Asylum seeker policy

Stage 1 of the project

The first stage is a collection of essays by an unprecedented range of Australian leaders in the law, military, human rights, religion and politics as well as refugees themselves, all seeking new ways of framing the public conversation about refugees and asylum seekers.

The views in the collection do not necessarily represent the views of Australia21. The goal in publishing them is to generate a broader community conversation about humane and reasonable possibilities that could encourage decision makers to examine the feasibility of a fresh new bipartisan approach on refugees and asylum seekers.

The publication was launched by Sir William Deane AC on 17 December 2013 in Canberra. To read the transcript of his address click Sir William Dean’s address.

How to get your copy of the essay collection

Download a free copy of Refugee and asylum seekers – Finding a better way. Purchase a hard copy of the 112 page book for $25 including postage here.AWRefugee-and-asylum-seeker-policy-Finding-a-better-way_Essays1-cover_Page_001-212x300

The second stage of this project will comprise produce a discussion paper to inform stage three which will be a roundtable of experts to suggest policy options.

There is a wide view in the community that we can manage refugee and asylum seeker issues more effectively and more humanely than at present. With the help of some of our country’s leading thinkers Australia21’s project aims to identify options for a better way.

Australia21 raised funds for this publication through crowdfunding using the Pozible platform. As part of the awareness raising campaign associated with stage one, Australia21 director Deb Lavis and Australia 21 Honorary Youth Adviser, Tom Merrett, created the video Ali’s Story ( which tells the story of one refugee who came to Australia as an asylum seeker.


To support Australia21’s refugee and asylum seeker project, click the DONATE button at the top, and bottom of this page.

  • Asylum seeker policy – Background
    Posted: December 15, 2013 - Susan Davidson

    Asylum seeker policy is a complex issue of strategic importance to Australia. If left in its current state it has the potential to cost Australia dearly both in economic terms and via our international reputation. We need, away from the heat of politics, to develop a framework for coherent national strategy that is both sustainable and compassionate, which takes account of legitimate concerns about irregular immigration and which is consistent with our international obligations as a foundation party to the Refugee Convention and as an affluent world citizen.

    Read more

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