The Fifth Estate
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Immigration has long been among the most contentious, and highly politicised, areas of Australian public policy. The past 20 years have seen a drastic increase in Australia's intake of migrants, as well as an increasingly punitive approach to managing asylum seeker arrivals; an approach that has attracted censure from human rights groups.
Does the recent outcome of the class action between Manus Island detainees and the Commonwealth represent a turning point? And what impact will new changes to 457 visas and the Australian citizenship test have on the fabric of our communities?
For this Fifth Estate event, Sally Warhaft meets human rights activist, former refugee and orthopaedic surgeon, Munjed Al Muderis and GetUp!’s human rights campaign director, Shen Narayanasamy. Join them for a discussion of the Australian immigration experience and its broader implications.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
Munjed Al Muderis is an Australian trained orthopaedic surgeon, and a Squadron Leader in the Australian Air Force Reserve. He is also an ambassador for the Australian Red Cross, a human rights activist and a refugee. Munjed came to Australia by boat.
Apart from his academic and clinical roles, Munjed is heavily involved in humanitarian work volunteering his time as a surgeon and as a human rights advocate. He has affiliations with Amnesty International, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and represents the Australian Red Cross.
Shen Narayanasamy is GetUp!'s Human Rights Campaign Director. She founded the No Business in Abuse project, targeting corporate involvement in offshore detention of asylum seekers, and led #LetThemStay, which prevented the deportation of hundreds of asylum seekers to Nauru.
Recently, she led GetUp's response to the Federal Government's attempts to change the Racial Discrimination Act, and ongoing attempts to change citizenship requirements. Shen's background is as a human rights lawyer and advocate, working in Australia and across the Asia Pacific on issues of economic justice and land rights.
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This long-running series is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne. Our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft hosts guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations to dissect pressing questions of policy, power and public affairs. It's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.
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