Thursday, May 18, 2017
Over two days last week I was extremely lucky, honoured and privileged to take part in the inaugural Asia-Pacific Rainbow Families Forum held in Hong Kong.
They made sure that they made full use of my talents! The forum was held over two nights, the first with the showing of the Australian film Gayby Baby, which is from the children’s perspective of growing up in gay and lesbian households and then with the forum proper on the Friday.
I took part in three panel discussions, one on the Thursday night and two, back to back on the Friday.
Delegates attending came from Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Philippines, Fiji, China and of course Australia. I was at last able to meet three Hong Kong colleagues, a barrister Azan Marwah and fellow solicitors Winnie Chow and Jonathan Mok. Azan Marwah is counsel at the private bar in Hong Kong. Winnie Chow, Jonathan Mok and I are all Fellows of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, the world’s leading group of family lawyers.
It was good to see all three of them there at the conference in support of this vital issue.
The conference dealt with the barriers and opportunities that are presented to families of LGBTIQ people across the Asia Pacific, including particular focuses on China, Japan, Fiji and the Republic of Philippines.
It was an amazing event that was put together with the assistance of the Australian Consulate and San Diego Fertility Center amongst others by the extraordinary and inspiring fellow Aussie but Hong Kong resident Bess Hepworth.
This was truly an inspiring event that hopefully will lead to change to ensure that rainbow families across the region are heard and are able to ensure above all that their children are recognised and are safe and well.