Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference:
First Speakers Confirmed and New Tickets Announced

A grid of two rows of 5 photos. Top row (from left to right) Professor Dennis Altman, Tony Briffa,  Edwin Cameron, Dr Julia Ehrt, Dr Elizabeth Kerekere. Bottom row (from left to right) Crystal Love,	Victor Madrigal-Borloz, Noelene Nabulivou, Dédé Oetomo, •	Phyll Opoku-Gyimah
  • Human rights advocates, academics and LGBTQIA+ leaders to present at first LGBTQIA+ rights conference of its kind in the Asia Pacific

  • New ticket options available to attend the conference, including $147 +BF passes available for small LGBTQIA+ organisations and $25 +BF Keynote Day Tickets

  • 50% of attendees can take part in the conference for free or at a reduced rate

The first 10 panellists and presenters at the Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference have been confirmed, with human rights advocates, academics and LGBTQIA+ leaders from across the globe coming together to tackle the major human rights issues affecting the LGBTQIA+ community.

These renowned presenters hail from a range of backgrounds and countries including Indonesia, UK, South Africa, Germany, Fiji and New Zealand, as well as Australia.

The experts include Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the UN’s Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

Up to 60 speakers, panellists and presenters will be attending the Human Rights Conference, with the first 10 confirmed as:

  • Victor Madrigal-Borloz (he/him) – United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and jurist (Costa Rica)
  • Professor Dennis Altman AM FASSA (he/him) – Australian writer, academic and voice of the early Gay Liberation Movement (Australia) 
  • Tony Briffa (she/her) – intersex human rights activist and first out intersex person elected to public office in the world (Malta/Australia)
  • Edwin Cameron (he/him) – Former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and LGBTQIA+ advocate (South Africa)
  • Dr Julia Ehrt (she/her) – LGBTQIA+ activist, community leader and Executive Director at The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, ILGA World (Germany/Switzerland)
  • Dr Elizabeth Kerekere MP (she/her/ia) – Member of New Zealand Parliament and LGBTQ+ activist and scholar (New Zealand) 
  • Crystal Love (she/her) – Sistergirl and First Nations Elder (Lajamanu, Darwin/Tiwi Islands)
  • Noelene Nabulivou (she/her) – activist and Executive Director at Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality (Fiji)
  • Dédé Oetomo (he/him) – Indonesian activist and Founder and Trustee of GAYa NUSANTARA Foundation (Indonesia)
  • Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (she/her) – Co-Founder UK Black Pride and the Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Trust (United Kingdom)

Running from 1-3 March 2023 at Sydney’s International Conference Centre (ICC), the conference will bring together 1,500 community leaders, activists, politicians and human rights experts from across the globe for three days of talks, panel discussions and workshops about the key human rights issues affecting LGBTQIA+ people around the world.

With the full program yet to be announced, the conference will include topics such as the protection of LGBTQIA+ refugees and people seeking asylum; ensuring access to supportive and affirming healthcare for LGBTQIA+ people; the future of inclusive sport; and the international effort to end unnecessary procedures performed on intersex people without their consent.

Kate Wickett, Chief Executive Officer of Sydney WorldPride, said: “Never before has an LGBTQIA+ Human Rights Conference of this scale been held in the Asia Pacific. It’s a cornerstone event in the Sydney WorldPride festival calendar.

“The ten highly respected speakers announced today come from across the globe including the UK, South Africa and Indonesia. They have a variety of backgrounds and bring unique perspectives and experiences that will help drive progress for our community.”


In addition to the speakers, four new ticket options have been announced, adding to the existing discount streams for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Community Organisations. As previously announced, the conference will also be streamed online for free for anyone to attend.

On the new ticketing options Kate Wickett added: “The Human Rights Conference is for all of us and from the beginning it has been our intention to have a mix of attendees, from grass-roots organisations and activists, to government, researchers and service providers.

“We have listened to community feedback and today we are introducing four more ticket options that allow small LGBTQIA+ community organisations and changemakers to attend, as well as one-day $25 tickets that give anyone the opportunity to listen to the keynote speakers.

“I am confident we have balanced the scale and ambition of the conference, while also making it accessible and ensuring a diversity of voices.

“From art, activism and healthcare to legal policy and inclusion, the Human Rights Conference is the cornerstone of Sydney WorldPride 2023, with an ambition to create meaningful change for our community right across the region.”

The new ticket types are:

  • Small LGBTQIA+ Community Organisation Program, Three-Day Pass – $147 + booking fee (90+% discount off the Corporate rate) – Passes for the three-day conference will be made available to small LGBTQIA+ community organisations with a turnover of AUD$200,000 or less, through the Small Community Organisation Program. In the application process, Community organisations nominate attendees such as staff and volunteers through the Sydney WorldPride website (to apply, click here). Applications open today and close on 16 September 2022.
  • LGBTQIA+ Changemakers Program, Three-Day Pass – $747 + booking fee (50% discount off Individual rate) – These passes are for activists and campaigners who are not affiliated with a community organisation and who are not eligible for Sydney WorldPride’s MobTix or Affordability Programs (see below). To apply, LGBTQIA+ Changemakers must be able to demonstrate how their attendance would benefit the LGBTQIA+ community. Applicants may submit an application through the Sydney WorldPride website (to apply, click here) by 16 September 2022.
  • Keynote Day Ticket – $25/day + booking fee – These tickets will allow members of the public to attend plenary (main stage) sessions only, where they will be able to hear the keynote speeches (to book tickets, click here).
  • Individual Members of InterPride Member Organisations, Three-Day Pass – $347 + booking fee (80+% reduction in the Corporate/Government rate) – Individuals who are members of InterPride member organisations may apply for these passes via the Sydney WorldPride website (to apply, click here). Applications for these passes close on 16 September.

The above new ticket options are in addition to the existing three-day pass options announced in June:

  • MobTix, Three-Day Pass – $147 + booking fee – Sydney WorldPride is offering tickets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the MobTix Program (to apply, click here).
  • Affordability Program, Three-Day Pass – $147 + booking fee – Sydney WorldPride is also offering tickets through the Affordability Program to Concession Card holders and people experiencing financial hardship.
  • Community/NFP Organisation Program, Three-Day Pass – $747 + booking fee – Larger organisations ($200K+ turnover) can also apply for reduced priced passes at $747 + booking fee. Any organisation that carries out significant work with the LGBTQIA+ community is eligible to apply through the Sydney WorldPride website (to apply, click here).
  • Individual Three-Day Pass – $1497 + booking fee – these are standard passes available to members of the public not eligible for the above programs (to book tickets, click here).
  • Government and Corporate Three-Day Pass – $1797 + booking fee – these are standard passes available to staff of Government and Corporate organisations and academics (to book tickets, click here).
  • Stream the Conference for Free – Along with the ticketed options, the Human Rights Conference will be streamed online for free for all to attend, with information about how to watch the sessions available in the coming months.

All discounted passes are subject to application and have fixed allocations. Sydney WorldPride will be assessing applications to make sure that there is a fair distribution of tickets that ensure a multiplicity of voices at the conference.


Applications for the Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference Scholarship program will open soon. The Scholarship Program will allow 100 human rights defenders from Australia and around the world the opportunity to take part in a seven-day program which includes free access to the three-day conference.


Sydney WorldPride is accepting proposals from individuals and organisations wanting to present as part of the Conference forum. Sydney WorldPride is also accepting proposals from community organisations that want to have a presence in the Conference’s exhibition space. Briefs for both interested presenters and activators can be found on the Sydney WorldPride website (click here).

To keep up-to-date with the latest news about the Human Rights Conference, including the program and additional presenters, sign up to the Sydney WorldPride newsletter (click here).

Sydney WorldPride is proudly supported by Principal Partner, American Express, Strategic Partner, Destination NSW and Government Partner, City of Sydney.

Speaker Biographies

Victor Madrigal-Borloz (he/him)

Victor Madrigal-Borloz was appointed as UN Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity in late 2017. His initial three-year term started on 1 January 2018. He is the second Independent Expert to serve in this capacity. A Costa Rican jurist, Mr. Madrigal-Borloz is a senior visiting researcher at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program, in residence at Harvard Law School from July 2019 to December 2023.

Professor Dennis Altman AM FASSA (he/him)

Dennis Altman is the son of Jewish refugees, and a writer and academic who first came to attention with the publication of his book Homosexual: Oppression & Liberation in 1972. His book, Global Sex (Chicago U.P, 2001), has been translated into five languages, including Spanish, Turkish and Japanese. Recent books include The End of the Homosexual?, Queer Wars [co-authored with Jonathan Symons] and Unrequited Love: Diary of an Accidental Activist.

Altman is a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at LaTrobe University in Melbourne. He was President of the AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific (2001-5) and has been a member of the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society. He was listed by The Bulletin as one of the 100 most influential Australians ever and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2008. He is Patron of the Australian Queer Archives and the Pride Foundation. 

Tony Briffa (she/her)

Tony has been a LGBTIQ+ activist for over 25 years and is especially known for her intersex human rights work.  Tony is an intersex woman (as well as being queer with trans and non-binary lived experience) and was subjected to numerous non-consensual and medically unnecessary surgical and hormonal interventions and intimate examinations as a child and young person.

In addition to longstanding leadership roles with Intersex Peer Support Australia and Intersex Human Rights Australia, Tony was the Chair of the ILGA World Intersex Committee and has facilitated and participated in several international human rights fora.  She has also spoken at the UN Human Rights Council about intersex women in sport and the adverse impacts of gender stereotypes.  Tony is the first out intersex person elected to public office in the world, a former Mayor and currently serving her fourth term city Councillor.

Edwin Cameron (he/him)

Edwin Cameron retired as a Judge in August 2019, after 25 years’ service, the last eleven in South Africa’s highest court, the Constitutional Court.  He previously served in the Supreme Court of Appeal for eight years, and the High Court for six.  Educated at Pretoria Boys’ High, Stellenbosch and as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, he was a human rights lawyer during apartheid.  He has fought for LGBTI equality, including the historic inclusion of sexual orientation in the SA Constitution.  Living with HIV, he fiercely criticised President Mbeki’s AIDS denialist policies and fought for access to medications.  His prize-winning memoirs, Witness to AIDS (2005) and Justice: A Personal Account (2014), have appeared in German, Korean and Chinese.  He holds many honours and is involved in many charitable and public causes.  After retiring as a judge, he was elected Chancellor of Stellenbosch University and appointed Judicial Inspector of Correctional Services. 

Dr Julia Ehrt (she/her)

Julia Ehrt is the Executive Director at The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, ILGA World, assuming the role as of November 2021. She previously served as the organisation’s Director of Programs, developing ILGA World ‘s programmatic work and managing the Programmes team. She is a widely respected LGBTI activist and community leader. 
Before joining ILGA World she was the Executive Director of Transgender Europe where she contributed significantly to how trans issues are perceived and debated today in Europe and beyond. She served as a founding Steering Committee member of the International Trans Fund (ITF) until 2019, is a board member of the Association for Womens’ Rights in Development (AWID) and a signatory to the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10.  
Julia holds a PhD in mathematics and lives with her partner and child in Berlin and in Geneva. 

Dr Elizabeth Kerekere MP (she/her/ia)

Elizabeth was born in Gisborne, New Zealand, where she lives with her wife, Alofa Aiono, her dog Indiana, and cats Havana and Chicago. On her father’s side, she is Whānau a Kai, Ngāti Oneone, Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Rongowhakaata and Ngāi Tāmanuhiri. On her mother’s side, Elizabeth hails from County Clare and County Tipperary in Ireland. 

Elizabeth has been community-based, focused on kaupapa Māori and Te Tiriti issues for 40 years. She works on local and national projects across health, mental health, suicide and violence prevention and youth development. Elizabeth has represented Rainbow and indigenous human rights issues nationally and overseas, including at the United Nations in Geneva. 

As a leader within Rainbow and youth development sectors for over 30 years, Elizabeth has mentored over 50 youth leaders and young people. Despite her hectic schedule, she is known for dropping everything if one of her young people calls. Elizabeth founded Tīwhanawhana Trust in 2001 to advocate for takatāpui to “tell our stories, build our communities and leave a legacy.” Elizabeth bases all of her work from this tūrangawaewae. 

Crystal Love (she/her)

Crystal Love is Australian and Northern Territory royalty. Living between Darwin and the Tiwi Islands, she’s the queen of the Island, respected for being the loving and caring person she is. When Crystal is in a show, she is always a headlining act!

Crystal is called “Aunty” because she is an elder in a big family of Tiwi Sistergirls and Brotherboys. Comedy and sass are what she does best! She has represented her community at the United Nations plus many festivals and events around Australia and the world. She is the star of the award winning documentary ‘BLACK DIVAZ’ and can be found performing around Darwin and the world!

Noelene Nabulivou (she/her)

Noelene is a lesbian feminist community organiser, analyst, educator and activist working for gender, socio-economic, ecological and climate justice and universal human rights in urban informal settlements, rural and maritime Fiji, the Pacific and globally for over 35 years. Guided by autonomous feminist movements Noelene works to advance bold tools and strategies on urgent, complex questions of universal human rights and development justice.  She is the executive director of Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality and holds many social movement roles. In 2020 Noelene was the recipient of the International Women’s Health Coalition’s Joan B. Dunlop award for advocacy.  She lives and works from Nadi, Fiji.

Dédé Oetomo (he/him)

Dédé Oetomo is an Indonesian activist, independent scholar, and educator in research, education and advocacy in the fields of language and society, HIV & AIDS, and gender and sexuality, mainly as Founder and Trustee at GAYa NUSANTARA Foundation (, which also hosts the Coalition for Sexual & Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR; Academically, he is an adjunct senior lecturer at Universitas Airlangga, Universitas Surabaya, and Widya Mandala Catholic University in Surabaya, Indonesia. 

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (she/her)

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah is the nucleus of the award-winning celebration and protest that is UK Black Pride. Widely known as Lady Phyll – partly due to her decision to reject an MBE in the New Year’s Honours’ list to protest Britain’s role in formulating anti-LGBTQI+ penal codes across its empire – she is also the executive director of Kaleidoscope Trust, an organisation working to uphold the human rights of LGBTQI+ people around the world; a community builder and organiser; an Albert Kennedy Trust patron, and a public speaker focusing on race, gender, sexuality and class. She’s regularly called upon to advise nascent LGBTQI+ organisations around the world to help leaders create cogent organising strategies, establish robust partnership networks and work effectively in service of the LGBTQI+ community.

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Acknowledgement of country

Sydney WorldPride will take place on the lands of the Gadigal, Cammeraygal, Bidjigal, Darug, Dharawal people who are the Traditional Custodians of the Sydney Basin.

We pay our Respects to their Elders past and present. Always was Always will be Aboriginal Land.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people come from many different clans and communities across Australia & in 2023 will come together as one, to celebrate with our global LGBTQIA+ community.