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Gillian Triggs: Speaking Up


Event Status

Gillian Triggs’s career has taken some surprising turns. She’s been a professional ballerina, a practising lawyer and an academic specialising in international public law. She’s even done a stint at the Dallas Police Department in Texas.   

But Triggs became a household name as president of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Her tenure, from 2012 to 2017, was unexpectedly controversial. The commission’s inquiry into children in immigration detention made Triggs some powerful enemies in the federal government. Later, she became a kind of human flashpoint for debates about racial vilification and free speech, following the high-profile Bill Leak cartoon case.

Some have accused Triggs and the commission of overreach; for others, Triggs was a human rights champion withstanding unprecedented government pressure. Either way, there’s no denying her commitment to the human rights framework, and her belief that Australia needs its own Bill of Rights.

At the Athenaeum Theatre in October with Virginia Trioli, Gillian Triggs will discuss her life, career and convictions.

This event is presented in partnership with Readings.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.


Gillian Triggs

Gillian Triggs is former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, and the new Chair of Justice Connect, a non-profit dedicated to connecting people locked out of the justice system with free legal help. She is also Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Vice Presid... Read more

Virginia Trioli

Two-time Walkley Award winner, Virginia Trioli has an established reputation as a radio host, television presenter, news reporter, features writer and columnist. She currently anchors ABC News Breakfast on ABC 1 and ABC News 24. Virginia is an honours graduate in Fine Arts from the University of Mel... Read more


Athenaeum Theatre

188 Collins Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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