We belong to a world of people on the move - in 2015, 244 million people lived outside their country of origin, including 20 million refugees. These migrants often create vibrant diaspora communities that can become agents of social, political, cultural and economic change in both the homelands they have left behind and in the societies they have adopted. But they can also be conflicted and conservative, bringing with them the conflicts of their homeland. Their energies, insights and people-to-people connections have often been overlooked by their new communities, but policymakers are becoming aware of the potentials they harbor: in supporting international development, peacebuilding, human rights advocacy, diplomacy and even trade. Is there more to diversity than interesting new places to eat? How do diaspora communities become active in processes of local and global politics and what can they achieve? And what role do the conflicts they flee and those they bring with them play in their new lives?
We have four speakers on the panel:
>>Jeremy Liyanage is the director of Bridging Lanka (Australia). Jeremy has also worked in senior policy and program positions in local government, and his primary focus has been in influencing institutional mindsets for increased social and economic inclusion especially for those marginalised by current structural arrangements.
>>Denise Cauchi is the Executive Director and founder of Diaspora Action Australia. She is a human rights and development advocate and practitioner, with a particular focus on armed conflict. She has worked in the protection of human rights defenders in Colombia, with Peace Brigades International, and as a human rights researcher with a Colombian women’s NGO.
>>David Nyuol Vincent is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. He was trained as a child soldier in Ethiopia and lived as a refugee in Kenya until he was twenty-six. Since rebuilding his life in Australia, David has become an advocate for refugees and the Sudanese community. He is a Victorian Human Rights Youth Ambassador and a People of Australia Ambassador. He also helped to set up an all-Sudanese refugee football team, the Western Tigers.
>>Louise Olliff is a doctoral student at University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on refugee diaspora, refugee protection and humanitarianism. Louise is also a Senior Policy Officer at Refugee Council of Australia and has worked for the Centre for Multicultural Youth and World Vision.
Starts: Feb. 2, 2017, 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Alderman (upstairs) 134 Lygon St, East Brunswick
Diasporas in ActionFeb. 2, 2017 Lecturer: Liyanage, Cauchi, Vincent and Olliff
presentation - 45 minutes, open discussion - 45 minutes