The young kiwi advancing LGBTQI rights worldwide

An LGBTQI rights campaigner who holds an influential position in the UK Parliament has been recognised by the University of Auckland.

Arts graduate Anna Robinson was named on the University of Auckland's 40 Under 40 list for her work to advance LGBTQI rights internationally.

Arts graduate Anna Robinson is the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBTQI Rights, a role she says is a great privilege given her remit to advance LGBTQI rights internationally.

The group’s membership is cross-party and includes representatives from the House of Commons and House of Lords, united in a common aim to improve rights for LGBTQI people globally and in the UK.

Anna was named on the University’s 40 under 40 list for 2019, released this week, which celebrates exceptional alumni who are making a significant contribution to their field or community before the age of 40.

“It still feels surreal sometimes to be working in Westminster at the UK Parliament, a place that you grow up seeing on television or as a tourist when visiting London. It’s a huge privilege to do what I do advocating for the rights of LGBT+ people who are all too frequently marginalised by society, particularly those who are trans or intersex. While we have made some progress in LGBT+ issues there is still so much more that needs to be done, and more solidarity that must be built. I don’t see myself stopping this fight anytime soon,” she says.

While we have made some progress in LGBT+ issues there is still so much more that needs to be done, and more solidarity that must be built.

Anna Robinson 40 Under 40 2019

Anna is also a champion of queer youth rights, until recently co-chairing IGLYO (The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Youth & Student Organisation), the largest LGBT+ youth and student network in the world.

She has just taken on a new volunteer role as Deputy Director of the Diverse Youth Network, and international youth organisation which strives to build connections, solidarity and international cooperation between communities of young people who have faced discrimination from the so-called 'mainstream', including those who are Roma, LGBTQI, Jewish, and many other marginalised groups.

Reflecting on her time at University, Anna says her studies in the History and English departments nurtured her growing interest in issues such as gender and sexuality.

After completing her bachelors degree, Anna secured a scholarship to complete a joint MA in Women’s and Gender Studies from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and the Central European University in Hungary.

Since then she has also worked for the European Roma Rights Centre in Budapest, and as a policy adviser on foreign affairs and human rights to Sweden’s Soraya Post, who was the first person elected to the European Parliament from an idealogically feminist and anti-racist political party, Feminist Initiative. 

The University of Auckland’s 40 Under 40 list is made up of the categories of business leaders, influencers, performers, entrepreneurs, humanitarians, and disruptors and innovators.

Given the University graduates some 10,000 students each year making the list is a significant achievement.

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Danelle Clayton | Media Adviser
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