Melbourne Grammar School – Human Rights Leadership Forum 2023

Thanks to the amazing support of Diane Ruffles, Director of Library Services at Melbourne
Grammar School (MGS), we were able to run the first Victorian Human Rights Educational
Leadership Forum at MGS. Approximately 120 students from a variety of Victorian schools
attended and actively participated. We were even honored to have MGS Headmaster Philip
Grutzner open the forum and appreciated his encouraging words.

Due to the educational nature of the forum and Hugh Kingsley’s collaborative relationship with
Monash University, it was offered as a Monash University forum. We were thrilled that Lorraine
Finley, Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner could fly in for the forum and be a co-presenter.

After Lorraine Finley provided a contextual address explaining how human rights applies to
everyone, Hugh started the educational component of the forum, in the form of The Human
Rights Game. In groups students discussed the issues involved on the playing cards and then
freely shared their opinions. After gameplay students were asked to write down their thoughts
about how to create human rights friendly schools. Soon the white board was full of thoughtful
suggestions. Those suggestions have been analyzed by Monash University’s Dr Erin Leif. Shortly
she will publish an article so we can all better understand the themes that students presented.

At the end of the forum, students were invited to meet the presenters and participate in
photos. A surprising number of students came up, said the game was brilliant and wanted to
shake hands.

We hope that the MGS human rights educational leadership forum becomes the catalyst for the
wide-spread uptake of human rights education is schools so that we see a significant reduction
in Racism, Anti Semitism, and Hate.