International Access to Information Day is held on 28 September every year and recognises the community’s right to access government-held information.

The right to information is enshrined in access to information laws across Australia and New Zealand. We are among more than 120 nations around the world to guarantee citizens these rights — a significant expansion since 2009 when UNESCO recorded only 40 countries with these laws.

Australia’s Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) recognises that the information government holds is a national resource and is managed for public purposes, and that public access to it should be prompt and at the lowest reasonable cost. The FOI Act applies to Australian Government ministers and most agencies, and other Australian states and territories have equivalent legislation.

IAID 2023

IAID 2023 logo

The OAIC is joining members of the United Nations and Australian states and territories in marking International Access to Information Day (IAID) 2023.

This year’s UNESCO theme for the day is the importance of the online space for access to information. You can find out more about the global celebration on the UNESCO website.

Make sure you’re ‘FOI’ informed

Find out about:

Watch our videos on:

Make sure your agency is ‘FOI’ informed

Download our IAID 2023 visual assets

If you work in FOI or information access at an Australian Government agency, you can subscribe to ICON alerts.

See also our freedom of information resources, including our FOI Essentials, and watch our video on 12 tips for freedom of information decision-makers.

IAID 2023 events

You can watch all events online, for some events you can attend the live event.

Office of the Information Commissioner, Queensland

The Solomon Lecture

The story of Seisia: How access to information in remote Indigenous communities can help to solve complex problems

Tuesday 26 September, 10.30 am to 12 pm (AEST)

Delivered by Ms Talei Elu, Seisia community member and 2023 Young Australian of the Year for Queensland. Followed by a panel discussion focusing on bridging the digital divide and real life case studies

Register to attend the live event (light refreshments from 10 am to 10.30 am) or watch online

Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner

Lightning talk

Engaging with consumers and technology to create a more efficient, sustainable (and friendly!) FOI service

Tuesday 26 September, 12.30 pm to 1.15 pm (AEST)

Delivered by Laura Hartmann, General Counsel, Grampians Health, who will speak on learnings from Grampians Health’s recent efforts to redesign its FOI processes

Register to watch online and receive a link to view 2 days prior to event

IAID panel

Benefits and barriers to using the online space for promoting access to information – now and in the future

Thursday 28 September, 1 pm to 2 pm (AEST)

Panellists discuss the role the online space plays in promoting information access rights and the benefits of, as well as barriers to, using the online space to provide access to government-held information.

The panel of experts includes: Joanne Kummrow, Public Access Deputy Commissioner, OVIC; Elizabeth Tydd, NSW Information Commissioner; Lauren Matthews, Director, Programs at the Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission; and Johan Lidberg, Associate Professor of Journalism, School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University

Register to watch online and receive a link to view 2 days prior to event

Ombudsman Tasmania

Celebration of 30 years of FOI/right to information in Tasmania Thursday 28 September, 2 pm to 3 pm (AEST)

Discussion moderated by Cleo Hansen-Lohrey, Administrative Law Lecturer, University of Tasmania, with esteemed panellists Richard Connock, Tasmania Ombudsman; Jenny Gale, Head of the Tasmanian State Service; and Claire Bookless, Managing Lawyer of the Environmental Defenders Office

Attend live event or watch online, email by 26 September for details on both ways to attend


Global  Conference on Universal Access to Information 2023

Wednesday 27 September at 6.30 pm and Thursday 28 September at 4.00 am (AEST)

The global celebration will take place in Oxford, UK on the 28 September 2023.

The opening session will be followed by a high-level roundtable, which will discuss access to information and internet disruptions in the context of the Vienna Declaration adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights.

A series of three panels will focus on: internet accessibility and connectivity; the role of governments, judiciary and information commissioners in securing the proper functioning of the internet as an enabler of the right to information and other human rights; and the need for international cooperation in the field of strengthening access to information for human rights and achievement of the Goals of Agenda 2030.

Register to attend online

Office of the Information Commissioner, Western Australia


Let the sunshine in: A discussion with Professor Peter Coaldrake to mark International Access to Information Day

Wednesday 27 September, 12 pm to 1 pm (AEST), 2 pm to 3 pm (AWST)

Discussion between Catherine Fletcher, WA Information Commissioner and Professor Peter Coaldrake AO on the findings and implications for the WA public sector of the ‘Review of culture and accountability in the Queensland public sector’ (Coaldrake Review)

Register to attend online

Find out about other freedom of information regulators

AustraliaACT Ombudsman
 Information and Privacy Commission NSW
 Information Commissioner Northern Territory
 Ombudsman Tasmania
 Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner
 Office of the Information Commissioner (WA)
New ZealandOmbudsman

IAID 2022

International Access to Information Day 2022 website

The international theme chosen by UNESCO for IAID 2022 was ‘artificial intelligence, e-governance and access to information’, which encouraged us to explore how our digital world can improve access to information. In the Australian context, it presented an opportunity to consider how we enhance openness through e-governance. We looked at the importance of building robust e-governance systems and digital platforms that enable access to information for all members of the Australian community.

IAID 2021

International Access to Information Day website

The theme for IAID 2021 – open by design – highlighted the need for governments to consider how they will make information accessible from the start in policy development, projects and service delivery, and release information proactively. This includes information that is commonly sought or identified as valuable or necessary for open and accountable government. Another key theme was to promote the value of access to information in fostering innovation and helping everyone participate in our democracy.