25 September 2022

Refugee conditions unstable, needing a reset: Panellists

Zaki Haidari is a panellist at a discussion on refugee resettlement this Saturday at St Paul’s Cathedral. Image: Supplied.

Kirralee Nicolle

8 September 2022

It is time to reset the discussion on refugee policies after years of punitive measures, an immigration detention researcher from the University of Melbourne says.

Dr Claire Loughnan is set to join a panel of experts at St Paul’s Cathedral on 10 September. The panel is set to discuss alternative ways of handling refugee resettlement. Other panellists are bestselling author and speaker Abbas Nazari and Amnesty International Australia refugee rights campaigner Zaki Haidari.

Dr Loughnan said discussion would draw on examples of differences between refugee policies in New Zealand and Australia. She said that while the Australian government had recently promised more permanent visas to refugees, allocated refugee places were also not being filled each year.

“It’s an attempt [to] try and reset the discussion a bit,” she said.

“There’s a lot of people on temporary protection visas.”

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Dr Loughnan said that examples such as New Zealand offered another way that the issue could be addressed.

“New Zealand is a key example of other ways of doing things. It doesn’t always have to be driven by fear,” she said.

Zaki Haidari said that he would be providing context from his background as a Hazara refugee from Afghanistan. He said his experience in Australia was one of instability.

“I have been living here for the past ten years and I’m still on a temporary protection visa,” Mr Haidari said.

The event is organised by the Refugee Advocacy Network and is happening in conjunction with Academics for Refugees, the Victorian Council of Churches, Amnesty International Australia and St Paul’s Cathedral. 

For more information and to register for the event, see here.

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