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Program & Speakers
The Conference Program is now available. Click here to download the conference program.
Keynote Speakers for 2011 National Conference
Tuesday 18th October
AM Plenary session
Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO, ACOSS
Cassandra has had an extensive career in the human rights and community service sector in Australia and internationally.
Prior to her appointment at ACOSS, Cassandra was the Director of the Sex and Age Discrimination Unit at the Australian Human Rights Commission where she played a pivotal role in the Inquiry into the Sex Discrimination Act, Pay Equity, national homelessness legislation, reforms to corporate governance to promote women in leadership and decision making roles, and the campaign to achieve Paid Parental Leave.
Cassandra has previously been the Director of the Homelessness Legal Rights Project at UNSW, a consultant to UN Habitat, Senior Executive with Legal Aid in Western Australia and Executive Officer of the Darwin Community Legal Service for five years.
Cassandra has also been President of NTCOSS and Board Member of ACOSS (2001-2002) and was an ACOSS Law and Justice Policy Advisor (2000-2006).
Michael Mansell, Legal Director, The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre
The proposed route of the Tasmanian government’s Brighton Bypass infrastructure project passed through the Lower Jordan River levee, about 20 minutes outside of Hobart. Preliminary heritage reports identified Aboriginal cultural heritage values and recommended further investigation. Detailed follow up surveys revealed the site, kutalayna, as one of the most extensive and best preserved heritage sites in Australia, dating back 42,000 years. Despite this discovery, the Tasmanian government rejected calls to re-route the Bypass around the site and has proceeded with construction.
Michael will discuss their campaign to prevent destruction of the kutalayna site and the need for reform of Tasmania’s Aboriginal Heritage legislation.
PM Plenary session
Greg Shadbolt, Principal Legal Officer, ATSILS
Greg has held the position of Principal Legal Officer with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service in Queensland since 2002.
Greg has played a role in securing ongoing funding to allow ATSILS to become a State-wide service and has been instrumental in developing the service into a highly professional and respected law firm.
Greg also oversaw the establishment of family and civil law sections within the organisation, and from October 2011 will be overseeing the expansion of service delivery to the Torres Straits.
Greg Barns, Barrister
Greg Barns is a member of the Tasmanian Independent Bar and has an active criminal and administrative law practice in several Australian jurisdictions. Greg is President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, a director of the human rights group, Rights Australia, and spokesperson for the Prison Action Reform Group. He worked in state and federal politics from 1989 to 1999 and was the Chair of the Australian Republican Movement from 2000-02. He has published three books on Australian politics, writes a weekly column for the Hobart Mercury and also writes for the ABC’s The Drum and The Age.
Wednesday 19th October
Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner
Robin is Tasmania’s Anti-‐Discrimination Commissioner, an appointment she took up in July 2010. Before that, Robin had worked largely in Community Legal Centres (CLCs) and advocacy roles as well as a brief stint at the Canadian Human Rights Commission in Ottawa, and three years in private practice in employment and discrimination litigation in a mid-tier law firm in Sydney, Henry Davis York. Robin began her involvement in CLCs through working on the first self-published edition of the Fitzory Legal Service Law Handbook in the mid‐1980s. She became interested in the work of CLCs through this work and then because a volunteer then board member at Springvale Legal Centre while continuing to work in publishing. Robin moved from voluntary work in the sector to a paid role as administrator at the Federation of Community Legal Centres (Vic) in the late 1980s. In the early 1990s, Robin left the sector to travel in Australia, ending up in Alice Springs where she was appointed to set up and run the Disability Advocacy Service. While there she worked with others to establish a volunteer legal service, the Alice Legal Information Centre. Her next move was to Sydney as Co-‐ordinator at the NSW Disability Discrimination Legal Centre, which she did while studying law at the University of New South Wales. More recently, Robin was the CEO of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Sydney. Robin’s key focus in her work has been public interest law mechanisms, human rights and discrimination law, in concert with a strong interest in disability rights and promoting effective advocacy to support and achieve rights focused systemic change.
Emeritus Professor, Centre for Human Rights Education at Curtin University and Honorary Fellow at the Centre for citizenship, Development and Human Rights at Deakin University. In semi-‐retirement Jim continues to teach community development and human rights in social work at RMIT and Victoria University, while working on a new edition of his book Human Rights and Social Work.
Thursday 20th October
A panel of Tasmanian politicians and commentators discuss the benefits and pitfalls of minority government – Chaired by The Hon Justice Alan Blow OAM
Brian Wightman MP State Member for Bass, Labor, State Attorney-‐General, Minister for Justice and Minister for Environment Parks and Heritage
Nick McKim MP Member for Franklin, Leader of the Tasmanian Greens, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Climate Change, Education, Sustainable Transport and Alternative Energy, and Corrections and Consumer Protection
Matthew Groom MP State Member for Denison, Liberal, Shadow Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Climate Change and Sustainable Transport
Andrew Wilkie MP Federal Member for Denison, Independent
Greg Barns Barrister, political commentator and columnist
To download a copy of the Resolution form, please click here.