Government and governance, International relations, Law, National security, Social policy, Arts, culture & society | Australia, Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, The Pacific, The World

22 February 2019

On Policy Forum Pod this week, we talk about refugee and asylum seeker policy – both in a global context and in Australia – while also discussing the extreme politicisation of these issues and the consequences that this has brought.

From the scale of the global refugee challenge to whether Australia has got its refugee policy settings right, this week, we take a look at refugee and asylum seeker policies. The panel tackle offshore processing, the politicisation of refugees, the recent medevac bill, and how all these issues might play out in Australia’s upcoming federal election. Listen here:

Our presenters Sharon Bessell and Martyn Pearce, also take a look at government accountability, as well as social welfare schemes that may be doing more harm than good. They also take a look at some of your questions and comments.

This week’s panel consists of:

Bina D’Costa is Senior Fellow/Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations in the Coral Bell School. She is also the school’s Deputy Director of Education. Bina’s research interests span migration and forced displacement; children and global protection systems; gender-based violence in conflicts; and human rights and impunity.

Marianne Dickie is a Senior Academic in Migration Law with the ANU College of Law and Immigration Case Worker for Senator Larissa Waters. As an academic she regularly contributes to Senate inquiries, law reviews and public commentary. Prior to working at the ANU Marianne was the immigration advisor for the Australian Democrats.

Mark Kenny is a Senior Fellow in the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the university after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times.

Our presenters for this week’s podcast are:

Sharon Bessell is the Director of the Children’s Policy Centre at Crawford School, and Editor of Policy Forum’s Poverty: In Focus section.

Martyn Pearce is a presenter for Policy Forum Pod and the Editor of Policy Forum.

Show notes | The following were referred to in this episode:

Crawford School of Public Policy courses

Multimillion-dollar contract between Paladin Security and Department of Home Affairs­­

Billion-dollar empire made of mobile homes

Centrelink payments cut for jobactive participants

Government dole scheme for Indigenous communities

Poverty in Britain and Philip Alston’s findings

Joe Hockey’s comment on ‘lifters and leaners’

Refugee Council of Australia’s submission on inquiry into treatment of asylum seekers and refugees

More information on medevac bill

Global Social Policy course taught by Sharon Bessell

Events surrounding Tampa’s arrival in 2001

John Howard’s election speech: “we will decide who comes to this country”

Pauline Hanson’s call for immigration ban

United Nations’ global compact for migration

New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants

UNHCR Global compact on Refugees

More on Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Angela Merkel’s immigration crisis

Sick refugees taken to Christmas Island instead of mainland

Greens Senator Nick McKim’s tweet: “this is utter bastardy”

Bill Shorten on weakening border protection

Guardian Essential poll on Australian attitudes towards asylum seekers and refugees

Parliament of Australia’s records of costs associated with off-shore processing

Tents on Nauru replaced ahead of Pacific Islands Forum

More on Community Support Program for refugees

Podcast: A war on drugs, or a war on drug users?

Breaking the law article for national security’s sake – Sangeetha Pillai

More on Shamima Begum

More on Neil Prakash and citizenship-stripping

Policy Forum Pod is available on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, Subscribe on Android or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.

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