Put this in your diary! Festival of Sex Work Research Symposium

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Tabitha a member of the Vixen Collective, who raised my awareness about the upcoming Festival of Sex Work Research Symposium.  I thought it would be worthwhile letting people know about this important event that provides a voice for sex workers to speak for themselves.  So people, put this in your diary and check out what I am sure will be a highly informative afternoon.

Speaking for Ourselves Sex Worker Research Symposium

When: Friday 31 May, 1pm – 4pm

Where: University of Melbourne Theatre 1, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton

Vixen, Victoria’s only active peer sex worker organisation, invites you to a special event as part of this year’s Festival of Sex Work.  The Sex Worker Research Symposium is a unique opportunity for the community to hear presentations on research undertaken by sex workers themselves.  The event will also include a preview launch of Scarlet Alliance’s ‘Principles for Model Sex Work Legislation’, and short ‘soap box’ presentations from workers sharing their individual lived experience.

Admission to the symposium is free, but we ask people to book as there are limited seats in the auditorium.  Please RSVP –http://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=49831


  • Sex Work: Policy Vs Reality

will look at current Sex Work regulation in Victoria and its enforcement.  It will look at the ideological underpinnings of the laws and whether or not these coalesce with supporting the human rights of sex workers.  The presentation with have a particular emphasis on the lived experience of sex workers.

Christian Vega

  • How do Sex Worker Organisations maintain political autonomy from funders?

Sex workers are still fighting to be recognised as having the ability to run their own organisations, be adequately funded, and to maintain political autonomy from funders.  This presentation examines the history and contact of this issue, and positions this question as critically important to the sex worker movement

Elena Jeffreys, 1st year PhD student, University of Queensland

  • Sex Work & Stigma in the Media: Pushing Back

A presentation of ongoing research into representations of sex workers & sex work in the media.  Examination of the effects of media portrayals of sex workers & the sex worker community, how public perceptions feed into ongoing stigma and discrimination, & how sex worker advocacy can effectively use media analysis to “push back”, creating greater space for sex worker voices and breaking down whorephobia.

Jane Green

  • Sex Worker Organising

A case-study of Vixen, Victoria’s peer sex-worker organisation.  Vixen continues to navigate a hostile political environment in Victoria and has a strong record despite zero funding.   The case study will document Vixen’s formation, evolution and achievements.

Tabitha Burke & Anastasia Vesperman

  • Principles for model sex work legislation

Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association is timing the preview launch of its ‘Principles for model sex work legislation’ resource to coincide with the Melbourne Festival of Sex Work.  Principles for model sex work legislation is a resource to support policy makers and sex worker advocates, projects and organisations in promoting improved evidence based policy development. Its content covers key sex work regulation issues and brings together current research into sections and briefing sheets covering: terminology; international best practice approaches to sex work law reform; regulatory frameworks in Australia and overseas; myths and stereotypes; decriminalisation; industrial rights and OH&S; health promotion and peer education; STIs and HIV testing and criminalisation; human rights and anti-discrimination protection; migration and mobility; local planning and sex industry businesses; and a bibliography.

To book your place, please visit our TryBooking event page: http://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=49831



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