POLITICS and PROTEST: The Fight for Refugee Rights
Australian Refugee Action Network
Second National Conference

Melbourne, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 July, 2018

Download the full program here as either double sided A4 or A5 folded version.

The AUSTRALIAN REFUGEE ACTION NETWORK conference is open to anyone interested in refugee activism and advocacy.

Register now – the conference is now less than 4 weeks away !
Registrations: www.trybooking.com/375468 (registrations close 30 June)

Conference fees
Concession $40 Full $75
Conference dinner $35  – Tamil Feast at rooftop venue in CBD

See links to some low cost accommodation below

Can you assist with a donation to help us assist people with lived experience with travel and accommodation expenses to attend the conference ? See details below

Saturday 7th July Conference program – 8.30am – 5.15pm
Conference Dinner – 6.30pm Tamil Feast at a rooftop venue in CBD

Sunday 8th July Conference Program – 9am-11.15am
Morning Tea – 11.15am-12noon
Election of ARAN Committee – nominated delegates – 12noon-1pm
ARAN Committee meeting & lunch 1-2pm

Opening Address: Julian Burnside – human rights and refugee advocate, and documentary maker (Border Politics) will talk about the effects on our society of adopting ideas that reject humanity and undermine democracy.

Panel Discussion: Political Context and Challenges for the Campaign for Refugee Rights: Dr John Minns (ANU) , Najeeba Wazefadost , advocate and former refugee, Emmanuel Kondok, NSW Community of South Sudanese and Other Marginalised Areas group (CSSOMA) and Southern Hope Community Organisation and former refugee, and Shen Narayanasamy, GetUp!’s Human Rights Campaign Director.

Panel Moderator: Corinne Grant, Human rights advocate, lawyer, media personality and comedian


The conference program will include opportunities to:

  • Reflect on the current context and political environment
  • Consider campaigning priorities and strategies
  • Sharing success stories
  • Share knowledge and skills
  • Networking discussions – faith communities, unions, students and LGBTI communities
  • Informal networking

Workshops with short presentations and sharing between participants:
Protests, actions & vigils – RAC Vic, Adelaide Vigil, and others
Lobbying politicians and letter writing – Linda Cusworth (CRAG)
Raising community awareness and changing attitudes – ASRC – Conversations for change;  Burhan Zangana (RCAN)
Creative activism and using social media – workshop lead by Counteract
Campaign planning – workshop lead by Sam Dariol, Refugee Council of Australia
Media strategies – Wes Cusworth , refugee advocate and former journalist
Sharing your story to influence others – workshop lead by Centre for Multicultural Youth, with Zaki Haidari
Establishing and building activist groups – presenters Jan Govett (RAR), Dulce Munoz (Mums for Refugees), Sophie Singh (Canberra RAC)

Discussion on the role of ARAN in strengthening the campaign for refugee rights

Election of ARAN Committee
The ARAN Committee is elected by delegates from the member groups – each member group is invited to nominate voting delegates and candidates for election to the Committee.

ARAN member groups are requested to:

  • Nominate two delegates to vote in the election to choose the ARAN Committee members for 2018-19. Delegates will need to be present at the Conference session on Sunday morning  (8 July)
  • Nominate one or more candidates to stand for election to the Committee (noting that the Committee only one representative from any member group may be elected).  Note:  Delegates may also be candidates.   Candidates will need to provide a brief statement about why they are standing for election to the ARAN Committee.  Ideally candidates will be present at the election session, but candidates may be elected in absentia.

ARAN member groups are requested to provide the names of delegates (and any candidates) by 30 June.


If you can’t attend the conference, but would like to support a person from refugee background to attend, you can make a donation at www.trybooking.com/375468  or direct deposit – Australian Refugee Action Network, Bank Australia BSB:313-140  Account Number 12135574. All donations will be much appreciated.

Enquiries:   email austrefugeenetwork@gmail.com    or text or call 0409 252 673

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS: there are low cost accommodation options near the conference venue. Some of these are:

https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-6371-ibis-budget-melbourne-cbd/index.shtml#section-description  Ibis Hotel   97-103 Elizabeth Street Close to conference venue

http://www.jasperhotel.com.au/   Jasper Hotel   489 Elizabeth Street    Closest to conference venue

Perfectly located on Elizabeth Street in Melbourne’s thriving Market Precinct, the vibrant, newly refurbished Jasper Hotel is a full-service boutique hotel offering 90 contemporary rooms and suites with free Wi-Fi, casual dining options at Jasper Kitchen and extensive conference and meeting facilities.

http://www.cqmelbourne.com.au/our-venues/citiclub-hotel/hotel-rooms-online-bookings  CitiClub   113 Queen St close to conference venue    Affordable double and twin rooms

https://greatsouthernhotel.com.au/great-southern-hotel-melbourne/       Great Southern Hotel    44 Spencer St, Great Southern Hotel Melbourne – Excellent, affordable accommodation in the heart of Melbourne City. Great Southern Hotel Melbourne is close proximity to public transport, restaurants, night life and shopping district, ideal for leisure and corporate clientele.

http://www.auraonflinders.com.au/     Aura Apartments   534 Flinders St, 1 bedroom   $119  (2/3 people), Two bedroom  (4 singles)   $199

https://spacehotel.com.au/       Space Hotel    380 Russell St, Melbourne. Space Hotel is a merge between up-market backpacker accommodation and budget boutique hotel. This is budget accommodation as it was never meant to be. Offering a wide range of room options for budgets both big and small. With modern designer rooms featuring iPod-docking stations, high quality mattresses and flat screen TVs, not to mention spaces to play games, watch movies, workout and lounge around; it’s the best way to discover all that Melbourne has to offer.

http://www.citycentrebudgethotel.com.au/       City Centre Budget Hotel      22 Little Collins St, Cheap rates – A small 40 room family run Hotel with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, offering good quality, clean budget accommodation.  All our Double, Twin, Family and Single rooms have opening windows for natural ventilation, 32 inch LCD TV, Fridge, tea & coffee making facilities, and Free wireless internet access in room.

https://www.atlantishotel.com.au/about/    Atlantis Hotel   300 Spencer Street

http://urbancentral.com.au/cheap-accommodation-melbourne.html      Urban Central     334 City Rd, Melbourne Backpackers, dormitory, double rooms, twin rooms, family rooms ( low price, 5 minutes’ walk to the free tram zone)

Home Stay/Billets A limited number of home stays with local activists will be arranged – if you wish to register for a home stay choose this option when you book.

CONFERENCE VENUE: ANMF Building, 535 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne (near Victoria Market) See map here

Venue for the conference is generously provided by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation – Victorian Branch.

WANT MORE INFORMATION? Email austrefugeenetwork@gmail.com including your phone number if you would like a call back. Use Subject line – ARAN Conference enquiry.

Read the report on the first national conference held in 2017 here