Open Fora

Equity and Diversity Open Fora explore a range of social issues of relevance to Western Sydney University and the Greater Western Sydney community. The forums are free and everyone is welcome to attend, staff, students and the general public.

Upcoming Events

Past Events


Upcoming Events

Insurance, Genetic Testing and Discrimination

Date: 20 July 2016
Time: 5:30pm for 6pm start
Venue: Parramatta South Campus (opens in a new window), Female Orphan School (West Wing), Building EZ

RSVP (opens in a new window)

Guest Speaker:

  • Justice Christian Byk
    French Commission for UNESCO

Justice Christian Byk is a judge at the Court of Appeals, Paris.
He was the French delegate to the European Bioethics Committee (1983-1991) and Advisor to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe responsible for drafting the European Convention on Biomedicine (1991-1993).
Since 2002, he is a member of the French Commission for UNESCO, where he chairs the Committee of Ethics of Science. As such, he participated in the intergovernmental group of experts mandated to elaborate the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (2005).
In 2008, he was appointed as a member of the Prime Minister Committee in charge to review the French Bioethics legislation and since 2013, he has represented France at UNESCO Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee.
He is also Secretary General of the International Association of Law, Ethics and Science, in addition to being a member of several other organizations such as the Sino-French Biolaw Society and the French Society of Comparative Law.
In the field of law and ethics, he is the author of 10 books and more than 200 articles, as well as the general editor of the International Journal of Bioethics and the Law, Health and Society Review.
As a member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, he has interest in gardening history and architecture and, among others, wrote a book on Gardens of the French Riviera.


Nepal - between China and India. Survival of Struggling Democracies

Date: 24 August 2016
Time: 5:30pm for 6pm start
Venue: Parramatta South Campus (opens in a new window), Female Orphan School (West Wing), Building EZ

RSVP (will open 4 weeks before the event)

Guest Speaker:

  • Prof. Surya Dhungel
    Kathmandu University School of Law/National Law College, and Chairman, LawMan Inc.

Professor Surya Dhungel is a senior advocate and professor of law. Currently as Chairman of the LawMan Inc., he and his team offer legal advice and representation to clients on complex legal and developmental issues. He is Chairman of the Management Board of the National Law College, affiliated with Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu and serves as senior member of the Planning Advisory Committee at the Kathmandu University School of Law. Prof Dhungel also is a Senior Advisor to the Ottawa based Forum of Federations, an intergovernmental and global think-tank organisation on federalism.

Surya was Senior Legal Advisor to the Former President of Nepal (2008 and 2015) and worked at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia as Chief of the Legal Unit and later as Officer-in-Charge (1999-2006). In 2004, he was seconded to the United Nations Mission in Liberia for two years as Rule of Law Adviser (Human Rights). On his return from Liberia 2006, he contributed to the constitution building support program of the UNDP Nepal as Senior Project Manager for 18 months.

Prof. Dhungel tought at Tribhuvan University for over 22 years as Professor of Law, retiring in 1999. He has made a significant contribution to the development of 1990 Nepal constitution as President of a leading national NGO LEADERS-Nepal. Following the promulgation of 1990 Constitution, Prof. Dhungel worked with the parliamentarians to strengthen legislative processes. During this period, he also took a lead role as pro bono lawyer to initiate public interest litigation at the Supreme Court of Nepal in the area of resource conservation, human rights and the rule of law.


Past Events

Fighting Global Poverty with Gender Equality

1 June 2016

Guest Speaker:

  • Dr Helen Szoke
    Chief Executive
    Oxfam Australia

Open Markets and the Vietnamese Human Rights Dilemma

6 April 2016

Guest Speakers:

  • Chris Hayes MP
    Federal Member for Fowler
  • Commentary provided by Dinh Tran
    Registrar, Family Court of Australia

The Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and now Zika:
Can Australia Make a Difference?

2 March 2016

Guest Speaker:

  • Helen Evans
    Associate Professor (Hons.),
    The Nossal Institute for Global Health, the University of Melbourne

Tyranny of Status Quo: Challenges of Indian Economic Reforms

20 January 2016

Guest Speakers:

  • Dr M. Govinda Rao
    Emeritus Professor, National Institute of Public Finance Policy, New Delhi
  • Commentary provided by Pallavi Sinha,
    Lawyer & Adjunct Lecturer