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"Powerhouse" conference line-up revealed

Mon 4 Oct 2010 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

The first of the keynote speakers have been announced for the AsiaPacific Outgames Conference in Wellington in March. Organisers are describing it as a powerhouse line-up. “We are totally delighted with the calibre of the people who have accepted our invitations,” says Outgames Conference convenor Barry Taylor. The first keynote speakers announced are: Vitit Muntarbhorn (Thailand) Vitit Muntarbhorn, Professor of Law at Chulalongkom University in Bangkok, won the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education in 2004, and since that year has been United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea. With a powerful international reputation, he is a member of the Asia Pacific Forum's Advisory Council of Jurists. He was co-chair of the experts' meeting developing The Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Geetanjali Misra Geetanjali Misra is co-founder and Executive Director of CREA, an international feminist human rights organization. She has worked in issues of sexuality, reproductive health, gender, human rights and violence against women. She co-founded SAKHI, an NGO in New York committed to ending violence against women of South Asian origin. She is on the International Advisory Board for the Global Fund for Women, Cordaid, and on the Board of Directors of Reproductive Health Matters (U.K), Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice (Netherlands), and Mama Cash (Netherlands). Sunil Babu Pant MP (Nepal) Sunil is an openly gay Member of Parliament in Nepal. He was petitioner of the writ to the Supreme Court against the Government of Nepal demanding that it defend and protect the equal rights of LGBTI people in Nepal. This resulted in the Court making the historic decision to protect and defend LGBTI rights. Sunil is founder and Executive Director of the Blue Diamond Society, an NGO working on Human Rights, Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS in Nepal. Annette Xiberras (Australia) Annette Xiberras is an elder of the Wurundjeri people, whose traditional lands cover the area now known as Melbourne. Since her early 20s, Annette's work has encompassed archaeological investigations, cultural heritage management and protection, reburials, and the preservation of cultural knowledge passed on by her elders. Her standing recently saw her elected as Co-Chair of the Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group, which represents all Traditional Owners across Victoria. A gay woman who came out in the 1970s, Annette now runs the first, and currently the only, cultural heritage consultancy owned by an indigenous woman in Australia. She and her late partner Cathy Adams have two young children. Marilyn Waring (New Zealand) Marilyn Waring is a Professor of Public Policy at AUT University, New Zealand. Internationally known for her work in political economy, development assistance and human rights, Marilyn has worked in many countries. She was elected to New Zealand Parliament at the age of 23, and served 3 terms. She has been a director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and a member of Creative New Zealand. She is treasurer of the Association for Women's Rights in Development and a lay member of the New Zealand Board of Judicial Studies. She has authored and edited many books, and received one of New Zealand's highest honours, Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM), for services to women and economics. Elizabeth Kerekere (New Zealand) Elizabeth has been active in Maori and LGBTFIQ communities for over 20 years with a particular focus on the health and well-being of takatāpui (New Zealand Maori LGBTI people) and queer youth. She has managed her own consultancy in Treaty of Waitangi Relations, founded Tīwhanawhana in 2001 as a support, advisory and kapahaka group for takatāpui, represented takatāpui on the Lesbian pui, at Victoria University, Wellington. Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann M.N.Z.M, J.P (New Zealand) Born in Samoa, Karl has a national profile in the Pacific Island community in New Zealand as a pioneering advocate for the health and well-being of Pacific peoples. He was the first Pacific person to represent Pacific people on the Mental Health Commission. He was founding Trustee of the Pacific Island AIDS Trust, founding Council Member for Manawatu Tangata Pasefika Council, and Mafutaga A Uso Fa'afafine ma Aiga. He was awarded Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for his contribution to Public Health. Grace Poore (Malaysia) Grace Poore is the Regional Programme Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific Islands at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. She has been working to end domestic violence and child sexual abuse in the U.S. for over 20 years, and has been recognized for her work by the Sunshine Lady Peace Foundation. Grace has written, directed and produced documentaries that have screened in 18 countries, and won the 2000 Rosebud Award and 2001Creating A Voice Award. This is not the full list – additional speakers will be announced later in October. Meanwhile 104 people from 13 countries had indicated that they would like to give a presentation at the conference by the time the call for expressions of interest closed on 30 September. The conference team will now assess these and develop a final conference programme.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 4th October 2010 - 4:14pm

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