The Michael Kirby Centre for Public Health and Human Rights is a collaboration of interdisciplinary scholars in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. The Centre is named for the former Justice of the High Court of Australia, renowned human rights expert, advocate and defender who will maintain an active involvement in the Centre’s work and future direction. The Kirby Centre was created to consolidate and strengthen the existing capacities, developed over 20 years in the study of public health and human rights within the School.

The Kirby Centre comprises lawyers, ethicists, medical practitioners, scientists and others who undertake research that critically examines the contribution of human rights and law to the realisation of good health, particularly amongst vulnerable communities in Australia and in the developing world. Kirby Centre staff also undertake activities in Australia and internationally where theories are put into action.

The Centre will;

  • Increase the profile and standing of public  health, public health law and human rights within the department,  faculty, university and to external stakeholders;
  • Undertake high  quality and publishable research in the areas of public health, public  health law and ethics, and human rights;
  • Further develop our  role in investigator driven research as well as contract research for  multilateral agencies, government and other stakeholders;
  • Offer  high quality undergraduate teaching, postgraduate degrees and short  course education and training programs that contain within their  programmes a focus on public health, public health law and ethics, and  human rights;
  • Foster strategic partnerships with relevant  research and funding organisations and individuals, nationally and  internationally; 
  • Create an environment, which values, supports and develops its staff, research students and their careers; and
  • Actively promote a human rights based approach in public health policy development and programming.

Photograph : The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG

(Official High Court of Australia Portrait)
Photograph © Ian PROVEST