Welcome

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At the Sydney World Pride Human Rights Conference, March 2023
I am an Associate Professor and bioethicist at Sydney Health Ethics in the University of Sydney School of Public Health, where I completed doctoral studies in bioethics in 2023. I am also the part-time Executive Director of Intersex Human Rights Australia, a national charity by and for people with innate variations of sex characteristics. I’m an intersex human rights defender with lived experience.

My particular interest within the intersex movement is to build community, and coherent, ethical and effective infrastructure — including regulation, norms, and community-owned organisations. Some key milestones:

  • In 2024, I commence work leading a $5 million Medical Research Future Fund project with Canberra Health Services, Intersex Human Rights Australia, and other universities, research and community organisations around the country. Our 5-year project will develop new models of care for people with innate variations of sex characteristics, centring the role of psychosocial support, while also improving knowledge of adult and adolescent health, and developing new bioethical frameworks that attend to human rights norms and psychosocial perspective.
  • In 2023, my “tireless work” was singled out for particular recognition by Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Andrew Barr, in introducing Australian-first legislation to protect the rights of people with innate variations of sex characteristics in medical settings. Me and my team at IHRA were also recognised by the ACT Chief Minister for “diligent, passionate and highly intellectual work”. In December 2023, I was appointed to the ACT government’s newly-established Restricted Medical Treatment Assessment Board.
  • I have been named as a significant contributor to a 2021 Australian Human Rights Commission report on the health and human rights of people born with variations in characteristics.
  • During 2017, I helped construct the Darlington Statement, an intersex community consensus statement in Australia and Aotearoa/NZ. I was also a member of a drafting committee for the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.
  • In 2015, I was a participant in the first expert meeting held by the UN on ending human rights violations against intersex persons.
  • In 2013 I designed and shared the intersex flag, now used across the world, framed around concepts of bodily integrity and autonomy. In the same year, I appeared before Senate inquiries on sterilisation and discrimination law, and formally reviewed a “DSD Genetics” research website funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
  • I was a co-founder of the organisation that became Intersex Human Rights Australia, registering in 2010. In 2023 it has a turnover exceeding $470,000, delivers services and advocacy, and has an impact far larger than its size.

I have been contracted to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Australian Capital Territory government and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. I am a reference or advisory group member for the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, Australian Bureau of Statistics and New South Wales Health.