The Refugee Council of Australia and UNSW Australia would like to extend a warm welcome to our Refugee Alternative 2017 speakers. Watch this space as we will continue to announce new speakers over the next few weeks

Munjed Al Muderis (Keynote)

We are delighted that Munjed will be joining us as a Keynote Speaker at the Conference. Assoc. Pro Al Muderis is an Australian trained Orthopaedic Surgeon and a Squadron Leader in the Australian Air Force Reserve. He is also an Ambassador for the Australian Red Cross, human rights activist and a refugee. Munjed came to Australia by boat.

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Gillian Triggs (Keynote)

Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs is the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, with a five year appointment. She was Dean of the Faculty of Law and Challis Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney from 2007-12 and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law from 2005-7. She is a former Barrister and a former Governor of the College of Law.

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Ahmad Shuja

Ahmad Shuja

Ahmad Shuja is the Afghanistan research associate in the Asia division of Human Rights Watch. Ahmad monitors the human rights situation in Afghanistan, researching and reporting on human rights issues…

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Ajak Kwai

Ajak Kwai

Ajak’s music is inspiring and soulful, infused with funky afro-beats representing the depth and richness of her South Sudanese roots. Her performances are filled with vibrant sounds and her distinctive…

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Angela Nickerson

Angela Nickerson

Angela Nickerson is Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychology at UNSW Australia, and Director of the Refugee Trauma and Recovery Program. Following completion of her PhD at UNSW in…

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Arash Bordbar

Arash Bordbar

Arash is a 23 year-old refugee from Iran living in Australia. He traveled to Malaysia at the age of 17 and registered with UNHCR in Kuala Lumpur. He spent five…

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Arif Hazara

Arif Hazara

Arif Hazara, an ethnic Hazara refugee from Afghanistan, came to Australia as a young asylum seeker in 2011. Based in Melbourne, Arif is a fourth-year Professional Accountancy student, concurrently working…

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Arnold Zable

Arnold Zable

Arnold Zable is an acclaimed Australian writer, novelist, storyteller, and human rights advocate. His books include Jewels and Ashes, The Fig Tree, Café Scheherazade, Scraps of Heaven, Sea of Many…

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Behrouz Boochani

Behrouz Boochani

Behrouz Boochani graduated from Tarbiat Madares University in Tehran with a Masters Degree in Political Geography and Geopolitics. Mr Boochani began working as a journalist both  freelance and for various newspapers…

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Caroline Fleay

Caroline Fleay

Dr Caroline Fleay is Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, where she teaches human rights and conducts research into the experiences of people seeking asylum…

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Caroline Lenette

Caroline Lenette

Dr Caroline Lenette is a lecturer of social research and policy in the School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia. She has a background in human services and social development.…

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CeCe Adjoa Hylton-Dei

CeCe Adjoa Hylton-Dei

CeCe is a dynamic young woman who is highly driven with a passion for public health and youth engagement, especially within culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. Currently working for…

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Corinne Prince-St-Amand

Corinne Prince-St-Amand

Corinne first joined Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) almost 8  year ago as the Director General of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO). She has served as the Director General…

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Daniel Thein Tha Nya

Daniel Thein Tha Nya

Daniel Thein Tha Nya is a Karen refugee from Burma. He migrated to Australia 8 years ago. Prior to his migration, Daniel lived in a Thai refugee camp on the…

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David Manne

David Manne

David Manne is a human rights lawyer and migration agent, and Executive Director of Refugee Legal (previously the Refugee & Immigration Legal Centre (RILC)). He has worked in various capacities…

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Eileen Pittaway

Eileen Pittaway

Adjunct Professor Eileen Pittaway, AM, Phd (Refugee Policy and Management). From 1999 to 2013 Eileen was Director of the Centre for Refugee Research, University of New South Wales, and Associate…

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Elizabeth Ferris

Elizabeth Ferris

*Elizabeth Ferris has regretfully had to withdraw from attending the Conference though will be supporting the development of the Conference outcomes. Elizabeth Ferris is Research Professor with the Institute for the Study of International…

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Elizabeth Lang

Elizabeth Lang

Elizabeth Lang is an experienced community development practitioner and has worked extensively with young people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds for over seven years in WA. As a passionate…

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Emmanuel Musoni

Emmanuel Musoni

Emmanuel Musoni is the current chair of Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development International (GLAPDInt), a community organization that was founded in 2012 in Sydney NSW. Not only did…

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Grace Edward

Grace Edward

Grace is an emerging theater practitioner from Queensland. She is currently studying her Masters in Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. Grace has always been a…

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Hani Abdile

Hani Abdile

Hani Abdile is a Somali writer and spoken word poet who fled the civil war treaty apart Somalia the last two decades and made her way to Australia by boat where she…

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James Cogswell

James Cogswell

As a documentary producer, James looks for innovative ways to turn passive viewing experiences into active engagement surrounding social issues. Cast from the Storm is the second feature documentary James has…

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Jana Favero

Jana Favero

Jana has worked for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) for 7 years, where she is currently the Director of Advocacy and Campaigns. Jana’s varied career path has included communication…

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Jane McAdam

Jane McAdam

Professor Jane McAdam is Scientia Professor of Law and Director of the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW. Professor McAdam is a Fellow of the…

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Jennifer Hyndman

Jennifer Hyndman

Jennifer Hyndman is Professor in the Departments of Social Science and Geography, and is Director of the Centre for Refugee Studies at York. Her research focuses on conflict asylum and…

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Leeanne Torpey

Leeanne Torpey

There are alternatives to child detention that are cheaper and more humane: this message is at the heart of the Global Campaign to End Child Immigration Detention of Children, which…

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Lena Nahlous

Lena Nahlous

Lena Nahlous is currently the Executive Director of Diversity Arts Australia and has managed arts, screen and digital media initiatives that have engaged thousands of people, particularly women, refugees, migrants and young…

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Lilianne Fan

Lilianne Fan

Lilianne Fan is International Director and Co-Founder of Geutanyoë Foundation, a regional humanitarian organisation based in Aceh, Indonesia and Deputy Chair of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN). She…

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Linda Bartolomei

Linda Bartolomei

Linda is the immediate past Director of the UNSW Centre for Refugee Research (CRR), a co-founder of the recently established Forced Migration Research Network and a senior lecturer in Social…

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Lux Ratnamohan

Lux Ratnamohan

Lux Ratnamohan is a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Outside of clinical work, he is interested in exploring the intersection of migration, identity and inter-generational processes from psychoanalytic and post-colonial perspectives.…

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Mahir Momand

Mahir Momand

Mahir Momand is a Microfinance expert who has lived 2/3 of his life as a refugee. Mahir has recently been appointed as CEO of Thrive Refugee Enterprise. Thrive is established…

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Maria (Nyaluit) Phalpang

Maria (Nyaluit) Phalpang

Maria (Nyaluit) Phalpang is South Sudanese by birth. Maria has lived in Australia for 10 years now and will be soon registered as a qualified Nurse. Maria completed her studies…

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Michael Green

Michael Green

Michael Green is a journalist in Melbourne. He is the coordinator of Behind the Wire, an oral history project about Australian immigration detention. A book of these stories, called They Cannot Take…

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith

Fr Michael Smith SJ is a Jesuit priest. For the past 17 years he has been the Head of College and Academic Dean of Jesuit College of Spirituality, which is one…

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Michelle Bui

Michelle Bui

Michelle Bui is a research assistant in the faculty of Media, Culture and Creative Arts at Curtin University. She is currently involved in a project called Deathscapes which seeks new ways to…

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Muzafar Ali

Muzafar Ali

Muzafar Ali worked for the United Nations in Afghanistan for seven years. His role as a UN staff member was to strengthen democracy, foster human rights situation and supporting women…

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Najeeba Wazefadost

Najeeba Wazefadost

Since arriving in Australia as a refugee from Afghanistan Najeeba Wazefadost has graduated from a Bachelor of Medical Science at the University of Western Sydney and is now studying a second degree…

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Om Dhungel

Om Dhungel

Om Dhungel, formerly a refugee from Bhutan, brings a diverse range of Board, Management, Community Development and Volunteering experience. Currently a Westpac Social Change Fellow, he is a consultant and a practitioner of Strength-based approach…

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Omid Tofighian

Omid Tofighian

Omid Tofighian. NCCC and Philosophy, University of Sydney, is a lecturer, researcher, and community advocate, combining philosophy with interests in rhetoric, religion, popular culture, transnationalism, displacement and discrimination. He completed…

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Paul Power

Paul Power

Paul Power has been Chief Executive Officer of the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), the national umbrella body for 200 agencies working with refugees and asylum seekers, since 2006. Paul…

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Phil Glendenning

Phil Glendenning

Phil Glendenning is the Director of the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education and was recently appointed President of the Refugee Council of Australia. He was one of…

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Prudence Melom

Prudence Melom

My name is Prudence Melom- founder of E-raced. I’m originally from Chad but have been leaving in Australia since 2007. Before coming to Australia, my family and I lived in…

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Robin De Crespigny

Robin de Crespigny

Robin de Crespigny is a Sydney film-maker, writer, producer, director and a former Directing Lecturer at AFTRS Film School. While living in New York she discovered a passion for film-making…

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Robyn Sampson

Robyn Sampson

Dr Robyn Sampson is an internationally recognised expert on alternatives to immigration detention. Her research on alternatives to detention, undertaken with the International Detention Coalition, is a key resource in…

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S. Nagaveeran

S. Nagaveeran

S. Nagaveeran, also known as Ravi, fled Sri Lanka due to brutality suffered through the civil war and the ongoing persecution of Tamil people. He arrived in Australia having traveled…

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Sally Baker

Sally Baker

Dr Sally Baker is a Research Associate at the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Ed at the University of Newcastle. Dr. Sally Baker researches equity, language, literacies, culture and…

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Sayed Barkat Hussainizada

Sayed Barkat Hussainizada

Sayed Barkat Hussainizada (Barkat Hussainizada) is an Australian Afghan who came to Australia in 2005. He is an actor, community ambassador, Youth Coordinator, community language teacher and Orthoptic student. Barkat…

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Sayed R Hussainizada

Sayed R Hussainizada

Sayed Rahmatullah Hussainizada is a very committed individual and an advocate for the Afghan community. His immense involvements in the community is complimented with his keen interest for human rights…

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Shukufa Tahiri

Shukufa Tahiri

Shukufa Tahiri is a Policy Assistant at the Refugee Council of Australia. Shukufa Tahiri was born into a Hazara family in Afghanistan. Forced to flee her homeland, Shukufa’s family lived…

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Simon Shahin

Simon Shahin

Simon Shahin is a 2nd-year Electrical Engineering Student at Western Sydney University. Simon is interested in the fields of sustainability and renewable energies. Simon is a determined, flexible, and polymath…

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Stephi Hemelryk Donald

Stephi Hemelryk Donald

Stephi Hemelryk Donald is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and professor of comparative film and culture at UNSW. She has previously served as Dean of Media at RMIT,…

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Susanne Schmeidl

Susanne Schmeidl

Susanne Schmeidl is a Lecturer in Development and member of the newly established Forced Migration Research Network at UNSW Australia. She is scholar-practitioner with twenty years practical experience at the intersection…

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Tamara Domicelj

Tamara Domicelj

Tamara Domicelj is the Regional Refugee Protection Adviser with Act for Peace (the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches Australia) and Deputy Chair of the Asia Pacific…

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Tanya Jackson-Vaughan

Tanya Jackson-Vaughan

Tanya Jackson-Vaughan is the Executive Director of RACS. Since 2001, Tanya has been working to improve the lives of asylum seekers and migrants. Prior to joining RACS, Tanya was an…

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Tenneh Kpaka

Tenneh Kpaka

Tenneh was born in Blama, Kenema district, Eastern Province, Sierra Leone and was formerly a police officer with the Sierra Leone Police Force. She arrived in Australia on 21 October…

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Thomas Albrecht

Thomas Albrecht

Mr. Thomas Albrecht is the Regional Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra, with geographical responsibility for the region, which includes Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated…

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Tim O’Connor

Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor is the Communications Director and currently the Acting Chief Executive Officer at the Refugee Council of Australia. Tim O’Connor has worked in the arenas of human rights, international…

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Tina Dixson

Tina Dixson

Tina comes from a diverse human rights background, previously working in the areas of HIV prevention, LGBTIQ rights and currently with people seeking asylum. In 2011, she drafted and presented…

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Toby Chapman

Toby Chapman

Toby Chapman is a curator and producer of contemporary visual art who has delivered a broad range of artistic and cultural projects in partnership with local, national and international organisations.…

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Velvy Holden

Velvy Holden

Velvy Holden was co-founder of the Australian National Committee on Refugee Women and became the Executive Director of ANCORW. She has worked with refugee women for 35 years in South…

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Verónica Tello

Verónica Tello

Verónica Tello is a Chilean-Australian writer based at UNSW. She is currently researching a number of collaborations between refugees, artists and activists focussed on addressing the colonial, racial inequity that…

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Vicki Mau 

Vicki Mau 

Vicki Mau is National Manager – Migration Programs at Australian Red Cross. This portfolio incorporates programs supporting “migrants in transition”, including people who are seeking asylum; in immigration detention; facing destitution; who…

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Viji Dhayanathan

Viji Dhayanathan

Ms. Viji Dhayanathan is an experienced community advocate and has worked extensively for people with a disability from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds as well as for Tamil refugees and…

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Yiombi Thona

Yiombi Thona

Yiombi Thona is the current Chair of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) and a Professor at Gwangju University where he is teaching Human Rights, Forced Migration, Diaspora, NGO, African Studies…

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Please see the sponsorship opportunities available. If you would like more information about any sponsorship or the work of RCOA, please don’t hesitate to contact Ewan Isbister at ewan.isbister@refugeecouncil.org.au or on (02) 9211 9333.

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