Human Rights Conference 2023 Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion in Sydney

The 3-day conference attracted over 2,000 in person delegates to explore LGBTQIA+ human rights, combining keynotes, panels and roundtables with workshops, performances and networking events.

27th Apr, 2023

Koori Wirguls Dancers at Human Rights Conference 2023 © Maja Baska

In recognition of its commitment to sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion, International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) was selected to collaboratively deliver a truly inclusive LGBQTIA+ Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference - the biggest ever to be held in the Southern Hemisphere.

The three-day conference attracted over 2,000 in person delegates, 1,200 remote and 203 international delegates from 57 countries to explore LGBTQIA+ human rights, combining inspiring keynotes, panels and roundtables with interactive workships, performances and networking events.

ICC Sydney's approach to sustainability, diversity, equality and inclusion were critical to the successful delivery of this event with Kate Wickett, CEO of Sydney WorldPride stating, "ICC Sydney were great collaborative partners from the very beginning with a shared dedication from the team to ensure every delegate felt safe, accepted and welcomed in the venue."

Lily Stokes, Human Rights Conference Producer, Sydney WorldPride: "ICC Sydney’s team has been a highlight of this event in bringing it to life and creating such a memorable experience for our delegates. To successfully deliver this event we required several bespoke changes to the venue in which the team were extremely accommodating, cooperative and supportive of." 

Accessible to all

In addition to ICC Sydney’s built-in accessibility features and services, including accessible toilets, ramps, lifts, braille signage and complimentary hearing augmentation devices, Sydney WorldPride implemented further accessibility measures including Auslan interpreters for every session, and additional international sign language (ISL) interpreters for the plenary sessions. Access to audio description via the LiveVoice smartphone app assisted delegates who are vision impaired.

Championing inclusivity

ICC Sydney administered bespoke changes to the venue to accommodate the diverse needs of delegates. Inclusive, non-gendered bathroom signage replaced ICC Sydney’s standard toilet signage throughout the event space in the Convention Centre. ICC Sydney’s meeting rooms were converted into mental health resources including a wellbeing lounge, sensory room and therapy room with additional creative spaces in the Gallery.

First Nations focus

As part of its commitment to Reconciliation, ICC Sydney supported Sydney WorldPride’s mission to incorporate First Nations representation in the event delivery. A dedicated First Nations gathering space was established in the Convention Centre meeting rooms for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to facilitate traditional yarning circles, feel connected to their community and celebrate their identity within a safe and inclusive space. The start of each day’s session was marked by a Welcome to Country in Darling Harbour Theatre to acknowledge, celebrate and pay respect to Traditional Owners of the land on which ICC Sydney stands and operates.

Achieving carbon friendly events

ICC Sydney’s strong commitment to corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability was fundamental to Sydney WorldPride’s ability to deliver a fully sustainable, carbon neutral event. ICC Sydney worked to deliver the Human Rights Conference in accordance with the detailed requirements established by the WorldPride Planning Committee within their overarching sustainability plan. This included replacing all plastic water bottles with more sustainable options and distributing waste stream bins to divert waste from landfill throughout the event space. ICC Sydney’s team provided the organiser with expert support to review relevant waste planning legislation and identify suitable waste management resources to help reduce the event’s overall landfill footprint.

To better understand the client’s carbon footprint over the three-day event, ICC Sydney estimated Sydney WorldPride’s utility spend across water, electricity and gas, based on delegate numbers, duration, and footprint of the event.

  • Over 2,000 in person and 1,200 remote
  • delegates, totalling 3,200 delegates
  • 203 international delegates from 57 countries
  • 230 local and international presenters
  • 25 exhibitors
  • 150+ volunteers
  • Sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusivity focus supported by ICC Sydney’s Corporate Social Responsibility commitment and resources, Legacy Program and world class service excellence
  • Highly accessible event featuring accessibility infrastructure, Auslan interpreters and audio description

Geoff Donaghy, CEO - ICC Sydney & Group Director - Convention Centres I ASM GLOBAL (APAC): "ICC Sydney was proud to host such a significant event to celebrate diversity and showcase how we as a venue are committed to creating more inclusive and safe workplace environments where everyone can feel accepted to bring their whole selves to work.” 

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