Housing, Homelessness and Human Rights in Australia

Presented by the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law of Monash Law and the Better Governance and Policy of Monash University

Date: Monday, 9 November 2020
5pm to 6.30pm

To view this past event, click 'play' on the video below:

Public event - All welcome

The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, together with Better Governance and Policy presents this Zoom webinar on Housing, Homelessness and Human Rights in Australia.

Adequate housing is essential for human survival with dignity. Without a right to housing, many other basic human rights will be compromised. Yet for several decades in Australia, increasing numbers of people have found themselves without secure housing or in significant housing stress.

Successive governments have failed to make the investment and policy shifts needed to address this wicked problem. What if we considered homelessness not as an unsolvable welfare problem affecting a stigmatised group, but as a human rights breach, which our governments are responsible to resolve?

Join us for this panel discussion as we consider housing as a human right and what this means for ending homelessness in Australia.

This webinar forms part of Building a Better Future: Housing and Homelessness, which brings together diverse research perspectives responding to the policy challenges of housing and homelessness in Australia.


Professor Tamara Walsh
School of Law, University of Queensland

Professor Tamara Walsh has degrees in both Law and Social Work, and her interest is in social welfare law. Her research studies examine the impact of the law on vulnerable people including children and young people, people experiencing homelessness, people on low incomes, people with disabilities, mothers and carers. Most of her studies are sociolegal and empirical in nature, and she draws on human rights discourse and social exclusion theory to explore the influence that the law has on complex social problems. Her research has spanned 15 years and has been widely published, both in Australia and internationally.


Bevan Warner
CEO, Launch Housing

Bevan Warner is the Chief Executive Officer of Launch Housing, one of Victoria's largest providers of housing and homeless support services, reaching over 18,000 Victorians each year. As a former Managing Director of Victoria Legal Aid, Bevan arranged legal advice and advocacy services for over 90,000 vulnerable Victorians each year. Central to each role has been a concern for fair treatment of people who are vulnerable and who are exposed to the exercise of power by individuals entrusted to confer entitlements or to sanction fellow citizens. Each role entails leading a workforce exposed to vicarious trauma, arising from the work itself and exacerbated by the many policy and system failures that set individuals and our community up to fail. With a belief and passion for individual human dignity, and the need to create healthy communities, Bevan believes that positive social change will always be people led.


Chris Povey
CEO, Justice Connect

Chris has dedicated his career to making the law work for people who would otherwise miss out. He has spent over 15 years as a lawyer with a range of social justice organisations including the Consumer Action Law Centre, Tenants Victoria, Victoria Legal Aid, Justice Connect and the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. In 2010, Chris was awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship to conduct in-depth research into housing sustainability and homelessness prevention.

Chris serves on the Boards of the Australian Pro Bono Centre and the Federation of Community Legal Centres, and previously served on the Board of the Council to Homeless Persons.


Professor the Hon. Kevin H Bell AM QC
Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash Law