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Asylum Seeker and Refugee Rights Advocacy in Australia

This esteemed panel, featuring Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, David Manne and Fadak Alfayadh, will examine the TASA Conference theme of precarity, rights and resistance focused on asylum seeker and refugee rights advocacy in Australia.

Gillian Triggs

Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs is the former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, and the new Chair of Justice Connect, a non-profit dedicated to connecting people locked out of the justice system with free legal help. She is also Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Vice President of the Asian Development Bank Tribunal. Gillian 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 2005-07. She is a former barrister and a Governor of the College of Law. She is also the author of many books and papers on international law, including International Law, Contemporary Principles and Practices.


David Manne

David Manne is a human rights lawyer and Executive Director of Refugee Legal (previously the Refugee & Immigration Legal Centre (RILC)). David sat on the Board of the Refugee Council of Australia for seven years, and currently the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Ethics Committee. He has also been appointed to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Advisory Board of Eminent Persons. David has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Law Institute of Victoria Paul Baker Prize for Administrative and Human Rights Law, the Law Institute President’s Awards (2006 and 2011), and was shortlisted for the Australian Human Rights Commission Human Rights Medal in 2011.


Fadak Alfayadh

Fadak Alfayadh is a lawyer and writer from a refugee background. Her work upholds human rights and ensures access to legal services for those marginalised. Before her current work in community development, Fadak worked in the refugee rights sector. Her work in settlement services was vital to newly arrived refugees. Fadak was the Director of Advocacy at RISE and she is passionate about building and mobilising communities. Fadak is an international and local speaker and commentator, and has had her work featured in Al Jazeera, The Age, New Matilda & Catalogue Magazine.

Panel Chair:

Amy Nethery

Dr Amy Nethery is a senior lecturer in Politics and Policy at Deakin University. She researches migration and asylum policies in Australia and Asia, with a special interest in policy development and immigration detention. Her article ‘Australia-Indonesia Cooperation on Asylum Policy: a case of incentivised policy transfer’ (Australian Journal of International Affairs) was awarded the 2015 Boyer Prize for the best article published by the journal that year. More recently she has written on secrecy and offshore processing, and how asylum seekers use social media to bear witness to their experience of detention.