Olympia Balopitos – Director
Olympia is a young prospective academic currently completing their Law Honours thesis. Their thesis focuses on involuntary and coerced surgeries with a particular focus on intersex children’s rights and consent laws. They provide peer support for trans and gender diverse people at SHINE SA, a sexual health and relationship wellbeing clinic located in Adelaide, Australia. Olympia has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). While PCOS is yet to be acknowledged as an intersex variation in many domains, the variation means a person’s body that is presumed to be female can have male-presenting levels of testosterone. Much of Olympia’s experiences with PCOS has involved doctors seeking to “normalise” their hormone levels to present as more female. Olympia is an active online advocate for social justice, with particular focus on LGBTQI+ rights, and creates art to provide representation to those living in marginalised bodies.
IHRA recognises that PCOS is innate, that the boundaries about what is defined as intersex are fuzzy, and that intersex people share experiences of harmful medical norms that are themselves influenced by social norms.
Tony Briffa JP – Director
Tony Briffa was a co-executive director between December 2016 and May 2021, alongside Morgan Carpenter. Tony is one of Australia’s first intersex advocates, appearing on 60 Minutes in 2000 and 2005, and published in Nature in 2004. Tony more recently presented a statement to the UN Human Rights Council, in 2014. She is also a councillor of Hobsons Bay in Melbourne, the first openly intersex person elected to public office and the world’s first openly intersex Mayor. An aviation engineer and specialist, she is a former president of Intersex Peer Support Australia (IPSA) (also known as AISSGA), current vice-president of IPSA, a member of current and previous Victorian Ministerial Advisory Groups on LGBTI issues, a board member of ILGA Oceania and chair of the intersex committee of ILGA World. Tony speaks nationally and internationally and has appeared on television, radio, magazines and newspapers discussing intersex human rights. She is a Justice of the Peace and former Bail Justice in Victoria.
Paul Byrne-Moroney – Director
Paul was told he had Klinefelter Syndrome (47,XXY) in 1994, at the age of 28. He was told he had an extra X sex chromosome, was infertile and would be administered testosterone injections for the rest of his life. That’s it. During the next twenty years Paul discovered much more about this condition and in doing so, discovered that having an extra X chromosome impacted his life in ways that had never been explained to him. In 2006, Paul spoke to staff at Melbourne’s Royal Children Hospital and it was here Paul met other people with 47,XXY for the first time. It immediately became apparent people with 47,XXY had no peer support and so, the Victorian Klinefelter Syndrome Support Group was formed. Since then, Paul has become a national advocate for people with X and Y sex chromosome variations, a member of the Victorian government’s Intersex Expert Advisory Group, the Australian Human Rights Advisory Group and has spoken at Intersex Awareness Day events, medical centres, municipal offices and attended an intersex parliamentary breakfast in Canberra. He has also spoken at the Better Together Conference in Melbourne and Sydney. Paul has also been interviewed on Joy FM and has been the subject of two media articles. Most recently Paul has become the Victorian IPSA rep, a member of the Melbourne Pride Centre community reference group and joined his local council LGBTIQ community reference group. He is also writing a memoir.
Paul has overcome any of the obstacles inherent in having his intersex variation and is passionate about increasing awareness, overcoming misconceptions, eliminating human rights issues and enabling all intersex people to live happy, successful and fulfilling lives.
Morgan Carpenter JP – Executive Director
Morgan is a bioethicist and executive director of IHRA (a part-time role). A director since IHRA registered as a not-for-profit company in 2010, Morgan Carpenter has served in numerous board positions, including president. Morgan was diagnosed late, followed by multiple so-called “normalising” surgeries. Morgan wrote our submissions to Senate inquiries on anti-discrimination legislation, and involuntary or coerced sterilisation, and also participated in hearings on those inquiries. Morgan participated in the first intersex expert meeting, organised by the UN. He was an expert and drafting committee member for the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 in 2017. He designed the intersex flag and has consulted to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organization, the ACT government, GATE, and acted as an advisory group member for the Australian Human Rights Commission, Australian Bureau of Statistics, NSW Health, and other bodies. Morgan is also a PhD candidate in bioethics at Sydney Health Ethics, University of Sydney, a member of the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law, and a Justice of the Peace in NSW. Photo: Mark Dickson.
Candice Cody – Director
A woman with 47,XXY, Candice is a longtime advocate for change to diagnostic and treatment paradigms for XXY individuals based on personal informed consent. In 2013 she was a founding member of Beyond XXY Inc. She was first appointed to the board during 2014 and has played an active role in XXY support over that period. In more recent times Candice established The XXY Project a global support network for the 47,XXY community. Candice is our community events organiser in Sydney, and she also volunteers with various other organisations that operate within an LGBTIQA framework.
Dr Anita Jacombs – Director
Dr Anita Jacombs B.Sc (Hons) Grad Dip MBBS PhD FRACS is a general surgeon, abdominal wall reconstruction and hernia surgery fellow, and conjoint senior lecturer at Macquarie University, New South Wales.
Aileen Kennedy – Vice-Chair
Aileen Kennedy spent ten years in legal practice and seven years in legal academia prior to commencing at UNE in 2003. Her research is in the area of health law, currently focusing on the law relating to cosmetic surgery, female genital mutilation, voluntary amputation and other non-therapeutic body modifications. A focus of her research is on legal and ethical issues relating to biotechnological innovation such as assisted reproductive technology, genetics and neuroscience. She is interested in feminist theory, particularly theories of embodiment. Aileen has recently submitted a PhD in law at UTS, Sydney. Her thesis focuses on the influence of neuroscience in regulating sex and gender surgery on children.
Dr Agli Zavros-Orr – Chair
Agli (a person with an intersex variation – 46XY Swyers) became a director in 2019, and co-chair on 17 November 2019. They bring to the board a strong background in education. Agli has worked as an early childhood and primary teacher and is a teacher educator. Their doctoral studies focused on the ethics of care, school leadership, teacher’s work and supportive school environments. Agli has held various academic leadership roles (including course co-ordinator and director roles) across five Australian universities and has informed the writing of degrees and authored numerous early years, primary and secondary teacher education courses. Their expertise is in curriculum and pedagogies – with a focus on social justice and anti-bias approaches. Agli is a co-founder of Diversitywise Educational Services. Since 2013 Agli has advocated for the needs of children with an intersex variation in their work with pre-service teachers. Agli has served as the Intersex Peer Support Australia (ISPA) representative for Victoria and Tasmania and is a member of the Victorian Government Intersex Advisory Group (IEAG). They have presented at conferences, has been a keynote speaker, an intersex community representative on various panels, a member of various online forums and have spoken on radio on several occasions on issues around intersex human rights.