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Rainbow Conversations: GLBTI human rights in the Asia Pacific

This is an overview of the Rainbow Conversations conference to be held in Melbourne on Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st January 2008

This exciting two-day event to be held at Melbourne’s historic Town Hall, will provide an open and friendly environment in which activists, academics and community members can explore GLBTI human rights issues across the Asia Pacific region. It provides a unique opportunity for the exchange of ideas, information and expertise, and for the development and consolidation of Asia Pacific GLBTI networks.

Rainbow Conversations is part of the inaugural Asia Pacific Outgames, a multi-sport, culture and human rights event that will take place in Melbourne, Australia, from 30 January – 3 February 2008.

Events will be held during the Midsumma Festival – Melbourne’s premier gay and lesbian cultural and arts festival and includes Pride March

Outgames is under licence from GLISA Asia Pacific (Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association).

Rainbow Conversations Day One - GLBTI Workshops and Cultural Tours

Day one of Rainbow Conversations opens with a traditional Indigenous welcome and addresses from conference organisers and GLISA Co-presidents, Catherine Meade (Canada) and Wessel van Kampen (Netherlands).

Delegates will then choose from four workshops facilitated by Melbourne GLBTI groups, including Community advocacy, Young people, Health and wellbeing, and Staging cultural events.

The workshops will provide delegates with an opportunity to share valuable experience, resources, skills and practical examples to help them develop similar initiatives in their own communities.

In the afternoon delegates are offered a choice of three two-hour guided Cultural Tours including Melbourne: the Queer City, Hidden laneways, Arcade secrets and Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate. These tours, provided with the kind support of Midsumma, offer an informal and friendly atmosphere for delegates to get to know each other while exploring GLBTI Melbourne.

Rainbow Conversations Day Two - GLBTI Human Rights Conference

Day two of Rainbow Conversations will bring together a number of stellar keynote speakers and workshop presenters to explore human rights issues of importance to GLBTI communities across the Asia Pacific region.

Following an opening plenary session MC’d by Anton Enus and involving an exciting range of Australian and international speakers, delegates will participate in three concurrent sessions focusing on key themes including Education, Health, Law, Sport, Workers Rights, Business, and HIV/AIDS.

Day two of Rainbow Conversations will end with a closing plenary session and delegates’ participation in the official opening celebration of the Asia Pacific Outgames Melbourne 2008.

Keynote and Plenary Speakers

Anton Enus (MC, Australia): Beginning his career more than 20 years ago with the South African national broadcaster, SABC, Anton was part of the team that covered South Africa’s historic return to democracy in 1994 and, as specialist news writer for the SABC, he also filed stories from Rwanda, Burundi, Zaire, Uganda, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. He was later correspondent for CNN World Report for seven years before taking up his current post as presenter of SBS World News in 1999. In his spare time, Anton has run more than 40 marathons and also plays tennis and squash. He and his partner Roger Henning became Australian citizens in July 2002.

Elizabeth Evatt AC (Opening Keynote Address, Australia): Elizabeth is the former Vice-chair of the UN Human Rights Committee, and former Chair of UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. Her current roles include as Commissioner on the International Commission of Jurists, as Board Member for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of New South Wales Law School, and Management Committee member of the Australian Human Rights Centre at UNSW. Elizabeth’s work in the area of human rights was acknowledged in 1995 with the awarding of the Australian Human Rights Medal.

Georgina Beyer (Panel discussion, New Zealand): Georgina was elected Mayor of Carterton in 1995 and held that position until 2000. She served more than seven years as a New Zealand Member of Parliament from 1999 before retiring in February 2007. "Change For The Better - the story of Georgina Beyer" was published in 1999 and "Georgie Girl" - an award winning documentary has screened in cinema houses and festivals all over the world to critical acclaim.

Dédé Oetomo (Panel discussion, Indonesia): Dédé helped found Indonesia’s first homosexual organization, Lambda Indonesia in 1982 and is also co-founder of GAYa NUSANTARA Foundation, an organization originally working for the sexual health of gay men, transgenders, and male sex workers, based in Surabaya. He is active in the Asia Pacific Rainbow network and in 1998 received the Felipa de Souza Award from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in recognition of his work.

Graeme Innes AM (Panel discussion, Australia): Lawyer, mediator, consultant and company director Graeme has been a Human Rights Practitioner in NSW, WA and nationally for 25 years. He was a member of the Australian delegation to the United Nations developing a Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and is the current Human Rights and Disability Commissioner at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Graeme is married with an adult son and a daughter in primary school. He enjoys cricket (as a spectator) and sailing (as a participant) and relaxes by drinking fine Australian white wine.

Ian Anderson (Panel discussion, Australia): Ian has worked in Aboriginal health and policy for about 20 years. He is the foundation Chair in Indigenous Health at the University of Melbourne, Deputy Head of the School of Population Health, and Director of the Centre for Health and Society and the Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit. He is also currently the Research Director for the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Aboriginal Health (CRCAH). Ian’s family are Palawa Trouwunna: Plaimairrerenner and Trawlwoolway clans.

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera (Closing Keynote Address, Sri Lanka): Rosanna was born in Sri Lanka and is from that country’s Burgher community (of Dutch descent). Her current roles include as Co-Secretary General for the International Lesbian and Gay Association, Executive Director of EQUAL GROUND, Sri Lanka, and as advisor to the Global Fund for Women (USA) and the Hirshfeld Eddy Foundation (Germany). Rosanna was the 2005 recipient of the Utopia Award, Asia’s leading GLBTI human rights award in recognition of her work.

Gary Dowsett (Conference Summary, Australia): Gary is Deputy Director at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University, and Associate Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University in New York. He is a well published author with a long interest in sexuality research. He has been researching HIV/AIDS in Australia's gay communities since 1986, has been a member of the International Academy of Sex Research since 2003, and in 2005 was awarded a five-year VicHealth Senior Research Fellowship.

Concurrent Session Speakers

The following speakers have been confirmed to present during Conversations concurrent sessions. Further speakers will be added as the program is finalised.


Mr Mark Latchford (Sydney, Australia) - Vice President, Systems and Technology Group, IBM Australia/New Zealand
Mr Hayden Majajas (Tokyo, Japan) - Assistant Vice President, Program Manager Diversity and Inclusion Asia, Lehman Brothers Japan
Ms Nareen Young (Sydney, Australia) - Executive Officer, Diversity Council of Australia


Ms Kristen Douglas (Melbourne, Australia) - Senior Project Officer, Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
Mr Peter Gourlay (Melbourne, Australia) - Training and Consultancy Officer, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
Mr Kenton Miller (Melbourne, Australia) - Assistant Project Officer, VicHealth
Mr Daniel Witthaus (Melbourne, Australia) - Board member, International LGBT Education Network (GALE)


Dr Catherine Barrett (Melbourne, Australia) - Researcher, Australian Research Centre In Sex, Health and Society, the Matrix Guild and Vintage Men
Ms Stevie Clayton (Sydney, Australia) - CEO, AIDS Council of New South Wales
Mr Jamie Gardiner (Melbourne, Australia) - Commissioner, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
Prof. Tonda Hughes (Illinois, USA) - Academic Nurse, College of Nursing and the School of Public Health, University of Illinois
Dr Ruth McNair (Melbourne, Australia) - Senior Lecturer, Dept of General Practice, University of Melbourne
Assoc Prof. Anne Mitchell (Melbourne, Australia) - Director, Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria, Australian Research Centre In Sex, Health and Society
Mr David Scamell (Sydney, Australia) - Manager, Policy, Planning and Research Unit, AIDS Council of New South Wales


Mr Jonas Bagas (Manila, Philippines) - Secretary General, Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network
Mr Sumit Baudh (Delhi, India) - The South and South East Asia Resource Centre on Sexuality
Dr Anthony Bendall (Melbourne, Australia) - Deputy Commissioner, Office of the Victorian Privacy Commissioner
Ms Jackie Braw (Sydney, Australia) - Senior Program Officer, Gay Lesbian Transgender, NSW Police Force
Mr Gerard Brody (Melbourne, Australia) - Former Co-convenor, Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby
Mr Scott Davis (Melbourne, Australia) - Manager, Victoria Police Gay and Lesbian Advisory Unit
Dr Susan Hawthorne (Melbourne, Australia) - Research Associate, Victoria University
Mr Aram Hosie (Perth, Australia) - Chair, WA Gender Project
Ms Elizabeth Kerekere (Wellington, New Zealand) - Board member, Lesbian and Gay Archives of NZ
Dr Stuart Koe (Singapore, Singapore) - CEO, Fridae
Ms Aly M (Melbourne, Australia) - Former Co-convenor, Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby
Ms Catherine Roberts (Melbourne, Australia) - Legal Policy Officer, Human Rights Unit, Victorian Department of Justice
Dr Liz Short (Melbourne, Australia) - Lecturer, School of Psychology, Victoria University
Ms Anjana Suvarnananda (Bangkok, Thailand) - Freelance researcher and consultant trainer, Asia Pacific Rainbow Network


Prof. Terry Allison (Los Angeles, USA) - Dean, College of Arts and Letters, California State University
Mr Bruce Amoroto (Manila, Philippines) - Organiser, Team Philippines, Asia Pacfic Outgames Melbourne 2008
Ms Mary Duncan (Adelaide, Australia) - National Project Officer, Play by the Rules
Mr Shaun Filiault (Adelaide, Australia) - Doctoral Candidate and Presidential Scholar, Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia
Ms Chelsea Litchfield (Melbourne, Australia) - PhD Candidate, School of Human Movement, Recreation and Performance, Victoria University
Dr Caroline Symons (Melbourne, Australia) - Course Coordinator, Sports Administration Programs, Victoria University

Workers Rights

Mr Frank Barnes (Sydney, Australia) - Organiser, NSW Teachers Federation
Mr Ken Davis (Sydney, Australia) - International Programs Manager, Union Aid Abroad, APHEDA/ACTU
Ms Holly Hammond (Perth, Australia) - Member, UnionsWA LGBTI Workers Rights Committee
Ms Clare Ozich (Perth, Australia) - Member, UnionsWA LGBTI Workers Rights Committee
Ms Sarah Rogan (Melbourne, Australia) - Co-convenor, Union Pride Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance
Dr Bronwyn Winter (Sydney, Australia) - Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney

Rainbow Conversations Registration

In addition to the standard Outgames participation fee of A$60, a Conversations delegate fee applies as follows:

A$200 for participants registering on behalf of an organisation;
A$160 for participants registering as an individual; and
$A110 for students, unemployed and others for whom registration costs may present a barrier to participation. Enquiries about subsidised rates should be directed to subsidisedconference@melbourneoutgames.org

Registration Incentives

If you register by 9am (AEST) Monday 26 November 2007, you will go in the running to win some great prizes:

REGISTRATION PRIZE #1 - 5 refunds of the Outgames Participant Registration
(A$60)* for:
- 1 person from South Australia
- 1 person from Queensland
- 1 person from New Zealand
- 2 people from anywhere in the world
* You will still need to pay the activity fee.

REGISTRATION PRIZE #2 - 4 World Outgames Copenhagen 2009 registrations will
be up for grabs for:
- 1 person from New Zealand
- 1 person from Asia
- 2 people from Australia

PLUS there will be 2 double passes to be won to a Midsumma Performance of your choice.

So, with a program of stellar speakers and eleven great prizes on offer, what’s stopping you?

To register for Rainbow Conversations and for more information about other Outgames events, please visit the website at:


Jason Rostant
Conference Program Coordinator, Melbourne Outgames Incorporated
+61 414 93 5692 (m)
+61 3 9281 7104 (w)

1st Asia Pacific Outgames Melbourne 2008
30 Jan - 3 Feb 2008 / Play with your neighbours / www.melbourneoutgames.org

Midsumma Festival, Host City Cultural Partner
19 Jan - 10 Feb 2008 / Arrival / www.midsumma.org.au

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