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Join over 300 attendees from the law, civil society, academia and business at Australia's only annual human rights conference.

The Annual Castan Centre for Human Rights Law Conference

Date: Friday 22 July 2016
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: The Edge, Federation Square, Corner Swanston and Flinders Street, Melbourne


Over the last few weeks we have revealed our line up of confirmed speakers so far. This week we are excited to include Helen Fatouros, Executive Director of Criminal Law Services at Victoria Legal Aid to our exciting list.

Mr Stan Grant, Indigenous Affairs Editor of the Guardian Australiastan grant

Topic: The way forward for Indigenous reconciliation

Stan Grant is the Indigenous affairs editor for Guardian Australia. He is the winner of the 2015 Walkley award for coverage of Indigenous affairs. Grant was previously the international editor at Sky News and has held posts in Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong and Beijing for CNN International. Grant joined Guardian Australia in December 2015.

Ms Kate Jenkins, Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commissionkate jenkins

Topic: Achieving gender equality where we live, learn, work and play: priorities for Australia's new Sex Discrimination Commissioner

Kate Jenkins is an Australian lawyer who was appointed the Sex Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission earlier this year. Prior to this Ms Jenkins was the Commissioner at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights.

The Hon Martin Pakula MP, Victorian Attorney-Generalmartin pakula

Topic: Developments in Human Rights in Victoria

The Hon Martin Pakula MP is the Victorian Attorney-General, Minister for Racing and Member for Keysborough. Martin joined the Labor Party in 1987 while studying economics and law at Monash University. In 1993, he joined the National Union of Workers, where he served as an Industrial Officer, Assistant State Secretary, State Secretary and National Vice President. In 2013, Martin moved to the Legislative Assembly in a by-election for the seat of Lyndhurst, which was subsequently renamed Keysborough.

Ms Mariam Veiszadeh, Ambassador of Welcome to Australia and President of Islamophobia ReMariam Veiszedahgister Australia

Topic: Islamophobia in Australia

Lawyer, advocate and opinion writer, Mariam has received a number of awards and her strong advocacy against Islamaphobia has made global headlines. She is a tireless promoter of rights and her efforts have attracted the support of senior politicians, journalists, decision makers and other ordinary Australians.

Mr Tory Russell, Co-founder and Director of Hands Up United, Ferguson MissouriTory Russell

Topic: Young, black and politicized

Tory Russell, is a co-founder and director of a Ferguson based National Organization named Hands Up United. Featured in the August “Black Lives Matter” Edition of Ebony magazine, his fresh voice and mobilizing skills has landed him on such list as the 2015 Ebony Power 100 List and also recognized by Revolt TV in 2014 as a “Leader of the New School”. This young leader is becoming recognized across the country for his voice and organizing prowess.

Professor Anne Alyanne aly, Professor at Edith Cowan University and Founding Chair of People Against Violent Extremism

Topic: Radicalisation, Terrorism and Human Rights (exact title to be confirmed)

Dr Anne (Azza) Aly is a Professor at Edith Cowan University. Her research focuses on radicalisation, violent extremism and counter terrorism. She is the author of Terrorism and Global Security: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (2011, Palgrave Macmillan). Anne has contributed over 40 publications on various themes including counter terrorism, radicalisation, Muslim identity and constructions of terrorism.

Professor Mary Crock, Professor of Public Law at The University of Sydneymary crock

Topic: Making Every Life Count:  International Law and The Protection of Persons with Disabilities in Displacement

Professor Crock is known for her work on immigration detention, but has also written and lectured on many other aspects of immigration and refugee law and their interface with other areas of law and other disciplines. Through her work with her husband, Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO, she has been involved in internal United Nations initiatives for the reform of the UN Human Rights treaty body system.

Mr Julian McMahon, lawyer for Van Tuong Nguyen and members of the Bali NineJulian McMahon

Topic: The executions of M Sukumaran and A Chan, and what has followed in the region

Admitted to the Victorian Bar in 1998 Julian McMahon is known for his defence of some members of the Bali Nine, most recently Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. His work opposing the death penalty is tireless and his talk shall focus on last years executions and what is to come in the region.

Ms Brynn O’Brien, Business & Human Rights Advisor at No Business in Abuse and The Australia InstituteBrynn O'brien

Topic: Ending business in abuse, and the future of corporate accountability in Australia

Brynn O’Brien is a lawyer, advisor and researcher on the human rights impacts of the private sector. She has worked across a broad range of issues and industry sectors where human rights and business activity collide, from labour issues in the supply chain to anti-discrimination matters and human rights issues in immigration detention. Brynn is an expert on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and is regularly invited to speak on their effective implementation and power as tools for advocacy. She is involved in shaping the business and human rights field in Australia and abroad through her membership of various multi-stakeholder groups, involvement in regional capacity building initiatives, and academic research and writing.

Helen Fatouros, Executive Director, Criminal Law Services, Victoria Legal AidHelen Fatouros

Topic: Is Our Youth Justice System Really Broken?

Ms Helen Fatouros is Victoria Legal Aid’s Executive Director, Criminal Law Services. Helen was appointed a Council Director of the Sentencing Advisory Council by the Victorian Attorney-General in mid-2013 and was appointed as a Commissioner to the Victorian Law Reform Commission in September 2014.

Check back each day to see more of our speaker line up for 2016. Or, if you want to get the news as it breaks, follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

How to register

You may register in one of the following ways:

  • Register online (preferred method)
  • If you cannot register online please contact us at 03 9905 3327.
  • Please do NOT send credit card information via fax or email as it is not secure.

Conditions of registration:

  • If you are unable to attend the conference, a substitute is welcome.
  • Please let us know so we can prepare a name badge.
  • A service fee of 10% will be charged for cancellations received in writing by 15 July 2016.  No refunds will be paid after this date.

Registration fees:

  • Full Registration Early Bird to 27 May - $265
  • Full Registration from 28 May - $295
  • NGO/Concession Early Bird to 27 May - $135
  • NGO/Concession Registration from 28 May -  $160
  • Full Time Student Registration $85 (limited number)


If you have any queries about the conference please tel 03 9905 3327 or email


For a copy of our sponsorship brochure, contact the Castan Centre (see above) or to discuss sponsorship options contact Marius Smith, Centre Manager, on 03 9905 3386 or email

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