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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


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A Salon as part of the Frayed Lives, Threads of Hope program

Presented by the Australian Fulbright Alumni Association and the Asylum Seekers 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 Seekers 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, and a range of other speakers as listed below.

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.

Tickets are $15 for Adults and $10 for Concession. You can purchase your ticket using the buttons on the left-hand side of this page.

Would you like to be a table facilitator?

Table facilitators will support and encourage discussion at each table and gather key points to share with the plenary group. Dr Mara Adelman will provide a quick training session prior to the Salon. If you would like to be a table facilitator, you may purchase a 'Table Facilitator' ticket at the discounted rate of $10 (places are limited).

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

Frances Rush OAM, CEO, Asylum Seekers Centre

Frances Rush was appointed to the position of CEO of the Asylum Seekers Centre in December 2015. Frances has been associated with the Centre since its inception and was Deputy Chair of the Board prior to her appointment. She brings with her over 30 years’ experience as a social worker in both the government and community sectors and has a wealth of experience in advocacy and policy development. She also has extensive experience as an oral historian having worked on projects at a national and state level.

Iain Butterworth, AFAA President, Frayed Lives program manager

Iain is trained in community psychology, with an interest in healthy, liveable, sustainable cities and communities. He has extensive experience in building innovative, intersectoral partnerships between citizens, practitioners and policy makers.

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

During her postgraduate studies, Shraddha was awarded a Western Australian Postgraduate Fulbright Scholarship to work at the Bellevue/New York University Program for Survivors of Torture (PSOT), as a visiting researcher.

Ms Shukufa Tahiri, Policy Officer, Refugee Council of Australia

Former refugee, and now human rights advocate, Shukufa Tahiri arrived in Australia to reunite with her father who had sought asylum in Australia when she was 13, after fleeing the Taliban rule in Afghanistan. The Australian Financial Review recently named Ms Tahiri in its prestigious 100 Women of Influence awards.

Dr Zachary Dunbar, Frayed Lives musical curator

Zachary Dunbar is Senior lecturer in Theatre and Performing Arts Graduate Research Convenor (Faculty of Fine Arts & Music, University of Melbourne). He trained as a concert pianist and completed his studies as a Fulbright scholar at the Royal College of Music. Since then, he has also developed a freelance career as a theatre director, writer and composer whose works have been produced in the UK, Europe and Australia. As a scholar, he has several publications in Music theatre, Ancient drama, and Theatre history.

Dr Dan Caprar, Fulbright alumnus and Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney Business School

Dan joined the University of Sydney Business School in 2016. His work reflects his interest in understanding how individuals are shaped by the context in which they work, and how, in turn, they influence their context. As such, his research, teaching, and consulting are focused on culture, identity, and leadership. Dan is currently co-editing a Handbook of Contemporary Cross-Cultural Management, including chapters on migrants in general, and refugees in particular.

Musical performance

Bashar Hanna, Community Fellow of Western Sydney University

Bashar is deeply involved with arts and community cultural development projects in the South Western Sydney region. He is the founder of the Choir of Love, the Peacemakers Team & the Mesopotamian Ensemble. In 2014, Bashar established an Arts and Community Development Centre which brings to life meaningful solutions to social challenges faced by diverse emerging Australian communities. Bashar is also the founder and the public officer of the Australian Mesopotamian Cultural Association Inc. In 2018, Bashar was named a Community Fellow of Western Sydney University. An Australian citizen of Mesopotamian descent, Bashar carries a message of peace and love: a reminder that we as humans can live in both intercultural and inter-community harmony.

Connect. Support. Share. Inspire.

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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