You can read the report by the Refugee Council of Australia and UNSW Sydney Grand Challenges of the inaugural conference Refugee Alternatives: Improving Policy, Practice and Public Support, held 22- 23 February 2017. You can read the full report, the outcomes of the conference and a supplementary report below.
The conference injected broader thinking and focused outcomes by ensuring that lived experience and good practice are the foundations of strategic, fair and improved policy development: that people with lived refugee experience drive the design, content and delivery of solutions. By partnering with those that are best placed to ensure over 40% of the 70 speakers and moderators were from refugees and asylum seekers backgrounds.
The conference gave an opportunity to discuss, share, learn and contribute to new understandings. With the central focus on ‘alternatives’, the space supported new ideas and partnerships that were both inspirational and hopeful, as well as providing a platform for concrete recommendations for action.
Over the course of the two days, more than 350 people from refugee backgrounds, academia, service provision, advocacy, policymaking, government and engaged individuals came together to collaborate and discuss policy and practice. The broad range of expertise made for riveting, purposeful engagement on a range of themes including good practice in resettlement; innovation within education; mental health and resilience; youth issues; deconstructing the drivers of forced migration; refugee industries. From these sessions, a range of clear cross-cutting priorities, strategic outcomes and platforms for action emerged.