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Community-led refugee sponsorship: What can Australia learn from the UK experience?

26 July 2018
5.30pm – 7.00pm AEST
The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
This event has ended

Ordinary citizens around the world are coming together to sponsor refugees, an experience that can transform individual lives and strengthen communities. As Australia is now shaping its own refugee private sponsorship initiative, it’s a critical time to learn from international best practice.

Join us for a discussion with Dr Russell Rook, a leading international expert, who will share his experience in developing the UK’s community-led model of refugee sponsorship, which gives charities, faith groups, churches and businesses the opportunity to support and resettle refugees.

He will be joined by Khanh Hoang from the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, and Shankar Kasynathan from Amnesty International Australia, who will talk about the history and future of community refugee sponsorship in Australia.

About the speakers:

Khanh Hoang is a PhD candidate at the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW. His research examines prospects for community sponsorship of refugees in Australia drawing upon historical and comparative perspectives. He previously lectured in migration law at the Australian National University, and was a Legal Officer in the Migration and Refugee Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Australian Law Reform Commission.

Shankar Kasynathan is Refugee Campaign Coordinator for Amnesty International Australia. He came to Australia with his family seeking refuge from the early years of the civil war in Sri Lanka. He has worked with asylum seekers and refugee communities in Victoria, NT and the ACT. He has been an adviser to State and Territory Ministers and has worked on campaigns with Oxfam Australia and the National Heart Foundation. He has degrees in Economics and Public Policy.

Dr Russell Rook is a partner at Good Faith Partnership, where he worked with government and civil society to develop the UK’s Community Sponsorship Scheme for Refugees. He is chair of Reset, a charity building local community capacity to welcome and integrate refugees across the UK, and regularly works with the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative, helping other countries to develop sponsorship programmes. Previously, he worked for the Salvation Army, served as Parliamentary Aide to Baroness Sherlock of Durham in the House of Lords, and was an advisor to then Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband MP.