Castan Centre - Human Rights Law Conference

Date: Friday 23 July 2021
Time: 9.00am - 3.30pm (AEST)
Cost: Free 
Venue: Online Zoom
RSVP: Register here
Agenda: Visit the registration page

Gender inequality persists and women’s voices must be heard.  Under a human rights-based approach homelessness can and must be ended. Charters of rights have proved themselves in Victoria and other jurisdictions and can and must be implemented at the federal level.  The purpose of this conference by Webinar is to focus attention on these critical human rights issues of contemporary Australia with outstanding speakers and moderators who are experts in their field and rapporteurs to sum up the discussion.

Social Media

We will be tweeting on the day of the conference. Join us in the conversation by following us on Twitter @CastanCentre and use the #HumanRights21

You can also tag our speakers. Their handles are below:


Kristen Hilton (@kristenahilton)
Former Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner

Kristen Hilton commenced her role as Victoria's Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner on 1 June 2016. Prior to her appointment, Ms Hilton was the Executive Director, Legal Practice, with Victoria Legal Aid and has previously worked with the organisation as Executive Director, Civil Justice and Access. Ms Hilton was previously the Executive Director of the Public Interest Law Clearing House and has extensive knowledge of current civil law and human rights issues and the needs of marginalised and disadvantaged individuals. Ms Hilton has practised in the private profession and in a number of community legal centres.

June Oscar AO (@June_Oscar)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner

June Oscar AO is a proud Bunuba woman from the remote town of Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. She is a strong advocate for Indigenous Australian languages, social justice, women’s issues, and has worked tirelessly to reduce Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). June has held a raft of influential positions including Deputy Director of the Kimberley Land Council, chair of the Kimberley Language Resource Centre and the Kimberley Interpreting Service and Chief Investigator with WA’s Lililwan Project addressing FASD. June began her five-year term as Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner on 3 April 2017.

Dr Tania Penovic
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Monash University, Convenor of the Gender and Sexuality Program Research Group

Dr Tania Penovic is an award-winning researcher with expertise in gender equality and women’s human rights. Her research has been cited by the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia and relied upon in submissions to courts including the Constitutional Court of Chile and  European Court of Human Rights. Dr Penovic has provided numerous submissions to state, federal and international inquiries into law reform which have been cited extensively and associated with legislative change.  Having served as Deputy Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law from 2011 to 2020, she is now the centre’s research group leader in gender and sexuality.

Leilani Farha (@leilanifarha)
Global Director of The Shift, Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing

Leilani is the Global Director of The Shift, an international movement to secure the right to housing and the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing (2014- 2020). The Shift was launched in 2017 with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and United Cities and Local Government and works with multi-level stakeholders around the world including with several city governments in North America and Europe. Leilani’s work is animated by the principle that housing is a social good, not a commodity. She has helped develop global human rights standards on the right to housing, including through her topical reports on homelessness, the financialization of housing, informal settlements, rights based housing strategies, and the first UN Guidelines for the implementation of the right to housing.

Cassandra Goldie (@cassandragoldie)
Chief Executive Officer Australian Council of Social Services

Dr Cassandra Goldie is CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service, the national peak body for the community sector, and an advocate for tackling poverty and inequality. She has deep public policy expertise in economic and social issues, civil society, social justice and human rights and is a regular media and public commentator and conference presenter. Prior to joining ACOSS, Cassandra held senior roles in both the not-for-profit and public sectors at local, national and international levels, including with the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Darwin Community Legal Service, Legal Aid Western Australia and the global Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions.

Professor Jean Allain (@profjallain)
Faculty of Law, Monash University, Covenor of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Program Research Group, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

Jean Allain is a professor of international law. Prof Allain joined the Faculty of Law of Monash University in 2017 and was Associated Dean (Research) from 2018-2020. From 2017-2021, Prof Allain held a concurrent appointmentProfessor of International Law at the Wilberforce Institute (WISE) at the University of Hull, UK; and from 2015-2019, was  Special Adviser to Anti-Slavery International, the world's oldest international human rights organisation. Prof Allain has been, since 2008, Extraordinary Professor with the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa; and was, from 2017 to 2020, Visiting Professor and Research Fellow with the Law School, Beijing Normal University.

Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM (@RosCroucher)
President, Australian Human Rights Commission

Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM was appointed as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission in July 2017, after seven and a half years as President of the Australian Law Reform Commission. In 2014, she was acknowledged for her contributions to public policy as one of Australia’s ‘100 Women of Influence’ and was awarded the Australian Women Lawyer’s award. In the Australia Day Honours list, 2015, Professor Croucher was made a Member of the Order of Australia and in 2016 Macquarie University conferred on her the title of Emeritus Professor.

Professor The Hon. Kevin H Bell AM QC
Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Faculty of Law, Monash University, Convenor of Charters of Rights Program Research Group

Professor the Hon Kevin Bell AM QC is the Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. He was a justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria for fifteen years and wrote a number of leading judgments under the Victorian Charter of Human Rights, including KrackePatrick’s Case and PBU and NJE.  He was president of the Forensic Leave Panel and president of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal.  Before becoming a judge, Professor Bell was for twenty years a barrister and Queens Counsel with a national practise in human rights and administrative, native tile and constitutional law. He has a Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University and in 2017 was awarded the honour of Member of the Order of Australia for ‘significant service to the law and to the judiciary, to native title and human rights, and the community’.

Paper available here


Professor Hilary Charlesworth
Melbourne Laureate Professor, Co-Director of Studies, Human Rights Law, Melbourne Law School

Hilary Charlesworth is a Melbourne Laureate Professor at Melbourne Law School. She is also a Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University. Her research includes the structure of the international legal system, peacebuilding, human rights law and international humanitarian law, international legal theory, particularly feminist approaches to international law and the art of international law.

Dr Jessie Hohmann (@DrJessieHohmann)
Associate Professor, UTS Faculty of Law

Dr. Hohmann is an internationally recognised expert on the right to housing. Her 2013 monograph The Right to Housing: Law, Concepts, Possibilities (Hart) was shortlisted for the Society of Legal Scholars Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship. Before joining UTS she was Senior Lecturer in Law at Queen Mary, University of London (2012-2019), and held a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Cambridge (2009-2012). Dr. Hohmann holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, a LLM from Sydney University, a LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School (York University) and a BA from the University of Guelph. Her research also engages with the material culture, objects and materiality of international law, and with Indigenous Peoples and international law.

The Hon. Pamela Tate SC
Adjunct Professor,  Faculty of Law, Monash University, member of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Former Justice of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria

The Hon Pamela Tate SC is an Adjunct Professor of Law, Monash University.  She was formerly a Judge of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria from 2010 until her retirement in 2021.  She was the Solicitor-General for Victoria from 2003 to 2010. She was the first woman to be appointed Solicitor-General for Victoria. She was Special Counsel to the Human Rights Consultation Committee that recommended the enactment of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.  She is the Patron of the Australasian Association of Philosophy and was the Patron of the Women Barristers’ Association.


Daye Gang
Barrister, Consultant in human rights and North Korea and PhD candidate (restorative justice and victims of sexual and family violence)

Daye is a barrister at the Victorian Bar practising in public, regulatory and commercial law. She is a PhD candidate at the Michael Kirby Centre for Public Health and Human Rights at Monash University, researching restorative justice for sexual and family violence, and a consultant with the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights. She has conducted global advocacy revealing how North Korea’s “blood coal” is traded in breach of Security Council Sanctions. She founded a project to translate all North Korean laws into English at In 2020, Daye won the International Bar Association Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.

Andrea Olivares-Jones (@AndieOlivares)
Policy Manager, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

Andrea is the Castan Centre Policy Manager. Her work producing high-level policy submissions, reports and other publications on key human rights issues and the law. She also supervises the Centre’s Human Rights Clinic and In-house Internship.

Prior to joining the Centre, Andrea worked in international relations for the US Consulate General in Melbourne. She also has experience working in the legal sector for the Fitzroy Legal Service, and for various non-government organisations.  Andrea holds an LLB (Honours)/Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) from Monash University. She also holds Honours in Political Science/ International Relations (First Class) from the University of Melbourne.

Hugh de Kretser (@HughdeKretser)
Executive Director, Human Rights Law Centre

Hugh was a board member of the Human Rights Law Centre when it was established in 2006 and joined the staff team in 2013 as the Executive Director. Under his leadership, the Centre has more than tripled in staffing and resources and continues to extend its positive impact on human rights in Australia.

Hugh started his legal career at the law firm Mallesons and then began working to protect and promote human rights as the Manager of the Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre and the Executive Officer of the Victorian Federation of Community Legal Centres.


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


Major Sponsor