We Are Here: Stories of Home, Place and Belonging
Homelessness can take many guises – sleeping rough, yes, but also couch-surfing, squatting, or staying in a refuge, boarding house or caravan park. The same can be said of the people who experience homelessness. Not defined simply by their predicament, they’re a diverse group. They may be siblings, parents, grandparents; people who study or work; people who’ve moved or migrated, yet…
The Wheeler Centre
Never the Less: Disability, Displacement and Human Rights
Photo: Jon Tjhia
More than a billion people live with some form of disability. That’s about 15% of the world's population and yet across the globe, people with disabilities face regular contraventions of their basic rights. These range from egregious abuses – such as being put in shackles – to basic barriers to education, employment, safety and inclusion.
'Having people around you think that you have no future … that's the challenge that people with disabilities face.'Nujeen Mustafa
In this conversation, presented in partnership with Human Rights Watch, we focus on some key issues and priorities relating to disability rights in the region and in conflict zones. Hear from Shantha Rau Barriga from Human Rights Watch, and from author and disability rights advocate Nujeen Mustafa. Nujeen's book, Nujeen: One Girl's Incredible Journey from War-torn Syria in a Wheelchair, tells the story of her extraordinary journey from Syria to Germany in a wheelchair – a journey she undertook in 2014 at the age of 16.
The pair discuss Nujeen’s personal story and speak more broadly on issues of displacement, detention, disability and human rights. Hosted by David Manne.
The Wheeler Centre
Writing in Exile: Samah Sabawi
Samah Sabawi at the Wheeler Centre
‘For Palestinian writers, we write for our lives,’ Samah Sabawi has written. ‘We write to exist.’
Sabawi is an award-winning playwright, author, essayist and poet. She’s also a policy advisor for Palestinian policy network Al-Shabaka, and the second featured speaker in our PEN Writing in Exile series.
Sabawi's family left Palestine following Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip when she was a baby in 1967. She’s lived and worked across the globe throughout her life, but retains strong ties to the place of her birth. In Australia, she’s perhaps best known for her play, Tales of a City by the Sea, which won two Drama Victoria awards in 2016 and has also been rapturously received by audiences in Palestine, Canada and Malaysia. In the same year, the prolific Sabawi contributed to the anthology I Remember My Name, which received Middle East Monitor’s 2016 Palestine Book Award. Her most recent play, THEM, premieres later in May 2019 at the La Mama Courthouse.
Sabawi’s writing is concerned with displacement, conflict and diaspora. ‘Through writing our stories, our poems and songs,’ she has written, ‘we reconstruct our erased past, assert our present and try to shape our future.’ Appearing live at the Wheeler Centre, she talks to Sami Shah about writing for her life.
Presented in partnership with PEN Melbourne.
Right Time: Why We Need an Australian Charter of Human Rights
Australia is the only western democracy without a Charter of Human Rights or an equivalent legal protection. What’s holding us back?
For this discussion, we’re bringing together three panellists – Kristen Hilton, Teela Reid and Gillian Triggs – to discuss the push for a federal Charter of Human Rights. Hosted by Lee Carnie, they’ll outline glaring problem areas in Australia’s…
The Fifth Estate
Right or Duty? Compulsory Voting in Australia
Sally Warhaft, Kim Rubenstein and Judith Brett
In a democracy, should voting be a citizen’s right or a citizen’s duty?
Australia is one of a small number of countries – including Argentina and Egypt – with mandatory voting. Australia is rare, within this small group of nations, in imposing penalties on citizens who fail to turn up to vote. Compulsory voting has been in place here since 1924 and it sets us apart from other advanced democracies. Less than 60% of the US voting-age population cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election.
For this conversation, we bring together citizenship law expert Kim Rubenstein and the eminent historian Judith Brett, author of From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting. They trace the history of our voting system and examine how it’s shaped the tenor of our debates and our sense of ourselves and our representatives – plus, how the system may yet change. With Sally Warhaft, they discuss donkey votes, ballot boxes, barbeques and the wide-ranging implications of compulsory participation.Related listening: Housekeeping Podcast episode
The Wheeler CentreHousekeeping #1: Sizzle / Australia Podcast episode
The Wheeler CentreHousekeeping #2: ID / Government Podcast episode
The Wheeler CentreHousekeeping #3: No-Shows / Australian politics Podcast episode
The Wheeler CentreHousekeeping #4: Scrutiny / Government Podcast episode
The Wheeler CentreHousekeeping #5: Locked Out / Crime
Not Racist, But … Racism in the Workplace
While overt forms of racism in Australian workplaces are outlawed, many people from Indigenous and migrant backgrounds argue that racism is still pervasive – before and after joining a workplace. Last year, a major company’s employment listing overtly preferenced ‘candidates who are Anglo Saxon’. Multiple studies have shown that anglicising names on job applications improves a jobseeker’s prospects, prompting recent…
Anything and everything in Human rights from across our archives.
Explore these other subjects, across our site.