Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference 2023 | March 1-3

Fast facts

  • Event: 2023 Human Rights Conference
  • When: March 1 – 3, 2023
  • Where: Sydney, Australia
  • Venue: ICC Sydney
  • Attendees: 1,800 in-person delegates from 57 countries
  • Organiser: Arinex


As part of Sydney WorldPride 2023, the Human Rights Conference provided an impressive showcase of the unique ways Australia hosts a global conference.




The three-day conference was hosted at the ICC Sydney and formed part of Sydney WorldPride 2023, a 17-day celebration of Australia’s vibrant LGBTQIA+ community. This was the first time the event was held in the Southern Hemisphere, enabling attendance by delegates from throughout the Asia Pacific region, many of whom were first time attendees. Organisers from WorldPride indicated that Australia was awarded the conference due to showing a genuine commitment to sustainability, accessibility, diversity, equity and inclusion. Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were represented across multiple elements of the event. Each day commenced with a ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony to acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Owners of the land on which ICC Sydney stands, and a dedicated First Nations safe and inclusive gathering space was included to further facilitate community connections and involvement in conference activities. All sessions were enhanced by the inclusion of Auslan and ISL intermediary intrepreters who provided sign language to conference attendees. ICC Sydney also sought to ensure that the conference was a fully sustainable, carbon neutral event.


Lasting Legacy


Australia’s Federal Government showed its recognition of WorldPride and the Human Rights Conference in Sydney by committing AUD 3.5 million funding to the Global Equality Fund. This public-private partnership is made up of like-minded governments and private sector organisations dedicated to protecting and defending human rights and the fundamental freedoms of LGBTQIA+ persons around the world. In addition, a new national plan and a A$26 million investment in health and medical research focusing on LGBTQIA+ communities were announced at the conference. Whilst funding provided by private sector and government donors enabled the establishment of the Qtopia Museum in Sydney, which launched during WorldPride 2023. The museum will provide a permanent home for exhibitions which explore Australia’s LGBTQIA+ community across history, culture, art and contemporary issues.


Icon Collaboration


Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge was closed to vehicular traffic for several hours to enable approximately 50,000 WorldPride participants to march across the bridge in a colourful display of solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community on the final day of WorldPride. The hosting of WorldPride and the Human Rights Conference in Sydney in March was a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Australian WorldPride Committee and supported by Business Events Australia, Destination NSW, Business Events Sydney, ICC Sydney, the City of Sydney and many other organisations which effectively made up Team Australia. This case study was originally published by Business Events Australia.



“The Human Rights Conference is the most important component of the WorldPride event. It’s the one thing that the rest of us in the free world can actually make sure that we get a focus on the injustices in different areas. Where we have been most successful here is that we’ve been able to attract people to come to the WorldPride Human Rights Conference that haven’t been able to go anywhere else. And by far, this has been the biggest Human Rights Conference in any WorldPride that has been delivered to my knowledge.” – Paul Savage, former Co-Chair of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Board