Part of a podcast series

The Interrobang

View all episodes in this series

Is the concept of a country obsolete?

Listen to Is the concept of a country obsolete?

Responding to a huge volume of questions on borders, refugees and migration, Geraldine Brooks, Tom Elliott, Voranai Vanijaka and Mark Colvin search for insight and progress on this charged and crucial subject.

'I've had a lot of experience in places where people squander a great deal of human life fighting over five metres of sand. For me, the less borders, the better.'

Geraldine Brooks

As a nation composed mostly of migrants, modern Australia’s relationship with refugees and asylum seekers runs deep: through regional and global wars, famine and disaster, and economic and political upheavals. In recent years, that discussion has become increasingly polarised and fearful. Meanwhile, asylum seekers continue to suffer in conditions that most people agree are unacceptable, cruel.

Throughout all this, Australia’s challenge and policy response has made world news. Now, with Europe’s dramatic influx of refugees mostly from Syria, the question has renewed urgency – of a kind that demands answers beyond the obfuscation of politics.

Photo of the panellists

Left to right: Geraldine Brooks, Tom Elliott, Voranai Vanijaka and Mark Colvin

The Interrobang

Catch up with the best discussions and reflections from The Interrobang: a new festival driven entirely by your questions, from the Wheeler Centre.