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Shen Narayanasamy on the Great Immigration Con

When

The Di Gribble Argument returns for a third year, pushing us into constructive disagreement in efforts to break a conversational deadlock. This year we’re taking on one of the most intractable conversations in Australian public life: stopping the boats.

We are – proudly – a flourishing multicultural society. Most of us carry family histories of migration, seeking safety and prosperity in this vast and varied continent. But something is broken. We spend billions imprisoning asylum seekers on remote Pacific Islands. Whenever this offshore regime hits the headlines, we reach a dead end before we even start. The solution is not ideal, chorus politicians and pundits, but there simply is no other way.

Only a country that hides from its migrant past and present could accept such a fiction – but that is Australia today. From Pauline Hanson’s return to 457 visas, we continue to leave immigration policy and practice to fear-mongering politicians and disingenuous shock-jocks.

It’s time for a proper argument. One that lays out the stunning changes to our social contract on immigration that quietly took place behind the mantra of Stop The Boats. One that looks at the system in its entirety, that replaces publicity-snatching catchphrases with a broader, deeper perspective. And an argument that actually proposes solutions. As she did in her work on the No Business in Abuse and #LetThemStay campaigns, human rights campaigner Shen Narayanasamy will bring together business, government and social threads to detonate the dead end nature of this debate.

In conversation with the Wheeler Centre’s co-head of programming, Sophie Black, Narayanasamy will articulate the argument she presents at the annual Di Gribble Argument dinner – and you’ll have a chance to raise insights, disagreements and questions of your own. #argument16

Featuring

Shen Narayanasamy

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 ... Read more

Sophie Black

Sophie Black is head of special projects at the Wheeler Centre where she has worked on projects such as the writers scheme The Next Chapter, the podcast mentoring scheme Signal Boost, the multi-award-winning podcast, The Messenger, and the ABC RN program, Talkfest. Previously she was editor-in-chief... Read more

Location

The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.