|VOICE FOR CHANGE
‘Voice for Change’
Hosted by Centre for Cultural Decontamination
11.00 Welcome – HE Dr Helena Studdert, Ambassador for Australia
11.00-11.10 Opening Remarks – Mr. Miljenko Dereta, Human Rights House
11.10 – 11.30 Keynote address – Mrs Deborah Cheetham
‘Voice for Change’ – Australia is proud of its multiculturalism. But diversity and tolerance in Australia has not grown without challenge or difficulty. All societies must adjust and grow as different people come together. Australia continues to develop social inclusiveness and to build understanding and cohesion, including by acknowledging the First Australians. Ms Cheetham will draw on her experience and music which helped her to bridge such gaps and to be an inspiration, both to Indigenous Australians and Australians more broadly.
11.30 -11.50 Reply – Ms Nevena Petrusis, Commissioner for Protection of Equality
Ms Petrusic was sponsored by the UNDP and Australian Embassy to undertake a study tour to Australia in February 2012. The delegation shared experience and knowledge on anti-discrimination legislation and implementation mechanisms, including mediation. Ms Perusic will share her views and impressions of Australia and its multicultural experiment.
11.50 – 13.00 Open forum hosted by Borka pavicevic, Centre for Cultural Decontamination
Q&A sessions and discussion with guests.
13.00 – 13.30 Drinks and media opportunity
Deborah Cheetham is an exceptional Australian soprano and actor who bridges the gap between black and white Australia with compassion and grace. A member of the stolen generation, she was taken from her family when she was three weeks old. She is the author of internationally acclaimed play, White Baptist Abba Fan, an autobiographical musical which tells of her experiences coming to terms with her sexuality, racial identity, and trying to reunite with her family. Deborah’s international debut in 1997 occurred in theatres and concert halls across Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Deborah performed at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games and, in 2003, she performed with Argentine tenor José Cura at the Opening Ceremony for the Rugby World Cup, which was broadcast to a worldwide audience of more than one billion. In 2008, she created the Spring Intensive Opera program to discover and develop Indigenous talent from around Australia. This has culminated in the world’s first Aboriginal opera, Pecan Summer, written, directed and produced by Deborah. It has created opportunities for Indigenous singers and musicians, actors, writers and technicians. Deborah has opened doors for many Indigenous artists and is an inspiration for all Australians.
In 2010 Ms. Cheetham was a finalist for ‘Australian of the Year’ in Victoria.
Commissioner for Protection of Equality
Nevena Petrušić PhD is a professor at the Faculty of Law in Niš. She teaches Civil Process Law, Out-of-Court Dispute Settlement, Rights of Child, and Gender Studies. She established the Legal Clinic of the Faculty of Law of Niš University, and for many years she was the manager and coordinator of this institution. She was the guest lecturer at the Multidisciplinary Gender Studies of Novi Sad University, at the Family Mediation Specialist Studies of the Faculty of Political Sciences of Belgrade University, and at the Faculties of Law in Ljubljana, Skopje and Maribor. Ms Petrušić was awarded the OSCE person of the year in 2009 and appointed Commissioner for Protection of Equality in 2010.