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December 2017

Post date – 11 December 2013

Update on the Centre’s activities for 2013

It has been a busy 6 months for the staff at the Centre for Human Rights Education (CHRE) so we thought it was time for an update of our work.

On top of our postgraduate teaching and our 10 year anniversary events that have been organised by Gaylene Galardi with help from all CHRE staff, we have been involved in a range of local, national and international activities, research publications, conference presentations and seminars, and media engagements. See below for details.


Lynda Blanchard & Freya Higgins-Desbiolles (eds) Peace Through Tourism: Promoting Human Security through International CitizenshipLondon: Routledge, 2013.


Lucy Fiske. ‘Social Work Values and Refugee Policy.’ AASW National e-Bulletin, 8 July 2013.

Caroline Fleay and Linda Briskman (2013). Hidden men: Bearing witness to mandatory detention in AustraliaRefugee Survey Quarterly, 32(2), 112-129.

Lisa Hartley, Anne Pedersen, Caroline Fleay and Sue Hoffman (in press) “The situation is hopeless, we must take the next step”: Reflecting on social action by academics in asylum seeker policy debate. The Australian Community Psychologist.

Farida Fozdar & Lisa Hartley (2013). Civic and ethno belonging among recent refugees to AustraliaJournal of Refugee Studies. doi: 10.1093/jrs/fet018

Farida Fozdar & Lisa Hartley (2013). Housing security for refugees in Western AustraliaHousing, Theory and Society. doi:10.1080/14036096.2013.830985

Farida Fozdar & Lisa Hartley (2013). Refugee resettlement in Australia: What we know and need to knowRefugee Survey Quarterly. doi: 10.1093/rsq/hdt009

Farida Fozdar, Brian Spittles, and Lisa Hartley (in press). Australia Day, flags on cars and Australian nationalism. Journal of Sociology.

Yirga Woldeyes (2013). Elitdom and the Discourse of Relevant Education in Africa. In J. Lunn, S. Bizjak & S. Summers (Eds.), Changing Facts, Changing Minds, and Changing Worlds (pp. 202-218). Perth: Black Swan Press.

Conference presentations and seminars

Lynda Blanchard ‘Fridge magnets, women & peace: negotiating citizenship according to human vs strategic security’ Psychology of Women’s Conference (London, UK) July 2013.

Lynda Blanchard ‘Peace through tourism: promoting human security through international citizenship’ – book launch. Critical Tourism Conference (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina) June 2013.

Lucy Fiske, ‘We are human: Detained refugees’ struggle for recognition as human,’ at A Post-Human World? Rethinking anthropology and the human condition. University of Sydney, 13 June 2013.

Lucy Fiske ‘Social work values and refugee policy’ at the Australian Association of Social Workers (ACT) Annual Dinner, 28 May 2013.

Caroline Fleay ‘Research into Mandatory Detention in Australia: Reflections on the Representation of Asylum Seekers‘ at Researchers for Asylum Seekers Conference, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 20 September.

Caroline Fleay ‘Bearing Witness in Hidden Spaces‘, Seminar at Swinburne Institute of Social Policy, Swinburne University, Melbourne, 18 October.

Lisa Hartley and Caroline Fleay ‘Experiences of “No Advantage”: Asylum Seekers Living in the Community’. Settling in Western Australia: Government, Service Provider, Community and Researcher Forum. Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre, 25 September 2013.

Lisa Hartley. ‘Asylum seekers living in the community: Living with a loss of dignity’. Forth Western Australian Transcultural Mental Health and Second Australasian Refugee Health Conference. Duxton Hotel, Perth, 31 October 2013.

Mary Anne Kenny, ‘Age Determination for unaccompanied minors in Australia.‘ Paper presented at the National Forum on Children and Young People from Refugee Backgrounds,’ University of Sydney, 15 July 2013.

Mary Anne Kenny, ‘Complementary Protection and Children.’ Paper presented at the National Forum on Children and Young People from Refugee Backgrounds, University of Sydney, 16 July 2013.

Mary Anne Kenny, ‘Recent Developments in Refugee Law and Policy,’ Annual Sir Ronald Wilson Lecture, Law Society of WA, Central Park, Perth,  6 August 2013.

Mary Anne Kenny, ‘Safe, effective and legal: there is another way for refugees.’ Presentation at the Italian Club, Perth WA, 31 August 2013.

Local and national activities

Caroline Fleay was a Visiting Scholar at the Swinburne Institute of Social Policy, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne from 16 September – 25 October. During this time she met with asylum seekers living in the community in Melbourne as well as academics, activists and non-government organisations who work in the area of asylum seeker and refugee rights. Organisations visited include the Refugee Council, Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project and AMES. Caroline also participated in various academic and community forums, including presenting at the Academics and Advocates Refugee Network in Fitzroy on 17 October on the work of a human rights academic.

Mary Anne Kenny, Caroline Fleay and Lisa Hartley all participated in the UN High Commissioner for Refugees consultation meetings in Canberra on 14-16 October. The annual consultation drew together key academics, lawyers, refugee and asylum seeker support agencies and peak bodies from around Australia to discuss policy developments, latest research and their implications for further work in this field.

Mary Anne Kenny was one of the speakers at the WA State Labor Conference on the topic “Building support for a more compassionate refugee policy” on 2 November 2013. Other speakers were Melissa Parke MP, Young Australian of the Year Akram Azimi and Senator Sue Lines.

Yirga Woldeyes, one of CHRE’s very own PhD students and a sessional lecturerparticipated in the finals of Curtin University’s three minute thesis competition on 1 October. The competition was held in two stages where winners at the Faculty heats competed in a University wide final. Yirga successfully competed in both heats and was awarded the people’s choice award at the finals.

International activities

Lynda Blanchard was an invited scholar at the Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa’e (UNTL) East Timor. During the visit gave guest lectures  to peace studies students and met with staff to further develop collaboration for human rights education, cross-cultural and academic exchange—September 1-8.

Lynda Blanchard invited with three PhD students to visit Chuo University (Law School) Japan from Nov. 15-24.  As part of the collaborative project “Diversity, Human Rights & Civil Society” co-coordinated with Mike Nix as a student-centred mentoring peace and human rights education exchange programme,  funded by the Australia-Japan Foundation.

Lucy Fiske travelled to Nairobi and Malindi in Kenya and Kampala, Gulu and Amuru in Uganda in September and October to conduct fieldwork for AusAid ADRAS funded project Making Transnational Justice Work for Women. During the visit Lucy and her colleagues from Action Aid and the University of Sydney ran a capacity building and inception worship for in-country partners from Uganda, DRC and Kenya and then travelled to research sites to conduct preliminary interviews and focus groups with women affected by mass violence.

Mary Anne Kenny visited Nauru twice on 31 July – 1 August and from 1-4 September as part of a delegation from the Interim Joint Advisory Committee in relation of the Regional Processing Centre on Nauru.  While there she met with Nauru officials, Australian contractors and asylum seekers.  As part of her visit she has prepared a report and recommendation for submission to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.


Lucy Fiske, interviewed by BBC World Service on Australia’s attitudes towards asylum seekers, 26 July 2013.

Lucy Fiske, interviewed by Associated Press International Television News on Australian asylum seeker policies, 3 September 2013

Caroline Fleay and Lisa Hartley, interviewed by SBS for the SBS Detention Centre website launched in 2013.

Mary Anne Kenny, ‘School fees visa breaches UN Treaty,’ interview by Kim MacDonald for The West Australian, 23 August 2013.

Mary Anne Kenny, interviewed by Perth’s RTR FM Morning Magazine Program on awareness of refugee issues during World Refugee Week, 18 June 2013.

Post date – 12 December 2013

10th Anniversary Events – November 2013

Photography exhibition
Public presentation, opening night and artist talk with photojournalist, Barat Ali Batoor, Walkley award winning Hazara photographer
Venue: Kidogo Art House, Fremantle; Building 210, Curtin University
Sponsored by the Curtin Centre for Human Rights Education.

About Barat Ali Batoor
Barat Ali Batoor was born in 1983, into a family that was driven out of Afghanistan during civil war when most of his people were massacred. He returned to his ancestral country for the first time after September 11 2001, when the Taliban regime was still in Kandahar despite the U.S. campaign to oust them. After visiting the devastation and destruction of 23 years of war, he decided to work for his country and to draw the world’s attention to the plight of the Afghani people and the problems facing the country.
He chose photography as his medium of expression.

Batoor started photographing in 2002 and launched his first solo exhibition in 2007. His photographs were exhibited in Denmark, Dubai, Australia, Pakistan, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and Afghanistan. His works have been published in magazines, newspapers and catalogues such as The Washington Post, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Stern, India Today, Afghan Scene, Risk Magazine, The Global Mail, The West Australian, Strategic Review and others. He participated in “Lahore Artist Residency” by VASL in Lahore, Pakistan and was the 2009 winner of a photography grant from New York’s Open Society Institute for the project “Child Trafficking in Afghanistan/The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan”.

He was the winner of the Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year 2013 award as well as being the winner of the Photo Essay category.

Presentation, Opening and Artist Talk
It was a privilege for the Centre to organise the Perth photo exhibition showing the works of Nikon- Walkley award winning Hazara Afghani photojournalist Barat Ali Batoor. He exhibited 21 of his images taken in Afghanistan at the Kidogo Art House in Fremantle, Western Australia, from the 21st of November until the 8th of December 2013. The exhibition attracted interest from many people who were drawn to the story the photographs tell of daily life in Afghanistan and the story of the Dancing Boys.

While Batoor was in Perth (visiting from Melbourne), there were several activities he was involved with through the Centre, surrounding the exhibition. Batoor spoke to a small group at Curtin University on the 22nd of November, telling his journey from being an asylum seeker to becoming an award winning photographer a few months after arriving in Australia from Indonesia. Director of the Centre, Mary Anne Kenny, introduced Batoor to the attendees of the seminar before Batoor showed his photos from his journey as an asylum seeker.

The official opening of the exhibition was held on the evening of the 22nd of December. There were approximately 70 people who came along to the gallery from 6pm to 8pm. Mary Anne Kenny from the Centre and Kevin Cooper from Fuijifilm Australia both spoke about Batoor and his work, prior to Batoor addressing those who had come to the opening to support the exhibition.

On Saturday the 23rd of November, Batoor gave an Artist’s Talk at Kidogo to approximately 20 people who were interested in hearing more about the story of the photographs and how Batoor managed to get permission to take the photographs that forced him to flee Afghanistan and attempt to get to Australia on a sinking ‘leaky boat’.

Thank you to Barat Ali Batoor for exhibiting his work in Perth and for speaking to different groups to explain his work and his journey. Thank you to Kidogo Art House owner Joanna Robertson and staff who were fantastically helpful throughout the exhibition process and for extending the exhibition until the 8th of December. Thank you to all who went along to support the exhibition. Batoor will be releasing his book and documentary about his journey to Australia in 2014.

Barat Ali Batoor giving artist floor talk at Kidogo Art Gallery

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June 2013

Post date – 26 June 2013

Refugee Week 2013 – Consciousness raising by Centre staff

Events around the country and the globe were held to mark World Refugee Week from the 16th to the 22nd of June this year. Contributing to local awareness of refugee issues, Centre Director Associate Professor Mary Anne Kenny was interviewed by local radio stations on two days. One interview you can listen to online was broadcast on RTR FM in the Morning Magazine program on the 18th of June. An excerpt of the interview content is below. Click here to access the program recording and go to 55 sec in the stream to hear the interview with Mary Anne.

‘Compere refers to Federal Greens Melbourne MP Adam Bandt’s comments at the World Refugee Day rally on Sunday, who said we see a creation of a permanent underclass in our society, where people really in need of protection face indefinite mandatory detention. Kenny says there has been a deterioration in the quality of debate on this issue. She says we need to shift the focus to the valuable contributions that refugees have made to Australia. She says the Refugee Week aims to educate people about some of the issues refugees face. She says the Refugees Convention tries to provide protection for those fleeing prosecution in their own country. Compere mentions the theme for the Refugee Week is “Restoring Hope”. Kenny says a variety of groups, including the Refugee Council, have organised the ‘Walk for Refugee’ this weekend [22 June] in Fremantle. She says the government really needs to protect refugees and take a leading voice in the Southeast Asian region.’

Another place you can find the Centre’s researchers contributing to awareness on the issues facing refugees and asylum seekers in Australia is on the SBS Detention Centre website. Dr Caroline Fleay and Dr Lisa Hartley were interviewed by SBS in 2012, the results of which can be seen on the website by clicking on the Future link.

SBS website screenshot

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February 2013

Post date – 24 April 2013

The People Smuggler: An evening with Robin de Crespigny

The event ‘The People Smuggler: An evening with Robin de Crespigny’, hosted by the Centre for Human Rights Education(CHRE) and the Refugee Rights Action Network (RRAN) at Curtin University on Thursday 28 February 2013, was a successful evening with 120 people in attendance. You can listen to the audio recording of the presentation or view the video of Robin addressing the audience and answering questions about the book by clicking this link.

People from various backgrounds came along to listen to and ask questions of Robin. Dr Caroline Fleay from the CHRE was the MC for the evening, opening with an introduction to the CHRE and introducing the speakers. Mr Walter McGuire Junior, Traditional Owner and Nyoongar representative for the Wadjuk Tribal Clan delivered the Welcome to Country.

Marcus Hampson from RRAN spoke about his experiences in Thailand and Indonesia at the end of 2012.  He spoke of his meetings with asylum seekers, refugees, non-government organisations and community groups. He shared some of their stories with the audience. Caroline then discussed the complexities of people smuggling operations in order to introduce the theme of the book.

Robin de Crespigny explained how she came to write ‘The People Smuggler’ and spoke about the Iraqi asylum seeker, Ali Al Jenabi, the man behind the story. Robin expanded on the experience of writing the book with him and read excerpts from the book and highlighted some of the reasons for his decision to become involved in people smuggling.  Robin discussed Ali’s experiences in prison and in immigration detention in Australia and his current plight as he has been denied a permanent visa to stay in Australia.  Robin then answered questions from the audience.

A call to action was made at the end of the evening, asking for individuals to support a campaign to lobby for Ali to be given a permanent visa to remain in Australia. For more details, please go to Robin’s website where there is a form letter you can use as a template to send a letter or email to the Minister for Immigration, Brendan O’Connor.

Thank you to Robin for taking the time to speak at the event after a busy week of speaking engagements. We also thank RRAN for co-hosting with us and for greatly assisting in the organisation of the event.

Please click this link to listen to the audio recording of the presentation or to view the video of Robin speaking. You can view more photos on our Photo galleries page.

(By Gaylene Galardi and Mary Anne Kenny. Photos by Gaylene Galardi)

Robin de Crespigny, Marcus Hampson, Caroline Fleay

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