David Cooper Lecture | Michael Kirby: Health & Human Rights

Event date
Tuesday 27th June 2023
Event time
6:30 PM
Event address
Leighton Hall, John Niland Scientia Building (G19), UNSW Sydney Kensington NSW 2052


Join us for an inspiring discussion on health and human rights with esteemed legal scholar Michael Kirby.

Regardless of where people are born or the communities they belong to, equal access to healthcare should be a fundamental human right. Hear from esteemed jurist and legal scholar Michael Kirby in conversation with Geraldine Doogue on how we can make healthcare access equitable, and what lessons we have learnt from past pandemics.

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

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 Laurette 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. He is Patron of the Kirby Institute.



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.


The David Cooper Lecture honours the legacy of the Kirby Institute’s Founding Director. Professor David Cooper AC, who passed away in 2018, 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. 

Make a donation today to support David Cooper’s incredible vision for equitable access to healthcare: unsw.to/DavidCooperMemorialFund.


Donations to the Kirby Institute are processed through the UNSW Foundation. For queries about your donation, contact Abel Orellana on +61 422 488 480 or a.orellana@unsw.edu.au.

All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible in Australia.