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

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

  • 14 Nov 2019
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Woodward Conference Centre, 10th floor, Melbourne Law (Building 106), 185 Pelham St, Carlton VIC 3053


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

Presented by the Australian Fulbright Alumni Association, the Being Human Festival, the University of Melbourne and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

Woodward Conference Centre, 10th floor, Melbourne Law (Building 106), 185 Pelham St, Carlton VIC 3053

Thursday 14th November, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

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

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

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).

Our major sponsor: the University of Melbourne

AFAA is delighted to be partnering with the University of Melbourne on this initiative. For several years, the University of Melbourne’s Office of the Vice Chancellor has supported AFAA’s quarterly events and our annual Melbourne Salon.

2019 Faculty of Arts International Hub – Being Human Festival


This event is being held as part of the International Hub of Being Human Festival in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. Founded in the UK as the only national festival of the humanities, Being Human is now a global celebration dedicated to demonstrating the breadth, diversity and vitality of the humanities.

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, 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 Karen Block, Associate Director of the Child Health and Wellbeing Program, Centre for Health Equity, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

Dr Block has a strong national profile in the area of migration studies, exploring the interplay between host communities and migrants and the complex ways in which this interaction affects health inequalities, integration, inclusion and social cohesion.

Noosheen Mogadam, Senior Lawyer, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

Noosheen Mogadam has an extensive background in immigration law and policy and is a senior lawyer in the Human Rights Law Program at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. She has also worked as a Protection and Advocacy Advisor across the Middle East in international emergency humanitarian response operations, focused on the Afghan refugee crisis and then the Syrian war. She has worked alongside host governments, the UN and other aid agencies in her positions and is passionate about human rights education, social justice issues, and fostering diversity in leadership. 

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.

Norman Katende, photojournalist and community advocate

Arriving in Australia in 2017, Norman Katende is a Ugandan photojournalist and a former vice president for the Uganda Journalist Union (UJU). He has covered a series of international events including both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, plus the UN Summit and national elections. In 2016 he became the first Uganda Sports Press to cover three Olympic Games. Norman has won numerous awards, including the CNN Africa Photojournalist of the Year (Mohamed Amin Photographic Award), for his photo coverage of the 2010 Kampala bombing during a screening of a World Cup Soccer match in Uganda. Norman volunteers for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. He is also working as a communications coordinator.

Professor Suresh Sundram, Head, Department of Psychiatry, Monash University

Professor Suresh Sundram is Head, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University and Director of Research, Mental Health Program Monash Health and was until recently unit head for adult psychiatry at Monash Medical Centre. He has been involved for fifteen years in asylum seeker mental health and mental health service system development in low and middle income countries and sat on the executive of the World Psychiatric Association section on developing countries. He is an expert consultant on asylum seeker and refugee mental health to the UNHCR and has provided expert advice to the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Department of Home Affairs and non-government organisations.

Musical performance by Mulu and Haftu (Ethiopia)

  • Mulu is a famous singer songwriter who is well known for her singing in Afan, Oromo, region of Ethiopia. Mulu has over 20 songs available on YouTube and uses her music to share Oromo culture and advocate for human rights.
  • Haftu is a musician originally from Ethiopia, who plays the traditional instruments called the Masenqo (a single-stringed violin), and Krar (5 stringed lute-like instrument). Haftu is a regular performer in local Melbourne band 'Music Yared' and in the Melbourne African Traditional Ensemble (MATE)

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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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