web_kirbyFormer High Court Justice and human rights advocate Michael Kirby has been appointed as the inaugural patron of the Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation.

The Foundation is a global human rights organisation dedicated to the human rights of LGBTI people internationally, and was known as Kaleidoscope Trust Australia before its recent full incorporation and appointment of a board.

Upon accepting the position, Kirby said he was humbled by the appointment and would work hard to help improve the lives of LGBTI in Australia and overseas.

“I strongly support all moves to decriminalise homosexuality in the Asia-Pacific region and am delighted to support the Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation work in this area, and to be associated with this initiative in the cause of liberty and equality,” he said.

The Foundation’s board includes Dr Paula Gerber, who is deputy director at the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University, journalist and broadcaster Doug Pollard, and founder Dr Douglas Pretsell.

Pretsell said the Foundation had come a long way in a very short time.

“In the last three months we have gone from being just an idea to being a fully fledged legally incorporated human rights NGO,” he said.

“We are honoured that someone of the stature of Michael Kirby has agreed to be patron and we hope to appoint a second patron to join him in coming months.”

One of Kaleidoscope’s major goals is to begin a campaign to help decriminalise homosexuality in the Asia-Pacific region; to that end, the Foundation is sending a board member to participate in the Commonwealth People’s Forum that precedes CHOGM in Sri Lanka next month.

Currently, over 15 Commonwealth nations in the Asia-Pacific continue to count homosexuality as a criminal offence.

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