Rights Limited: human rights in Victoria in the time of COVID-19

Rights Limited: human rights in Victoria in the time of COVID-19

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What are your human rights? Where do they come from? And what happens when they are constrained?

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The COVID-19 restrictions have put our human rights in the spotlight like never before. We are all living with tension between our rights as individuals and our responsibilities as members of our community. For people living in the public housing towers in North Melbourne and Flemington, however, the scales were tipped decisively when they lost all the freedoms we normally take for granted. Human rights protection is suddenly very real and very local. Could the current debate lead to an Australian national charter or bill of rights? And what difference would that make?

Join us for a lively panel discussion on the impact and implications of COVID-19 on our human rights at The Law and You Forum.

An Auslan interpreter will be provided.


Hugh de Kretser, Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre.

Hugh started his legal career at the law firm Mallesons and then began working to protect and promote human rights as the Manager of the Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre and the Executive Officer of the Victorian Federation of Community Legal Centres. He currently serves as a Director of the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council and a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Melbourne Law School.

Inala Cooper, Director of Murrup Barak, Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development at the University of Melbourne.

Inala has a Masters in Human Rights Law and is a Director on a range of not-for-profit boards, including Jesuit Social Services, Culture is Life, and the Barpirdhila Foundation. Inala is also a regular contributor to the ABC and a strong advocate for Indigenous rights & social justice.

Maria O’Sullivan, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, Monash University and a Member of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law.

Maria is the author of a number of international and national publications on human rights, public law and refugee law, and is a regular media commentator on these subjects.

Mohamed Nur, Community organiser and resident, North Melbourne public housing.

Mohamed lived in the North Melbourne towers during the lockdown, and was heavily involved in organising support and advocacy for residents during the situation. Since then Mohamed has continued to work with community, government and health organisations to develop community lead approaches to address issues raised by COVID-19.

Mohamed is a human centred designer, with a background in policy and community organising that has found his work currently being used to develop a number of approaches and models in how communities should be engaged by government and organisations.

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