Confirmed plenary speakers

Professor Joanna Bourke

Keynote Speaker: 9:30 - 10:30 Wednesday 12th September

Professor of History,  Birkbeck, University of London

Global Innovation Chair in the History of Violence, The University of Newcastle

Professor Joanna Bourke has published prolifically on British, Irish, American and Australian societies from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries, including histories of rape, fear, face-to-face killing and other vital, and previously taboo, topics. She is the prize-winning author of eleven books, and is a fellow of the British Academy (FBA).

Over the years, her books have ranged from the social and economic history of Ireland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to social histories of the British working classes between 1860 and 1960s, to cultural histories of military conflict between the Anglo-Boer war and the present. She has worked on the history of the emotions, particularly fear and hatred, and the history of sexual violence.  In the past few years, her research has focussed on questions of humanity, militarisation, and pain. She wrote a book entitled What It Means to Be Human. In 2014, she published two books: Wounding the World. How Military Violence and War Games Invade Our World and The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers.

The Hon. Michael Kirby AM CMGMichael Kirby

Special guest lecture: 2:00 - 3:15 Wednesday 12th September

When he retired from the High Court of Australia on 2 February 2009, Michael Kirby was Australia’s longest serving judge. He was first appointed in 1975 as a Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation & Arbitration Commission.  Soon after, he became inaugural Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission (1975-84). Later, he was appointed a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, then President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal (1984-96) and, concurrently, President of the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands (1995-6).  His appointment to the High Court of Australia followed in 1996 and he served thirteen years.  In later years, he was Acting Chief Justice of Australia twice. In addition to his judicial duties, Michael Kirby has served on three university governing bodies being elected Chancellor of Macquarie University in Sydney (1984-93).  He also served on many national and international bodies.

Ms Michelle Lancey

Keynote speaker: 9:00 - 10:00 Thursday 13th September

Ms Michelle Lancey is the founder of Newcastle Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the non-profit organisation that promotes support for families and friends of LGBTQI people with an overarching focus of keeping families together. She was named Newcastle Woman of the Year in 2018 in recognition of her advocacy for LGBTQI rights and for her active involvement in the marriage equality ‘Yes’ campaign. For more information: The Newcastle Herald.