The Faith Bandler Lecture: delivered by Geoffrey Robertson AO QC

Dates & times

Thu 20 September 2018, 6PM–7:30PM


Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music


Image: AIATSIS Horner Collection, 30 June 1966. Faith Bandler, her daughter Lilon Bandler, the Reverend George Garnsey and an unidentified university student at a Census Day demonstration held outside the Commonwealth Bank in Martin Place, Sydney.

In 1967, Aboriginal rights activist Faith Bandler approached a young Geoffrey Robertson to join the Board of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) to examine the special problems of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the courts.

Inspired by Faith Bandler, who was well known for her active role in publicising the YES case for the Aboriginal question in the 1967 Referendum, Geoffrey took up that appointment which began a successful career that has spanned human rights issues across the globe including the welfare of Indigenous Australians.

In a one-off appearance in Canberra, The Australian National University is proud to present the Faith Bandler Lecture where Geoffrey Robertson will discuss the advancement of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Geoffrey’s lecture sits firmly within the University’s commitment to playing an active role in the national debate about the recognition of Australia’s first peoples in our Constitution. In July, ANU held the First Nation’s Forum which brought together Indigenous leaders from around Australia and international experts to discuss a series of policy options that would reflect Indigenous people’s leadership in the governance of their affairs.

Today, Geoffrey is a leading international lawyer, founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, the largest human rights practice in Britain. He is author of many books including The Justice Game, Crimes Against Humanity, The Struggle for Global Justice and Dreaming Too Loud: Reflections on a Race Apart and in 2018 an autobiography, Rather His Own Man.

He is a Master of the Middle Temple and a visiting professor of Human Rights Law at the New College of Humanities. In 2011, he received the New York State Bar Association’s Distinction in International Law and Affairs. He acted for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre in saving the human remains of Aboriginals from experimentation by the Natural History Museum. He is also known for his television series ‘Geoffrey Robertson’s Hypotheticals.’

Geoffrey will be available for book signing after the lecture. Purchases of his newest book Rather His Own Man will be available on the night courtesy of Dymocks Canberra.


Updated:  15 September 2018/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Drill Hall Gallery