Monday September 15 2003 21:00pm WST
For Immediate Release
During the last weekend of September (27/09, 28/09) West Australian refugee group Project SafeCom will call together high-profile and outspoken refugee advocates from around Australia for a weekend exposť on the social, national and international cost of Australia's asylum seeker policies under the Howard government.
In an ambitious event, held at the University of Western Australia, Project SafeCom will show footage previously shown on Australian television, while professionals such as psychiatrist Dr Louise Newman, human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC, as well as federal politicians from The Greens, Australian Democrats and the ALP will comment on the material and the issues it presents.
Amongst the politicians' line-up are ALP member Dr Carmen Lawrence and Democrats' leader Andrew Bartlett, while the Australian Greens are represented by Senator Kerry Nettle.
From Hassan Ghulam, the Bribane-based President of the Hazara Society, a strong focus on the plight of the Afghani and Iraqi refugees is expected, especially in the context of the threats of possible deportation looming over hundreds of TPV holders, currently living in the Australian community, while former Woomera teacher Tom Mann is set to relate some issues arising from his time in the most notorious of Australia's detention centres.
The second day of the Symposium is dedicated to a Forum titled "The Bill: Restorative Justice post Howard" [convened in UWA's Octagon Theatre] - set beyond the next election, where the ALP only just scambled in to form government on the back of preferences from Greens and Democrats.
The Forum will address the issues of restoring notions of social justice, and compensation arising from current government policies, and panelists will formulate the cost to Australia's international standing, to asylum seekers in detention as well as those living in the community, the cost to legislation and public service instrumentalities, and the cost to those in the Australian community who embarked on supporting refugees in the face of their explicit vilification by the Howard government.
Media representatives are welcomed at the event - please make prior arrangements. Interviews on location at the conclusion of the Forum or in session breaks will be made possible.
All information relating to this event is posted on the Project SafeCom website, accessible by following this link:
DOWNLOADABLE PROGRAM FLYER (PDF)
FORUM PRESENTERS' SCRIPT
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
phone: 041 70 90 130