Constitution Day forum

Event details

Events and Exhibitions

Date & time

9 July 2024

5:30 to 7:30 pm


National Archives of Australia
National Office
Kings Avenue, 
Parkes ACT 2600


$5 or free for NAA Members

This annual forum is held on the anniversary of Queen Victoria's assent to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act on 9 July 1900.

This year, the forum will focus on the Constitution's ability to facilitate a healthy environmental future as well as shifting geopolitical challenges.

It will include discussions about how this can occur from a First Nations perspective and in an environment of respect.

Facilitated by Walkley Award winning journalist and broadcaster Paul Barclay, this year's panelists include Associate Professor Justine Bell-James, Professor Megan Davis, and Associate Professor Harry Hobbs.

The event will be broadcast by ABC Radio National on the ABC Big Ideas podcast.

Forum panel

Associate Professor Justine Bell-James

Justine Bell-James is an Associate Professor at the TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland with expertise in environmental and climate change law. Her main research interest is legal mechanisms for the protection, management and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems. She has written recent articles about the right to a healthy environment in Australia from a legal perspective.

She also has expertise in climate change litigation, and her work on opportunities for litigation under Queensland's Human Rights Act 2019 underpinned the successful Waratah Coal case decided by Queensland's Land Court in 2022.

Professor Megan Davis

Professor Megan Davis is Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous at UNSW and a Professor of Law at UNSW. She is currently an Acting Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court, which was the first specialist superior environmental court in the world.

Professor Davis is a constitutional lawyer whose current research focus is on constitutional design, democratic theory and Indigenous peoples. She is a former Chair and expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Associate Professor Harry Hobbs

Associate Professor Harry Hobbs is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at UTS. Professor Hobbs is a constitutional and human rights lawyer, with particular expertise and interest in the Indigenous-State treaty-making debate in Australia.

He has written extensively on subjects including native title, Australia's first treaty, the Noongar settlement and notions of sovereignty. In 2020, he was elected co-chair of the American Society of International Law's Rights of Indigenous Peoples Interest Group and has worked in the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Human Rights, the ACT Human Rights Commission, and as the Legal Research Officer at the High Court of Australia.