Biography of Speakers
Co-chair – Jules Kim
Jules Kim is a Korean/Australian sex worker and the CEO of Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association – the peak national organisation representing sex workers and sex worker organisations, collectives and projects since 1989. She is the Chair for the regional sex worker network, Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) and is the UN Program Coordinating Board (UNPCB) NGO Delegate for the Asia Pacific for 2019-2021. Jules represents sex workers on a number of government committees and advisory mechanisms, and has provided testimony and expert advice to parliamentary hearings and inquiries in relation to sex work, migration, trafficking and law reform and led research on migrant sex workers. She has over 20 years experience in sex work, sex worker advocacy, community development and representation.
Co-Chair- Mark Lauchs
Mark Lauchs is an Associate Professor in the School of Justice at QUT. He joined the School after nearly two decades in the Queensland Government. One of his areas of expertise is the Fitzgerald Inquiry and he currently holds the only public copies of the full transcripts from the two years of hearings.
Unfinished business: Fitzgerald’s call to recognise sex work as work yet to be achieved – Candi Forrest
Candi is a Brisbane local with a BA Hons in Anthropology and Sociology who lives to tell the pre and post-Fitzgerald tale. A prominent and thoughtful commentator on sex work laws, her knowledge is backed by contributions to Queensland sex work research (Regulating Bodies a needs assessment of sex workers in legal brothels and the TaMS, Transgender and Male sex work study). Candi is a member of the Sexual Health Ministerial Advisory Committee and a founding member of Respect Inc.
Taking the crime out of sex work: lessons from over the ditch on how Decriminalisation enhances public health, safety and human rights – Lisa Fitzgerald
Dr Lisa Fitzgerald is a public health sociologist at the School of Public Health, University of Queensland, with research interests in the health and wellbeing of people experiencing marginalisation and the social determinants of (sexual) health. She is engaged in numerous social research projects related to HIV, sexual health, sex work, young people and LGBTIQ+ health. Lisa was a lead on substantial research projects undertaken in New Zealand in partnership with the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective that examined the impact of decriminalisation on the health and safety of sex workers. She has publications in the field including the book, ‘Taking the Crime out of Sex Work’ (2010) and has informed policy debates in many countries. Lisa recently undertook research in Queensland, in partnership with Respect INC, examining the health of male and transgender sex workers. Lisa will draw on her research from both sides of the ditch to argue that Queensland must strive for decriminalisation to enhance the public health, safety and human rights of all sex workers.
Protection & equity, not prosecution & persecution – Elyse Coles
Elyse is a sex worker, living on the Queensland border both before and in the decades after Fitzgerald. She originally left Queensland to get away from the police corruption. Elyse travelled the world and spent the 00s in South Australia, contributing to the Decriminalisation of sex work Bill currently before S.A. parliament. Elyse’s passion is equity for sex workers, particularly trans sex workers. On returning to Queensland Elyse observed how the even the few gains made for sex workers have been eroded due to lack of political action since the Fitzgerald Inquiry. Elyse is a spokesperson for the DecrimQLD Campaign.
Sex worker rights in context: Decriminalisation backed by local voices and global evidence – Dr Katie Hail-Jares (@khailjares)
Katie is postdoctoral research fellow at the Griffith Criminiology Institute. From 2010-2016, Katie served as a team leader with HIPS, a harm-reduction program in Washington, DC that supports sex workers and people who use drugs, and served as a national board member for the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP-USA). Her research has appeared in Justice Quarterly, Crime & Delinquency, Plos-One, Drugs and Alcohol Dependency, and other peer-reviewed journals. She is the editor of Challenging Perspectives on Street-Based Sex Work (Temple University Press).
Undercover, revealing the real target of sex work laws: Asian sex workers – Vickki Boon
Vickki first visited Australia 25 years ago and in 2007 made Queensland her home. Heading up the Respect Inc Asian Focus Peer Education Project for four years, Vickki has her finger on the pulse of policing activity against Asian & migrant sex workers in Queensland. Informed by real time detail and up to date knowledge, Vickki is determined to see an end to the criminalisation of sex workers in Queensland and everywhere. Her staunch political views are only overshadowed by her style and quick wit.
Harmful conflations: resisting the criminalisation of sex work as an anti-trafficking measure – Erin O’Brien
Dr Erin O’Brien is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology, researching policy and advocacy surrounding sex work, human trafficking and migration. She has examined the development of human trafficking policy in Australia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom, with a particular focus on the flawed and harmful attempts to further criminalise sex work as a response to human trafficking. She is the author of The Politics of Sex Trafficking (Palgrave 2013) and Challenging the Human Trafficking Narrative (Routledge 2019).