"Boat people” and borders: changing political debate on asylum seekers

Date 13:00 PM 29 August 2017 - 14:00 PM 29 August 2017
Location Room 920, Melbourne Law School 185 Pelham Street, Carlton

Presented by John van Kooy, Research Fellow, Work and Economic Security, Brotherhood of St Laurence

Language used by politicians to describe people seeking asylum can influence how they are viewed by the general public and how they are treated by federal policy. This seminar will present research on the use of the term "boat people” in the Australian parliament from 1977 to 2013.

Over time, parliamentary language on “boat people” has shifted from concerns with humanitarian aid towards a focus on border control. As the debates have changed, people seeking asylum have been increasingly represented as security threats to be controlled both within and outside Australia’s borders.

About the Refugees and Forced Migration Seminar Series

Across 2017, the Melbourne Social Equity Institute and Researchers for Asylum Seekers (RAS) are partnering to present a fortnightly seminar series on topics related to forced migration, refugees and people seeking asylum.

Events are held between 1 pm and 2 pm on Tuesdays at Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton. All events are free and open to all. Bookings are not required. For further information email social-equity(at)unimelb.edu.au,/a>

Download a PDF flyer of the program or visit the Melbourne Social Equity Institute events page for further details.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes