Global Dignity Day comes to Australia

What does it mean for people to live a dignified life? That's the question being considered by 170 Sydney high school students taking part in the first major Australian Global Dignity Day event.

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Australian Chair of Global Dignity Day, Jane McAdam

What does it mean for people to live a dignified life? That's the question being considered by 170 high school students from across Sydney who will meet at NSW Parliament House on Monday 14 October for the first large-scale Australian Global Dignity Day event.

The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG will deliver the keynote address to the year 10 students representing 37 schools across Sydney. As a champion of human rights within Australia and abroad, he will draw on his personal and professional experiences in his inspiring and challenging talk.

As part of Global Dignity Day students are encouraged to recognise dignity as an integral right for themselves and for others, and to tell their own stories of living a dignified life. They are also asked to think of ways they could disseminate the idea of dignity within their own schools.

The Australian Chair of Global Dignity Day is Professor Jane McAdam. She is the Foundation Director of the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the University of New South Wales, and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

"Global Dignity Day provides an important opportunity to reflect on how to ensure we can all lead dignified lives," Professor McAdam says. "If we don't respect the dignity of others, then we deny people their basic humanity."

Global Dignity Day was founded in 2006 by three Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum: His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Pekka Himanen and John Hope Bryant. Its mission is to "help youth and adults to become their best self and help others to achieve the same" and last year more than 350,000 secondary students around the world took part. The Honorary Board of Global Dignity Day includes Richard Branson, President Martti Ahtisaari and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

"We need to see people as people, not as stereotypes," says Professor McAdam. "We need to listen to their needs, hopes and aspirations. Only then can we truly start to understand what makes each of us human, and help create a more respectful and tolerant society."

What: Michael Kirby delivers keynote address for Global Dignity Day Australian event for 170 year 10 students
When: 10am–1pm, Monday 14 October 2013
Where: NSW Parliament House

Watch the Global Dignity video here

Media contact: Denise Knight, UNSW Media Office | 0405 207 685