Australian Fulbright Alumni Association (AFAA)

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  • 2019 Sydney AFAA Salon - Frayed Lives, Threads of Hope: Australia's response to the global refugee crisis

2019 Sydney AFAA Salon - Frayed Lives, Threads of Hope: Australia's response to the global refugee crisis

  • 07 Nov 2019
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, 1 Bedford St, Newtown

Presented by the Australian Fulbright Alumni Association and the Sydney Asylum Seeker Centre

Newtown Neighbourhood Centre

1 Bedford St, Newtown.

Thursday 7th November, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Image Credit: "Coping with Disasters: Refugees and Displaced Persons in South-East Asia" by United Nations Photo 


This special event brings together people with lived experience, representatives from the Asylum Seeker Centre, performers and Fulbright scholars to discuss the global refugee crisis and identify opportunities to strengthen local action.

Frayed Lives

  • The refugee crisis has reached epic proportions.
  • 68.5 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, environmental crises and/or human rights violations.
  • Refugee status is rarely temporary.
  • Only a tiny fraction of the world’s refugees has access to resettlement options.
  • We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record.

Civic society has been redefined through the refugee crisis.

‘Frayed Lives’ doesn’t just apply to people seeking asylum and refugees – but to all members of civic society. Our collective fate as a civilisation is linked to the way that our institutions care for -- or punish -- asylum seekers. The systemic barriers placed in front of asylum seekers not only cause their lives to fray but weaken the social fabric of the wider civic society.

Amazing Speakers, Audience Engagement & Light Dinner

The program features Frayed Lives convenor, Dr Mara Adelman; keynote speakers from Asylum Seeker Centre; speakers from the ASRC Advocacy Bureau and Power Program; and Fulbright alumni with specialist expertise. A performance will be provided by Fulbright Alumni in collaboration with artists connected to the ASRC.

Audience members will be invited to respond to talks in round table discussions and answer the question, “What can I do?”  The presenters have created provocative questions and various options for how we can move to greater understanding and action on this global crisis.  Light dinner will be served.

We are presently waiting to hear about a major grant application which we have submitted for funds. If we are successful then the event will be free. Otherwise, to cover costs this will be a ticketed event with a small fee ($25 waged, $20 concession). We will post details ASAP.

About the curator: Dr Mara Adelman

This event will be led by Dr Mara Adelman, Emeritus Associate Professor of Communication from Seattle University.

Dr Adelman received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington and then joined Northwestern University.  She joined Seattle University, Department of Communication in 1994.  She is author of Beyond Language: Cross-cultural communication for ESL (co-authored with Deena Levine; Prentice Hall, 1987, 1997), and an award-winning ethnographic study of the second largest home for persons with AIDS, The Fragile Community (co-authored with Lawrence R. Frey; Lawrence Erlbaum, 1997).  Her research and scholarship focuses on cross-cultural communication and adaptation, restorative solitude, interpersonal and organizational social interaction.

In 2012, Dr Adelman was a Fulbright Specialist at the Department of Communication at the University of Mekelle in northern Ethiopia and a Fulbright Specialist at the Department of English at Fudan University, Shanghai, China from October-December 2017. In both programs, she developed culture-specific, required courses in Cross-cultural Communication.

Mara recently delivered Frayed Lives to a full house in her home city of Napa, California.

Event speakers

Iain Butterworth, AFAA President

Dr Shraddha Kashyap, psychologist in trauma for refugees, Refugee Trauma and Recovery Program, School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales

Ms Shukufa Tahiri, Policy Officer, Refugee Council of Australia

Australia Fulbright Alumni Association. ACT Registered No. A01934. ABN 99 730 723 674. PO Box 5037, University of TAS LPO, Sandy Bay, TAS 7005.

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