Gillian Triggs to headline Power to Persuade symposium after AHRC term expires


A little more than two years after the federal government was accused of trying to force out the Australian Human Rights Commission president from her independent statutory role, Professor Gillian Triggs’ term officially ends next month.

Many will be eager to hear her perspective on the controversial efforts by the then-Abbott government to delegitimise both her and the commission following the AHRC report into children in immigration detention facilities, which criticised both sides of parliament.

The botched attempt to induce Triggs to resign the appointment in exchange for a diplomatic posting, dubbed here in The Mandarin as ‘The minister, the job offer and the secretarial messenger’, put Attorney General’s Department secretary Chris Moraitis in the spotlight in a way mandarins rarely have to deal with.

One of the first opportunities Triggs will have to address the controversies of her term as AHRC president, unfettered by the need for a continuing relationship with the Attorney General George Brandis, will be the Power to Persuade symposium in Canberra. Triggs has been announced as the keynote speaker for August 23.

The symposium differs from many public policy forums in focusing strongly on breaking down the barriers between the parties in social policy: public servants, academics and the community sector.

Registration is now open for the Power to Persuade symposium.

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