Media Release: Sovereignty Society Sustainability



A New Agenda For The 21st Century

The BrisCAN-G20 Peoples’ Summit concludes on Friday evening at the beautiful Princess Theatre, with talks by the following experts:

*Winnie Byanyima, executive director, Oxfam International
*Les Malezer, co-chair, National Congress of Australia’s First People
*Sharan Burrow, general secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
*Michelle Maloney, convenor Australia Earth Laws Alliance

Performance by Benedict Coyne & Hannaka

Speaker Bios:

Winnie Byanyima is a grass-roots activist, human rights advocate, senior international public servant, and world recognized expert on women’s rights, is Executive Director of Oxfam International.

Born in Uganda in 1959, Ms Byanyima earned engineering degrees in the United Kingdom and began her career as an engineer for Uganda Airlines. She was appointed to the diplomatic service in 1989, where she represented Uganda in France and at UNESCO in Paris. She returned to Uganda in 1994 and for the next ten years served as a member of parliament, created an all-woman parliamentary caucus, and was founding leader of the Forum for Women in Democracy, a national NGO championing women’s equal participation in decision-making.

From 2004 until 2006, she served at the African Union Commission to improve the institution’s governance and equality by establishing a program on gender and development. In 2006, she was appointed director of Gender and Development at the United Nations Development Program, working on development, climate change and economic policy. In that role, she co-founded a 60-member Global Gender and Climate Alliance of civil society, bilateral and multilateral organizations and chaired a UN-wide task force on gender aspects of the Millennium Development Goals, and climate change.

Lez Malezer is Co-Chair of National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. He is a full-time delegate to the United Nations on Indigenous Issues. He held responsibility as Chairperson of the Global Indigenous Peoples Caucus when the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted in 2007.Mr Malezer was a negotiator for the Indigenous Peoples in finalization for the ‘Nagoya Protocol’ under the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010.From 2000-2002 he was executive assistant and advisor to the chairperson of ATSIC and in the late 1990s worked with FAIRA in Brisbane on Native Title Issues.

Sharan Burrow is the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and a former President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) (2000–2010). She is the first woman to become General Secretary of the ITUC since its foundation in 2006, and was the second woman to become President of the ACTU.

Recognising the significance of her election as the first female leader of the world’s largest international trade union organisation, in her acceptance speech after becoming General Secretary of the ITUC, Burrow underlined the necessity of female participation in organisedlabour. She is reported as having said:”I am a warrior for women and we still have work to ensure the inclusion of women in the work place and in our unions. The struggles for women are multiple – too often within their families for independence, then in the workplace for rights and equal opportunity, in their unions for access and representation and then as union leaders. But the investment in and participation of women is not only a moral mandate it is an investment in democracy and a bulwark against fundamentalism and oppression. Organising woman is and must continue to be a priority for the ITUC.”

Michelle Maloney holds a Bachelor of Arts and Laws (Honours) from the Australian National University and has more than 20 years’ experience designing and managing climate change, sustainability and environmental justice projects in Australia, the United Kingdom and the USA. She is the National Convenor of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance ( ), the Chairperson of the Environmental Defenders Office Queensland ( and the Australian representative on the Executive Committee of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature.


Friday 14 November 7pm Princess Theatre, 8 Annerley Rd, Woolloongabba.

For more information on the Peoples’ Summit program, see

About the author /

Max Riethmuller is a local Brisbane journalist and photographer. Max is editor of the indy media website Altmax Media and maintains several media related webpages. Max was also an active member of the Occupy movement and continues to remain involved in activism, using his journalistic and photographic skills to draw attention to the work of activists and the issues they represent.

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