Transformation of Identity


We were initially drawn to Andrea Durbach’s beautifully crafted memoir Uppington – a story of personal and political transformation. She believes the law can be used ‘to hold people accountable, to give visibility to things that were otherwise invisible…’ Mitzi Goldman’s recent documentary A Common Purpose is a moving chronicle of Andrea’s unwavering commitment to navigating social justice through the language of human rights and the law. Andrea talks about some of these issues here…



Following a 3-day Learning Lab, facilitated by Andrea Durbach, Andrea was interviewed by Mary Fitzgerald (Irish Times’ Foreign Affairs Correspondent). This public interview took place at the Public Interest Law Conference (PILA) in Dublin, 2010.

Andrea Durbach is the Director of the Australian Human Rights Centre and Professor of Law at University of New South Wales (UNSW). Born and educated in South Africa, she practiced as a political trial lawyer and human rights advocate, representing victims and opponents of apartheid laws. Her areas of expertise include: access to justice, legal ethics and public interest litigation; and the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights. Her memoir Upington (1999), published by Allen & Unwin in 1999 was recently adapted by Mitzi Goldman into the documentary film A Common Purpose (2011).
Full biography

Photo: from A Common Purpose