth Symposium

On the eve of the International Day against Homophobia,Transphobia and Biphobia, the Honourable Michael Kirby will speak at the ‘Promoting Human Rights in Educational Communities for People of Diverse Genders and Sexualities’ symposium at Murdoch University on Monday 16 May.

The Hon. Michael Kirby will be joined by Dr Michelle Blanchard, Head of Projects and Partnerships Young and Well CRC, and an expert panel who will discuss current research and developments in the creation of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer or Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI) friendly and respectful schools and universities.

Symposium Chair, Associate Professor at Murdoch University’s School of Education, Dr Wendy Cumming-Potvin said the human rights symposium has been developed from Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) research, which embeds rich partnerships across universities, government and non-government organisations.

“We have been collaborating with many wonderful stakeholders, particularly young people and teachers. The focus has been to better understand how educational institutions can become safer and more welcoming for all students, including those who self-identify as gender variant or sexuality diverse,” Dr Cumming-Potvin said.

“Australian educational policy highlights academic excellence in key areas, such as literacy and numeracy, alongside students’ emotional and social well-being. As such, at all levels, it is important for educational stakeholders to participate in discussions and play an active role to promote equitable student outcomes, which counter bullying and discrimination.”

Recent debates in Australia about marriage equality and the work of the Safe Schools Coalition have drawn attention to the continuing lack of human rights for people of diverse genders and sexualities.

After a keynote speech by the Hon. Michael Kirby, the symposium will hear perspectives on how the promotion of such human rights can be part of the work of educational communities.

This is a unique opportunity to hear about current research exploring the perspectives of teachers and young people on the creation of LGBTQI-friendly and respectful schools and universities.

Presented by Murdoch University, in conjunction with the Young and Well CRC, the symposium aims to showcase research and practice focussing on LGBTQI human rights in WA, mobilise knowledge to support an holistic approach to advocate for LGBTQI-friendly and respectful schools and universities, and support policy and curriculum development in human rights through cross-institutional partnerships.

This is a free event. Registrations commence at 4:30pm, with the keynote address at 5pm sharp. If you are interested in attending, please register now at


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