Breakout sessions

Breakout sessions will provide an opportunity for interactive discussion on some of the big issues in refugee protection. 

Participants are invited to actively participate in the discussion with video and audio, or to contribute comments or questions through the chat.​

Setting the protection agenda for the next decade

17 Nov 2020, 12.05-1pm

Join this interactive discussion explore the big protection issues in the decade ahead, and delve deeper into the issues arising from our opening panel,

The decade ahead: Defending protection and people on the move.

Discussion facilitator:

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Dr Maryanne Loughry AM (Advisory Committee member, Kaldor Centre)

Maryanne Loughry is a Sister of Mercy and a consultant to Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). She has been associated with JRS since 1986, working as a psychologist and trainer in refugee camps in Southeast Asia, Pedro Arrupe Tutor at the Refugee Studies Centre at University of Oxford and Associate Director of JRS Australia. She is a Research Professor at the School of Social Work, Boston College, USA and a Research Associate at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. She has conducted research, program evaluations and humanitarian training in the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans, South East Asia and the UK. She has served as a member of the Australian Government’s Minister of Immigration’s Advisory Council on Asylum-seekers and Detention (MCASD). She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 for her service to refugees and is a member of the Kaldor Centre's Advisory Committee.

Harnessing tech for protection

18 Nov 2020, 10.05-11am

Discuss the opportunities and risks surrounding the uses of technology in refugee protection, and explore the issues arising from our panel, 

Hope or hype? Hacking through the role of technology in refugee protection

Discussion facilitator:


Dr Eve Lester (2020 Myer Innovation Fellow and Founding Director of Bonigi)


Eve Lester is a public and international lawyer who has more than 25 years experience as a legal practitioner, policy analyst, researcher, advocate, and scholar. In 2020, she is the recipient of a Myer Innovation Fellowship. She is the Founding Director of Bonigi, an organisation using technology to enhance transparency and accountability in the monitoring of conditions in immigration detention. She is the author of Making Migration Law: The Foreigner, Sovereignty, and the Case of Australia (2018). Her work has encompassed high-level policy engagement in Australia and internationally; legal research and analysis; human rights-oriented capacity-building and training; tertiary teaching; and legal practice as a community-based and legal aid lawyer. She is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and has a PhD from Melbourne Law School.

What's strategic in refugee litigation?

19 Nov 2020, 2.05-3pm

 Unpack what it means to be 'strategic' in refugee litigation and where the opportunities lie, in what promises to be a dynamic discussion following our panel,

Courts at the frontier: Can strategic litigation in Australia advance refugee protection?

Discussion facilitator:

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Katie Robertson

(Assistant Director, Melbourne Law School Clinics and Research Fellow, Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness)

@robertson_k_e  @McMullin_Centre

Katie Robertson is the Assistant Director of the Melbourne Law School Clinics at the Melbourne Law School, and a Research Fellow at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness. She has over 10 years practical legal experience in human rights, public interest litigation and the community legal sector both in Australia and overseas. Previously, Katie worked at the Human Rights Law Centre, in Maurice Blackburn’s Social Justice Practice, the Aboriginal Legal Service in Central Australia, and at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. She also has policy and political experience, having worked at Oxfam Australia and as an advisor for a Federal Senator. She has extensive strategic litigation experience and has represented clients from diverse backgrounds including victims of war crimes, refugees and people seeking asylum, Aboriginal clients living in remote communities and victims of corporate misconduct and asbestos disease. Through her work on behalf of refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia, Katie developed a particular interest in the rights of stateless children. She currently coordinates and teaches in the Public Interest Law Clinic.