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Joseph O'Reilly
(? - living) Australia

Joseph O'Reilly

AIDS activist


Joseph has undergraduate degrees in Community Development and Law. Together with his Masters of Law from the University of East London, he has postgraduate qualifications in alternative dispute resolution, bioethics and management.

Joseph has over ten years senior experience of the voluntary, public and statutory sectors in Australia, Asia, the America's and Europe. He has successfully pursued his personal interest in and commitment to human rights, public health and development in a variety of professional capacities. He has worked on HIV/AIDS related initiatives in Africa, Asia and the Carribean.

From 1994 until 1998 Joseph was the high profile Director of Liberty Victoria, the Council for Civil Liberties, where he lead numerous campaigns for the protection of civil liberties and human rights.

Joseph left Australia to work in Haiti after the 1999 Victorian election in which he stood unsuccessfully for the Australian Labor Party. In Haiti he was an adviser to the National Coalition for Haitian Rights, Haiti's leading human rights Non-Government Organisation.

He served a three year term on the National Council of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and was actively involved in defending Australia's public broadcaster from political interference and funding cuts. With Morag Fraser he co-edited 'Save Our ABC: the case for maintaining Australia's national broadcaster.'

In 2002 Joseph became Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy & Campaigns at the UK based National AIDS Trust, which is the latest in his long involvement in efforts aimed at tackling the global AIDS pandemic. In his native Australia he played a leadership role in the community response to HIV/AIDS as President of the Victorian AIDS Council, one of Australia's largest providers of community based HIV services, and as a member of the Executive of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.

He has a strong interest in the relationship between HIV, human rights and ethics and was a member of the Joint WHO/UNAIDS Working Group on the Legal and Ethical Aspects of HIV Vaccine Trials, which helped to produce internationally accepted guidance on the ethics of HIV preventive vaccine research.

Joseph's work in HIV/AIDS stimulated his interest in public health more broadly. He was subsequently a member of Australia's National Public Health Partnership, and Chair of the Partnership's Advisory Council. The NPHP brings together Commonwealth and State Governments to develop and implement public health policy and programs.

Before leaving Australia in 2000, Joseph was Interim Executive Director of the Australian Public Health Association and a member of the working group which established Research Australia, an umbrella body of organisations and companies that are committed to making health and medical research a higher national priority.

Joseph is the founding director of the International Human Rights Museum Initiative. He is a member of the International Law Association, the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs, the International Council of Museums and the Museums Association, on whose ethics committee he sits. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.


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