Image by Victorian Green Party

Podcast: Changing attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers

11 October 2019

Episode summary

On this week’s episode of Policy Forum Pod, we talk to Julian Burnside about Australia’s role in the establishment of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and why there’s so much hostility in the rhetoric surrounding refugees and asylum seekers.

Episode notes

Despite international criticism, asylum seekers and refugees have been labelled as ‘illegals’, and painted as threats to Australia’s security. On this very special Policy Forum Pod, we talk to Julian Burnside AO QC about why politicians seem to be so unwilling to engage in honest discussions about refugees, and what lessons we can draw from history to change public attitudes and refocus on the value of human rights. Listen here.

Pod presenters Sharon Bessell and Julia Ahrens also discuss Donald Trump’s support for Turkey, Germany’s plans to introduce higher taxes on flight tickets, and look at some of your comments and suggestions for future episodes of Policy Forum Pod.

Julian Burnside is an Australian barrister. He is also a human rights and refugee advocate, and author. Julian stood as a candidate for the Greens in his local electorate of Kooyong in the 2019 federal election.

Sharon Bessell is a Professor at Crawford School of Public Policy, where she is co-leader of the ANU Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) team. The IDM is a new, gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty.

Julia Ahrens is a presenter on Policy Forum Pod.

Policy Forum Pod is available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Subscribe on Android or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.

Filed under:

Updated:  18 September 2020/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team