World AIDS Day 2020: Julie Bates AO in conversation with Professor Basil Donovan

Event type: 
Event date: 
Tuesday, 1 December 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Booking deadline: 
Monday, 30 November 2020 - 5:00pm


This World AIDS Day, join us at this special online event, where we will hear from sex worker advocate Julie Bates AO, in conversation with Professor Basil Donovan, sexual health physician and Head of the Kirby Institute’s Sexual Health Program.

Basil and Julie have worked together for over three decades and through their dedication, advocacy and expert perspectives, have been key influencers in policy change, and in achieving the impressively low rates of HIV among sex workers in NSW and Australia more broadly. These change-makers will reflect on the challenges and successes of improving sex worker health and wellbeing in Australia amid the HIV epidemic, and discuss what lessons can be brought to the current COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.

The welcome and Q&A will be facilitated by Professor Andrew Grulich, Head of Kirby Institute's HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program and Theme Director of Populations and Prevention.


Julie Bates AO  

Julie Bates AO
Harm reduction advocate and sex worker rights activist and Principal, Urban Realists Planning & Health Consultants

Julie Bates is the Principal of Urban Realists Planning & Health Consultants. She is also an ‘out’ sex worker and has been a harm reduction advocate and sex worker rights activist for more than half her life. She was a foundation member of the Australian Prostitutes Collective, the forerunner of SWOP, the NUAA (NSW Users & AIDS Association), the Sydney Hospital initiative that gave birth to the KRC (Kirketon Road Centre) and a member of the Australian National Council on AIDS. Since the earliest days of the HIV pandemic and in a legal environment that still criminalised most aspects of the sex industry, Julie personally confronted some of the biggest brothel owners in Sydney with the reality that, in the context of HIV transmission, their businesses would continue to suffer unless they adopted a safe sex attitude and practice.

Today, she is a public speaker and political lobbyist for the decriminalisation of sex work and social researcher investigating harms associated with the various legislative and regulatory responses to sex work in Australia including the pivotal Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney and Curtin University Law and Sexual Health Projects. In 2018, she was awarded an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday honours.

Twitter: @JulieBates12

Professor Basil Donovan  

Professor Basil Donovan
Sexual health physician and Program Head, Sexual Health Program, Kirby Institute

Professor Basil Donovan is a Sexual Health and Public Health Physician who heads the Sexual Health Program at the Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney; and practises at the Sydney Sexual Health Centre. His research and policy interests include clinical, laboratory, and public health aspects of HIV and STIs; and priority populations such as sexual and gender minorities, sex workers, Aboriginal people, youth, prisoners, juvenile offenders, and travellers. He is supported by a NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship.