Keynote Presenters

Gillian Triggs
Speaking at 9.30am, Thursday 21 February

Gillian is an Australian academic specialising in public international law. She was President of the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2012 to 2017 and is a former Dean of the Sydney Law School.

Gillian graduated in Law from the University of Melbourne in 1968 and gained a PhD in 1982. She has combined an academic career with an international commercial legal practice and worked with governments and international organisations advising on law, including human rights law. She is focused on the implementations of the human rights treaties to which Australia is a party, and on working with nations in the Asia Pacific region on practical approaches to human rights.

Gillian also served the Commission as Acting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner from 1 August 2016 to 9 February 2017. She is the author of many books and papers, including International Law: Contemporary Principles and Practices.

Susan Alberti AC
Speaking at 1.15pm on Thursday 21 February

Susan is one of Australia’s pre-eminent philanthropists having donated millions of dollars to medical research and other charitable causes over her successful business career.

She was a finalist in the Australian of the Year Award in 1997 and again in 2009. In 1997 she received an AM (Member of the Order of Australia) for her contributions to diabetes research. Susan was awarded an AO (Officer of the Order of Australia) in January 2007. This recognised her long and outstanding contribution to major medical research institutions, particularly as a philanthropist, fundraiser and advocate for Type1 diabetes care and research. On Australia Day 2016, Susan was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) Award in recognition of her eminent service to the community, particularly through philanthropic and fundraising support for a range of medical research, education and to young women as a role model and mentor.

Susan is Chair of the Susan Alberti Medical Research Foundation and is retired Vice President of the AFL Western Bulldogs Football Club. In 2017, she was presented with the Australian Institute of Sport Performance Awards, Leadership Award for her vision and influence in driving the launch of the inaugural AFL Women’s competition.  Susan was named 2018 Victorian of the Year and has received the Victoria Day Council Award for Community and Public Service.

Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM
Speaking at 4pm on Thursday 21 February

Kon is the CEO and founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and a fierce advocate for rights of people seeking asylum, refugees and Indigenous Australians. He is also a human rights lawyer, social worker, Board Member for Children’s Ground, philanthropist, masseur and cooking enthusiast.

Inspired by the struggles of his parents and his childhood experiences of racism, Kon founded the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) in 2001, aged 28. Then a TAFE teacher, he discovered that people seeking asylum were living in the community with no basic support. This led to the creation of a student run and community funded food bank launched from a tiny shop in Footscray with only a few boxes of food.

Kon was an Australian of the Year (Victoria) finalist in 2007, was invited to participate in the 2020 Summit in 2008, was voted one of Australia’s 20 Unsung Heroes as part of the launch of the new Portrait Gallery in Canberra the same year, and was voted one of Melbourne’s 100 most influential people in The Age Melbourne Magazine. He was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2010 and an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2011. In 2012, he was a finalist in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s prestigious Human Rights Medal. In 2016 he was named been the City of Maribyrnong Citizen of the Year and received the La Trobe University Young Achiever Award.

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We are currently working on the program for the next Annual Conference which will be held in February 2019, stay tuned!