Refugee Alternatives Conference

  • Western Sydney
  • 6 – 7 July  2021

CONFERENCE THEME 2021 Rebuilding: Resilience and Innovation

Burst of colourful lights with blue and gold

After the success of the conferences in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane, the Refugee Council of Australia is thrilled to return to NSW, in partnership with the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University to bring you the fifth annual Refugee Alternatives on 6 and 7 July 2021. This year we are also doing things a little differently!  We are working towards a hybrid event which will include the opportunity for participants to engage online and on site. 

The conference theme ‘Rebuilding: resilience and innovation” recognises and celebrates the incredible and challenging work that took place over the past 12 months whilst navigating the unprecedented impact of the current global pandemic. Rebuilding through resilience and innovation means building back stronger, igniting new ways of thinking and transitioning towards an even more effective and inclusive way of working together.

Four separate images in square full of colourful conference attendees and man with drum


To promote the development of humane and constructive policies

Over the course of the two days, participants from refugee backgrounds, academia, service provision, advocacy, policymaking, government and engaged individuals come together to collaborate and discuss policy and practice.


JOIN US Online and Face-to-Face


Professional Development Tours of Refugee Camp in My Neighbourhood

The Refugee Camp in My Neighbourhood Project is a side event of the Refugee Alternatives Conference and will be held after the conference from 26 July - 13 August 2021. Professional

Conference Survey: We Would Love to Hear from you!

Each year the Refugee Alternatives Conference is driven by the collective energy of each and every person involved; from the months of planning with the advisory group and speakers, to

Conference Report 2020

We are thrilled to launch our conference report for Refugee Alternatives 2020. You can download the report via the link below. A full list of previous conferences can be found here.

Become a Sponsor

Find out how you can support the conference.


 Keen to get involved? We would love to hear from you.

Past Conferences

Read about our previous conferences .

INTRODUCING Event Organiser and Co-Host

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is the national umbrella body for refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them. With more than 200 organisational members and hundreds more individual members and supporters, RCOA’s work centres around the key areas of research and policy analysis, advocacy and representation (of member, refugee and asylum seeker issues) and community education and awareness raising. 

The Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University is a nationally significant institution delivering distinctive, bold and inspiring policy research and programs that promote common ground, inclusive national identity and civic engagement for all Australians, and is recognised across the political spectrum as delivering a nation-building agenda that will, in Gough’s words, “…help the great and continuing work of building a more equal, open, tolerant and independent Australia”.

STAYING SAFE IN 2021 Our COVID-19 Safety Plan

For the past four years, the Refugee Alternatives Conference has been an important time for us to come together, to re-energise and engage in solutions focussed discussions. We are working towards being able to gather again in 2021.

Refugee Council of Australia takes your health and safety seriously. We will comply with NSW Government public health orders to ensure the Refugee Alternatives Conference is safe.

In the event that you feel unwell or cannot travel due to state and border restrictions, your in-person registration can be transferred to a virtual attendance. The registration can be transferred to a virtual registration and the difference refunded. No refunds are available for virtual attendees.
Please contact the team at to process your request.

GET EXCITED ABOUT CONFERENCE 2021 #AltRefugee Book your Ticket

The Refugee Alternatives Conference acknowledges that the 2021 conference will be held on the country of the Darug People of the Darug Nation. We acknowledge their ancestors who have been Traditional Owners of their country for thousands of years. We also acknowledge and pay our respect to the Darug People's Elders past and present.