Public lecture: “Lives worth living”: Social memory, social action, and contemporary disability advocacy

The designation of ‘life unworthy of life’ was used to justify the deaths and persecution of hundreds of thousands of people with disability under National Socialism. The Nazi Government was not alone in endorsing these values, with many other nations, including Australia, also sanctioning a variety of eugenic practices, and the segregation of people with disability from the community a dominant feature of government policy.The disability movement has made significant progress in transforming social values and attitudes since this dark period of history. However, marginalisation of people with disability continues and there are ongoing campaigns for equal rights and recognition within the Australian disability sector.

This event, hosted by the Sydney Jewish Museum and Sydney Health Ethics (USYD), moves from memorial and remembrance to a focus on social action. Academic and community speakers will address the question of how we can all work towards ensuring ‘a life worth living’ for every member of society, discussing the importance of human rights-informed policy and legislation, the importance of advocacy, and the importance of embracing diversity at the community level.

• Ms Nastasia Campanella, journalist and broadcaster, ABC Triple J
• Dr Laura Davy (Chair)
• Professor Rosemary Kayess, Director, Disability Innovation Institute, UNSW Sydney
• Ms Ayah Wehbe

Thursday 22nd March, 6.00pm
Sydney Jewish Museum, 148 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst

Register for this free event here.

Invitation: Working the past: Aboriginal Australia and psychiatry

A Sydney Ideas forum at the University of Sydney, Wednesday 7 March 2018

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have historically been subject to much more misdiagnosis, mistreatment, incarceration and coercion than other Australians in the hands of psychiatric institutions, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. The ramifications of psychiatry’s sometimes unwitting, indifferent or knowing complicity in past harmful practices and beliefs have been far-reaching. They extend from the health and well-being of the individual patient, to human rights and social justice concerns that prevail in contemporary Australian society.
How do we come to grips with the past, and how do we do so in just ways? What are the responsibilities of psychiatry to ensure a contribution to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional health and well-being? What can apology and other forms of recognition achieve? What can we learn from other projects of apology and recognition? These questions will be the basis of our discussion by a panel of distinguished speakers, including Professor Steven Larkin, Professor Alan Rosen, Professor Frank Schneider, Ms Joanne Selfe, and Dr Robyn Shields.

Wednesday 7 March
6 – 7.30pm
Law School Foyer
Level 2 Sydney Law School
Eastern Avenue
The University of Sydney, Camperdown 2006

Find more information and register for the event here. Note the event is free and open to all, but online registration is essential.

Makers of Nurofen ran ‘misleading and deceptive’ campaign against Panadol: court

SMH, 11 January 2018
Author: Stephanie Gardiner
“Nurofen is better than paracetamol for common headaches,” declared the advertisements in women’s lifestyle magazines. The Federal Court has found that claim to be misleading and deceptive, after two pharmaceutical giants went head-to-head in a two-year legal battle.”
Find article here.

Sexual abuse in Victoria’s mental wards is bad and getting worse

The Age, 11 December 2017
Author: Farrah Tomazin
“Fairfax Media can reveal that vulnerable people seeking psychiatric treatment in state-run hospitals continue to face unacceptable rates of sexual assault and violence, mostly from other patients, amid accusations that some staff are trying to cover up the extent of the problem.”
Find article here.