Refugee Alternatives Conference

  • Western Sydney
  • 6 – 7 July  2021

BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION Save the date for 2021!

In its fifth year, the conference is heading to the heart of Western Sydney. After the success of Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane, the Refugee Council of Australia are thrilled to return to NSW, in partnership with the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University to bring you Refugee Alternatives on 6 and 7 July 2021. 

The Refugee Alternatives Conference brings together a broad range of expertise covering topics of displacement, protection, cooperation, wellbeing, resilience, education, advocacy and unity from across the country and around the globe. By partnering with those that are best placed to find solutions to current issues, the Refugee Alternatives Conference is an important event that engages the vast knowledge and expertise of those with lived experience.


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 When & where ?

Tuesday 6 July & Wednesday 7 July 2021

Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University


Parramatta  South Campus

Victoria Road, Rydalmere, Parramatta NSW 2150


For all conference

queries please contact us at


By car: Take the James Ruse Drive exit off the M4. Entry is via Victoria Road.

By bus: Buses stop outside the campus on Victoria Road. Bus routes: M52, 520, 521, 523, 524 and 525.

By train: Rydalmere station is a 10-minute walk from the campus. 

By shuttlebus: Check the WSU Shuttle Bus Schedule for more information.

Take the James Ruse Drive exit off the M4. Entry is via Victoria Road. Entrance to Parramatta South campus is via Victoria Road. 


Parking fees apply.

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.

Canberra Statement in support of LGBTIQ+ refugees 

Did you attend the Special Session on conference day two entitled, 'Queer Displacements: working towards safety and inclusion of LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum and refugees'? Facilitated by Azlan AP, Tina

Become a sponsor

Find out how you can support the Western Sydney 2021


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

Past conferences

Read about our past 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 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.

Ensuring that we can do so safely is our priority. We are currently developing our COVID Safety Plan in conjunction with our event partners and the NSW Government guidelines. We will be keeping you updated on this event planning via this website and other Refugee Council media channels.

GET EXCITED ABOUT CONFERENCE 2021 #AltRefugee More updates coming soon

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.