Refugee Alternatives 2020

  • 13 – 14 FEBRUARY


In its fourth year, the conference is heading north to the Sunshine State. After Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, we are thrilled to be partnering with QUT (Queensland University of Technology) to be presenting the conference in Brisbane.

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 across 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 experiences. 

Gabriel rapping
Conference MC Gabriel Akon (DyspOra), Adelaide 2019


Working together with and for refugees

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.


This year’s conference theme emboldens us to rise to the challenge of maximising our potential for change, within the current hostile policy landscape. At Refugee Alternatives 2020, we will come together to brainstorm how to bring about a humane approach to refugees and people seeking asylum, led by the people who have lived this experience first-hand. We will challenge ourselves as individuals and as a movement to move beyond business as usual, to forge new alternatives and to make them a reality.  


Community Sponsorship Side Event

This year is shaping up to be an important time for the future of community sponsorship in Australia.  At the end of 2019, the Federal government committed to review the


Explore Curtin University's Master of Human Rights Course

We are so excited to have the Centre for Human Rights Education at Curtin University as our sponsor for this year's Refugee Alternatives conference. This two-day event brings experts from


Stories of Systematic Racism - Performance by Voices of Colour

As part of the Refugee Alternatives Conference week 2020 - we are thrilled to be partnering with Voices of Colour to bring you their incredible performance 'Stories of systematic racism'.Stories

LISTEN Event Speakers

Aamir Ali

Hope Co-Op

Amiel Nubaha

Thousand Hills Inspire, Rwandan Association of Queensland

Ana Pocrnjic

Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT)

Anne Hilton

Communify, Asylum Circle

Arash Bordbar

Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN)

Dominic Golding

National Ethnic Disability Alliance: NEDA

Elizabeth Niyokushima

Mater Refugee Health Advisory Group

Emmanuel Musoni

Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development (GLAPDI)

Graham Thom

Amnesty International Australia

Guled Mire

Community Advocate, Writer, Speaker, Third Culture Minds

Gulnara Abbasova

Harmony Alliance

Hafsar Tameesuddin

Human Rights Defender, Refugee Representative & Refugee Rights Activist

Kelly Nicholls

Refugee Council of Australia

Manal Younus

Writer, Spoken Word Artist, Advocate

Mengistu Hailu

Romero Centre

Mia-lia Boua Kiernan

International Detention Coalition

Nick McGuire

Logan City Council

Nishadh Rego

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia

Om Dhungel

RCAN NSW, Om Dhungel Consulting

Rebecca Eckard

Refugee Council of Australia

Rebecca Langton

Refugee Council of Australia

Renee Dixson

Queer Sisterhood Project

Rhanna Collins

National Indigenous Television (NITV)

Rnita Dacho

Refugee Council of Australia

Sally Baker

Refugee Education Special Interest Group

Sally Morgan

HOPE Co-Op Secretary, Refugee Education Special Interest Group (RESIG)

Savitri Taylor

La Trobe University

Sediqa Karimi

Mater Refugee Community Advisory Group, MIPH. RN. BSc.

Shankar Kasynathan

Amnesty International Australia

Shukufa Tahiri

Refugee Council of Australia

Tina Dixson

Queer Sisterhood Project

Vicky Jacobson

Refugee Health Network QLD

Wayne Briscoe

Queensland Government Department of Local Government, Racing & Multicultural Affairs

Zita Ngor

Women's Legal Service (SA)


  • 9am-4pm

    QUT Collaborative Conversations: Co-creating a Research and Action Agenda

    Hosted by QUT Faculty of Health on the Gardens Point Campus Collaborative Conversations is to gather individuals passionate about making a difference in the area of forced displacement. The event aims to gather diverse stakeholders to engage in a participatory day of co-creating a research and action agenda to improve our understanding of key issues in order to inform policies, programs, and promoting positive community experiences.


    The morning sessions will focus on identifying critical issues and the research and action strategies needed to address those concerns. The aim is to work collaboratively across key stakeholders (e.g., community members and leaders, policy/advocacy organisations, the higher education and non-profit sectors) to discuss the challenges and opportunities for collaborative research agendas. Mapping exercises will help to identify key issues and recommendations for collaboration will be formed.

    The afternoon sessions will focus on building strategies and momentum to advance this agenda, including facilitated conversations on media and messaging, and the role of artistry for advocacy and story-telling. Reserve you place HERE


    Find out about the different sessions & draft agenda here


    Tickets on sale via Refugee Alternatives Eventbrite

  • 10am-5pm

    Movement Networking Day

    Every year, the Refugee Council of Australia brings together people from the campaigning and advocacy side of the refugee movement to meet, share updates and plan together.


    Catering: Snacks and lunch will be provided for this event.


    Cost: We are asking for nominal contributions to help us cover the costs of running the event. You can make this contribution as a donation after registering for the event. Our recommended donation amounts are: Waged: $40 | Unwaged: $20 | Refugee Community Member: Free . If cost is a barrier to you, please email Samuel at Samuel.dariol@refugeecouncil.org.au 


    RSVP: https://action.refugeecouncil.org.au/movement_network_2020  

  • 9.15-11.00

    Welcome and plenary: The challenge of change

    The conference will begin with a welcome to country and a welcome to conference.

    Following this, this plenary will explore the topic of the challenge of change.

  • 11.30am-1pm

    Plenary: Unpacking Lived Experience

  • 1pm-2.15pm

    Side event: Delegate debrief@The Spot

  • 1pm-2.15pm

    Side event: Community Sponsorship Event

  • 2.15-3.45pm

    Parallel session: Media & representation

  • 2.15pm-3.45pm

    Parallel session: How to hold the Government to account

  • 2.15pm-3.45pm

    Parallel session: Regional communities

  • 4pm-5pm

    Plenary Showcase: Ways of working: Collaboration, reconciliation, self-representation

  • 5.15pm-6.15pm

    Panel (special session): Mental health and wellbeing

  • Side Event: Voices of Colour - Stories of Systematic Racism 5.30pm - 6.20pm

    Voices of Colour presents 'Stories of Systematic Racism ' -  Stories of systematic racism is a 50 minute show that unravels the meaning of systematic racism using story, dance, rap and song. It uses art to explore the social and institutional powers that support the oppression of a “racial other” in Australia. This performance combines both personal story and well researched statistical facts that will leave the audience with a basic emotional and intellectual understanding of how racism operates.

    Find out more about the performance and where you can purchase tickets here

  • 5.30pm-8pm

    Welcome event

    Join us for welcome drinks and nibbles at the conclusion of day one

  • La Boite Theatre presents - The Neighbourhood

    A companion piece to La Boite’s critically acclaimed 2017 offering The Village, The Neighbourhood is an intimate story-telling experience that transports audiences across countries, borders, and oceans in search of a home; all from within the walls of the Roundhouse Theatre.

    Presented by La Boite Theatre and Multicultueral Australia, in association with Empite Theatres, The Neighbourhood will be performed during Refugee Alternatives conference week 2020. Find out more about the performance (running every night of the conference week) and purchase your ticket via La Boite Theatre here

  • 9.30am-11am

    Plenary: Australia & the Asia Pacific

    This plenary will include a welcome to Day two and a special session reporting back from the Queer Displacements Conference.

  • 12pm-1.15pm

    Side event: Youth caucus@The Spot

  • 1.15pm-2.45

    Parallel session: Building communities for change

  • 1.15pm-2.45pm

    Parallel session: Employment

  • 1.15pm-2.45pm

    Parallel session: Navigating the criminal justice system

  • 3pm-4pm

    Plenary: Closing session

  • 4pm

    Conference close

  • 9.30am-4.30pm

    Australian Refugee Dialogue

    Australian Refugee Dialogue by National Refugee Led Advocacy and Advisory Group (NRAAG)

    This is a closed event for individuals who have lived experience as a refugee, seeking asylum or statelessness.

    The National Refugee Advisory and Advocacy Group (NRAAG) is a refugee led entity that envisions to create spaces, platforms and strong voices led by former refugees, people from refugee like backgrounds and people seeking asylum in key decision making tables, public & media discourse. NRAAG envisions to inform key policies, service delivery, campaigns, research, and key initiatives affecting the lives of its constituents with a range of partners and stakeholders.

    You can register for this event here

    Please send your questions and inquiries to: Nraagaus@gmail.com

DON'T MISS OUT Tickets are on sale now via Eventbrite - register today!

All of the previous Refugee Alternative conferences have sold out. Don't miss our and get your ticket now!

(Prices below do not include Eventbrite fees)



For all students and individual community representatives. 




Small community groups and non-governmental organisations.




For those providing services to refugees and people seeking asylum, academics & medium-sized NGOs




Large non-governmental organisations, those working in the corporate and government sectors.


Past conferences

Find out about our past events in 2017, 2018, and 2019


 Applications for the 2020 team are now open - apply today!

Become a sponsor

Find out how you can support the Brisbane 2020 Event

WHO HELPS US Our Sponsors

Co-host & Event Partner


Principal Partners


Major Partners







mater with a colourful crucifix logo

In memory of
Michele Ann Harris OAM

AMRC Australian Multicultural Migrant Resource Centre logo

REACH US Getting There

QUT Garden Points Campus

2 George Street
Brisbane QLD 4000

Conference queries

Email: conference@refugeecouncil.org.au

Refugee Council of Australia head office

Suite 4A6, 410 Elizabeth Street

Surry Hills NSW 2010

Phone:  (02) 9211 9333 

Email: conference@refugeecouncil.org.au

You can travel to and from Gardens Point by bus, train, CityCat (ferry) or taxi.

The campus has its own CityCat stop, and is a short walk from Central and South Bank train stations, and King George Square and Queen Street bus stations.

All public transport in South-East Queensland is run by TransLink.

Brisbane is a very walkable city and has an extensive ferry (CityCat) and bus system.
We recommend delegates use public transport to travel into the city if possible. You can find more information about public transport options from Translink.
Some nearby parking options include:

SELLING NOW! Book your seat