Thursday 29 January 2015

The role of racial discrimination laws in responding to racism will be the focus of a conference next month at the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The RDA@40 Conference will be held in Sydney from 19-20 February 2015, hosted by Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane.

The conference will feature presentations by Australia’s leading legal experts and scholars, exploring the history of the Act, its evolution over the past four decades and its impact in preventing and responding to racism in Australia.

“This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Racial Discrimination Act, the first federal human rights and anti-discrimination legislation in Australia,” Commissioner Soutphommasane said.

“The law expresses our values as a society and sets a civil standard for conduct. It provides an important instrument in responding to racial discrimination and promoting community harmony.

“This conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on the Act’s achievements, including outcomes achieved through conciliation and litigation.”

The conference features an impressive line-up of speakers including:

  • Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC
  • Professor George Williams AO, University of NSW
  • Professor Hilary Charlesworth, Australian National University
  • Professor Simon Rice AM, Australian National University
  • Professor Marcia Langton, University of Melbourne

For more information about the conference and to view the full program visit