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Michael Kirby: Health & Human Rights

June 27 @ 3:30 am - 4:30 am

Michael Kirby: Health & Human Rights
A healthy world begins with accessible healthcare for all.

2023 David Cooper Lecture

Michael Kirby | Geraldine Doogue

Regardless of where people are born or the communities they belong to, equal access to healthcare should be a fundamental human right. In our age of pandemics, and with healthcare inequality widening, how can we make healthcare access equitable?

Esteemed jurist and legal scholar Michael Kirby has tirelessly advocated for equal access to healthcare over his lengthy career. As a pioneering AIDS activist, member of the WHO’s Global Commission on AIDS from 1988 – 1992, and respected legal mind, Kirby’s focus in recent years has also included decriminalising homosexuality and sex work, and reducing the cost of life-saving medications.

Join Michael Kirby in conversation with journalist Geraldine Doogue as they discuss his life and career, focusing on what we have learnt from the HIV/AIDS epidemic, how we have applied those lessons during recent pandemics, and how we can build support for egalitarian global healthcare.

This event is co-presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas, The Kirby Institute and supported by UNSW Medicine & Health.


The David Cooper Lecture honours the legacy of The Kirby Institute’s Founding Director, Professor David Cooper AC. Professor Cooper passed away in 2018 and was an internationally renowned scientist and HIV clinician, who laid the foundations for Australia’s ongoing global leadership in the fight against the global HIV epidemic.

To make a donation to support David Cooper’s incredible vision for equitable access to healthcare visit unsw.to/DavidCooperMemorialFund.

Live Event & Venue Information

Leighton Hall is located inside the John Niland Scientia Building at UNSW Sydney’s Kensington campus. Please note this is a live event only, and will not be available via livestream.

To ensure the health and safety of all patrons, face masks are recommended and please do not attend the event if you feel unwell.


Wheelchair Access

There is wheelchair access to Leighton Hall via the Scientia Lawn. Vehicles should arrive via Gate 11, Botany Street, and drive down Library Walk.

Assisted Listening

Leighton Hall has hearing assistive technology available. Patrons wishing to utilise this service must collect a Roger™ inductive neck loop receiver from the venue staff, and this system can be used with a hearing aid or cochlear implant with a T-coil, or with headphones.

Auslan & Captioning 

Auslan interpreting services and/or live captioning can be provided for selected talks upon request.

To discuss access requirements and book selected services, please call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9065 0485 or email centreforideas@unsw.edu.au.

Parking & Public Transport

Free parking is available in the Botany St Car Park (Gate 11) from 5.30pm. For access to free parking, event patrons must park in the UNSW Permit Holder bays, available on all levels. The Botany St Car Park (Gate 11) parking station is located here.

Paid casual and visitor parking is offered via the CellOPark App and ‘pay by plate meters’ in all other UNSW car parks. For more information head here.

Leighton Hall (John Niland Scientia Building) is easily accessible via public transport. For more information please call the Transport Infoline on 131 500 or visit transportnsw.info.


For all enquiries, please email centreforideas@unsw.edu.au or call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9065 0485.

The Centre for Ideas is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 02 9065 0485. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 9065 0485. Internet relay users, visit relayservice.gov.au, then ask for 02 9065 0485.


Michael Kirby

Michael Kirby is a highly distinguished Australian jurist and legal scholar who served as a Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1996 to 2009. He has been recognised internationally for his contributions to human rights and social justice and is affectionately known as the ‘Great Dissenter’ for his well-reasoned, independent, and sometimes controversial opinions.

He was a member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Commission on AIDS and since retiring from the High Court, has continued his work in various international roles, including as a Commissioner on the UNDP Global Commission on HIV and the Law, and as a member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights. He has been awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal, was named a laureate of the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education and received the Gruber Justice Prize for his work on sexual orientation discrimination and international human rights law, including laws relating to privacy and HIV/AIDS. He is also a public speaker, commentator, and author.

Geraldine Doogue

Geraldine Doogue is a renowned Australian journalist and broadcaster with experience in print, television and radio. She currently presents ABC RN’s Saturday Extra which specialises in foreign policy, regional issues, agenda-changing commentators, good books, and has been a reporter for The West Australian, The Australian, 2UE, Channel 10 and the Presenter/Creator of ABC RN’s Life Matters.

During her career with both the ABC and commercial media she has won two Penguin Awards for excellence in broadcasting from the Television Society of Australia and a United Nations Media Peace Prize. In 2000 Geraldine was awarded a Churchill Fellowship for social and cultural reporting. In 2003, she was recognised with an Officer in the Order of Australia for services to the community and media. Geraldine tackles a wide range of subjects with rigour, optimism, humour and warmth.

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June 27
3:30 am - 4:30 am
Event Category:


UNSW Centre for Ideas
View Organizer Website


Leighton Hall, John Niland Scientia Building
(G19) UNSW Sydney, Kensington, NSW 2052
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