Michael Kirby Becomes Patron of Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation


The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG has been appointed as the first Patron of Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation (pic: Newtown Graffiti)

The Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation, an Australian located global human rights organisation dedicated to the human rights of LGBTI people internationally, today announced that The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, a leading Australian advocate of human rights and former Justice of the High Court of Australia, has been appointed as the inaugural patron.

On accepting this appointment, Michael Kirby said:

“I strongly support all moves to decriminalise homosexuality in the Asia-Pacific region and am delighted to support the Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation work in this area, and to be associated with this initiative in the cause of liberty and equality.”

The Foundation (formerly known as the Kaleidoscope Trust Australia) is now fully incorporated. The board comprises Dr Paula Gerber, Deputy Director of Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University, Doug Pollard**, former broadcaster of “The Rainbow Report” on JOY 94.9, Bruce Pywell as secretary, Annie Stevens as treasurer and founder Dr Douglas Pretsell.

Douglas Pretsell added:

“In the last three months we have gone from being just an idea to being a fully fledged legally incorporated human rights NGO. We are honoured that someone of the stature of Michael Kirby has agreed to be patron and we hope to appoint a second patron to join him in coming months.”

The Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation is now beginning its campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in the region. This includes sending a board member to participate in the Commonwealth People’s Forum that precedes CHOGM in Sri Lanka next month.

Follow the Foundation on Twitter: @KaleidoscopeHRF


About Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation

The Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation is a new Australian NGO that focuses on challenging the laws that criminalise people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity in the Asia Pacific region.

Inspired by the Kaleidoscope Trust in the UK, the Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation was set up in Australia in September 2013. The Foundation works directly with activists in countries that retain anti-LGBTI laws.

We work by listening to, amplifying and communicating their voices to a wider audience, by standing with them through legal challenges and in persuading public and political opinion of the need to end to all discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

About The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG

When he retired from the High Court of Australia on 2 February 2009, Michael Kirby was Australia’s longest serving judge. First appointed to the High Court in 1996, he had previously been a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal and, concurrently, the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands. He twice served as Acting Chief Justice of Australia. He has been appointed Honorary Visiting Professor by twelve universities. And he participates regularly in many local and international conferences and meetings.  He has been awarded many honorary doctorates.

Michael Kirby was a member of the Eminent Persons Group (2010-11) which investigated the future of the Commonwealth of Nations; and was appointed to the UNDP Global Commission of HIV and the Law (2010-12). In 2013, he was appointed a Commissioner of the UNAIDS Commission on Sustainable Health (2013-14).  He has also been appointed by the President of the UN Human Rights Council, to head the Commission of Inquiry on Alleged Human Rights Violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (2013-14).

Michael Kirby has lived with his partner Johan van Vloten since 1969.


**Disclosure: Doug Pollard is also owner and operator of this website.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)