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Human Rights Oration 2020: In conversation with the Hon. Julia Gillard AC

The annual Human Rights Oration is the flagship event during Human Rights Week. Each year, the Commission invites a leading thinker in human rights – writers, academics, policy-makers, lawyers – to reflect on the state of human rights in Australia and what lies ahead. This year’s oration is the 20th in the series.

This year's Oration

2020 has been a year like no other. It began with vast parts of our nation ablaze, as smoke choked the air, and lives and livelihoods were devastated. The arrival of COVID-19 shortly after brought unprecedented disruption economically and socially – upending almost every part of life as we’ve known it.

In this year’s oration, former Prime Minister and current Chair of Beyond Blue, The Hon. Julia Gillard AC – in conversation with Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton –  reflected on the impacts of the year that was and discuss how we can might use this moment of disruption to build a more connected, resilient and equal society.

About the Hon. Julia Gillard AC

Julia Gillard was the 27th Prime Minister of Australia, the country’s first female prime minister.

Ms Gillard currently serves as the Chair of Beyond Blue, one of Australia’s leading mental health awareness bodies and has been their chair since 2017.

She is Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, a global funding body for education in developing countries; and the inaugural Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at Kings College London, which through research, practice and advocacy, is addressing women’s under-representation in leadership.

In addition, she is a patron of CAMFED – Campaign for Female Education which is focused on the eradicating poverty in Africa through the education of girls and the empowerment of young women; the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library; and Western Chances, a program that gives young people in Melbourne’s west the chance to fulfil their potential and overcome barriers.

Ms Gillard recently released her second book, Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons, which is co-authored by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Watch the Oration

Human Rights Week 2020 and Equality Talks events

Check out the Equality Talks events and the event calendar.

Part 1: First principles

Part 2: New frontiers

Take a look at our Human Rights Week 2020 calendar of events.

Download the Human Rights Week information pack

Human Rights Week 2020

The information pack includes social media tiles and sample messaging so you can join the conversation online during Human Rights Week 2020.

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