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Accounting for Australia’s refugee policy – from the Tampa to tomorrow

24 May 2022
6.30am – 7.30am AEST
This event has ended

In 2001, Abbas fled the Taliban as a child only to be tossed at sea, rescued by the MV Tampa containership, then confronted by armed SAS soldiers. Abbas became a Fulbright scholar and advocate for refugees, based in New Zealand, where his family was ultimately resettled.

"It's likely no one will be held accountable for this flagrant disregard for human rights and international law, or the misery and suffering inflicted on those who ventured in search of a better life," he writes in his acclaimed memoir.

In the two decades since the Tampa affair, Australia’s asylum policies and politics have become even harsher. How should Australia respond to the people forced from their homes by conflicts, disasters or the impacts of climate change, or who are already living in Australia in detention or endless uncertainty? How can we do better?

In the wake of the federal election, this distinguished panel appraised where we’ve come from and what the future holds for people seeking Australia’s protection.


 If you would like to explore Abbas's story, his memoir, After the Tampa: From Afghanistan to New Zealand, is published by Allen & Unwin and is available at all good bookstores.


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