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11 October 2013

Asylum seeker policy project - Update


"Great initiative. Thank you for giving me the opportunity
to do something tangible."


Last week we let you know about Australia21's new project on asylum seeker policy. This week we report on progress. Just to remind you before we begin, this project aims to
  • Define the problem in an intellectually sound way – concentrating on the core issues (how does the world reduce the number of people being displaced and resettle the ones who have been displaced) rather than just focussing on the the symptoms
  • Set out a roadmap to what a sustainable solution to the asylum seeker issue might look like (at two levels: regional and global)
  • Develop a decent humane response that is within Australia’s control and consistent with all of our international obligations.

It was described more fully in last week's issue which is available here.

Progress on the essay collection
Stage one of the project is to produce a collection of short essays on various aspects of this issue by a diverse group of leading thinkers. We are delighted to advise that the following people have now agreed to write for the collection. 

  • Paris Aristotle AM, Allan Asher, Paul Barratt AO, Admiral Chris Barrie AC (Rtd.)
  • Frank Brennan SJ AO, Julian Burnside AO QC,  Dr David Corlett, Erika Feller
  • Dr John Hewson AM, Tony Kevin, Dr Simon Longstaff AO, Professor Desmond Manderson
  • Professor Jane McAdam, John Menadue AO, Professor Louise Newman
  • Mick Palmer AO APM , Besmellah Rezaee, Professor Kim Rubinstein
  • Professor Gillian Triggs, Widyan Al Ubudy, Arnold Zable.
All of these authors are contributing their time pro bono and we thank them for this. Dr Annalisa Koemann has also undertaken extremely useful background research for this project as an Australia21 volunteer and we would like to express our deep appreciation for this valuable work. 

Where we're at with crowdfunding
We set a modest target of $7,500 to help fund print and online publication of the essays. So far, half this amount has been pledged and we are very grateful for this support. Here are some comments from people who have already  become involved.

  • Great initiative. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to do something tangible.
  • I am SO glad you exist and continue to provide the intellectual leadership and moral courage that seems so sadly lacking in government circles these days!!
  • We HAVE to sort out our asylum seeker policy no matter how difficult it may seem to do so.
  • It was actually fun to use the pozible site.
For those not familiar with crowd funding, no money becomes available unless we reach our target, so the game is not over yet. As well, this target is a minimum. If we can raise more we can do more. 

If you would like to be part of this community effort you can 

 Thanks in advance. We appreciate any help we can get for this very important project.

Australia21 is a small not for profit organisation which seeks to create new frameworks of understanding about the strategic issues facing us in the 21st century.
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