Moving Indigenous reconciliation beyond symbolic gestures will be a feature of the Australian Human Rights Centre's (AHRC) annual public lecture to be held at the University of New South Wales this week (Thursday 25th September).

The lecture Human Rights and Reconciliation: Bridging the gap in times of transition will be given by global human rights and political crimes expert Professor Stephan Parmentier from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.

Professor Parmentier's research has focused on political crimes, transitional justice and human rights in South Africa, Guatemala, Bosnia, Serbia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Argentina, and Colombia.

Tom Calma, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and Race Discrimination Commissioner, will present the Australian perspective.

AHRC Director, Associate Professor Andrea Durbach, says with 2009 earmarked as the UN International Year of Reconciliation, now is the time to re-ignite the reconciliation debate.

"With the Australian government finally making an apology to the Stolen Generations, the opportunity now exists for reconciliation to move forward. However, many Australians differ on what exactly reconciliation means and how to achieve it; they view the process as ambiguous and perhaps misguided," Professor Durbach says.

"What is missing from strategies in Australia is the need for accountability and remedy, a basic recognition that we cannot reconcile effectively without justice being afforded to those who have suffered."

*The Lecture is held in conjunction with the UNSW Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Law.

What: 2008 AHRC Annual Public Lecture - Human Rights and Reconciliation: Bridging the gap in times of transition - with Professor Stephan Parmentier and Tom CalmaWhen: Thursday 25th September 2008, 6.15pm sharpWhere: Law Theatre, Law Building, UNSW KensingtonRSVP: This is a free lecture. However, registration is essential at

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