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Carole Hicks(March 2011)

In this podcast Carole Hicks from New Zealand talks about volunteering at the human rights conference.

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In a recorded interview from Wellington Town Hall, Carole Hicks discusses their role as a volunteer at a human rights conference, reflecting on the experiences and challenges faced. The interview, conducted on March 16, 2011, by Gareth Watkins, spans over 13 minutes and provides insights into the meticulous planning, execution, and vibrant atmosphere of the conference.

Hicks was a part of the organizing committee for over a year, tasked with various logistical responsibilities, including liaising with the facility's staff and proofreading materials. Despite the extensive preparation, no significant logistical issues arose, thanks in part to the cooperation of the conference center staff. The conference had over 300 delegates in attendance, filling the venue to capacity.

Describing the encounter with the international community at the event, Hicks notes not being able to attend presentations due to other duties but found value in the diversity of interactions and the chance to engage with attendees from around the world. Although nothing came as a surprise, instances of attendees showing up without prior registration did occur, but the organizers accommodated them flexibly.

Hicks' decision to contribute significantly to the committee stemmed from prior expertise in organizing events through trade union activity and involvement in the sport of archery. This experience also fueled a desire to give back to the lesbian and gay community.

An essential factor for a successful conference highlighted by Hicks is thorough planning and a preparedness for potential issues. This strategic organization extended to the coordination of a team of volunteers, numbering between four and eight each day, whose dedication greatly contributed to the conference's smooth operation.

While discussing the mood and compare past conferences, Hicks noted a positive and empowering energy amongst the delegates, despite not being able to easily compare the atmosphere with smaller past events. Talks ranged from technical legal discussions to practical challenges faced by those with disabilities. There was a pronounced sense of progress, especially in comparison to the social and legal landscape for the LGBTQ+ community over the past 25 years. Moreover, inclusivity was a recurring theme, demonstrated through high-level, engaging presentations that catered to a diverse audience, including members of the police force in uniform.

Commenting on cultural differences observed while traveling for sports, Hicks cited resistance to inclusive language and gender equity in international settings, contrasting it with more progressive attitudes in New Zealand.

Although organizing the conference was fulfilling, Hicks expressed realistic expectations about the likelihood of hosting such events in Wellington frequently, hoping other New Zealand cities might take on the challenge.

In terms of the demanding commitment required from the organizers, Hicks revealed that it varied, ranging from intense work to more moderate efforts. Finally, Hicks hoped the conference's legacy would be a deeper understanding of LGBTQ+ history and lasting change implemented from the discussions held during the event.

In conclusion, Carole Hicks' reflections offer a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the organization of a human rights conference, highlighting the importance of comprehensive planning, volunteer support, and maintaining an inclusive environment that celebrates the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights. This historical interview serves as a testament to the dedication of individuals like Hicks to fostering dialogue and community within the framework of human rights advocacy.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:16th March 2011
Interviewer:Gareth Watkins
Location:Wellington Town Hall, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004147).