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Border Politics: Screening and Q&A with Julian Burnside AO QC, filmmaker Judy Rymer and former refugee Hayat Akbari

  • Riverside Theatres Corner Market and Church Street Parramatta Australia (map)

View the Trailer:

Julian Burnside asks - has the West lost its moral compass?

Featuring post-screening Q&A with director and producer Judy Rymer, Julian Burnside AO QC and former refugee Hayat Akbari

The Whitlam Institute is delighted to host the first Parramatta screening of Border Politics, a documentary that follows human rights barrister Julian Burnside AO QC as he travels the globe examining the treatment of refugees in today’s world.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A discussion with Burnside himself, as well as filmmaker Judy Rymer, and former Hazara refugee Hayat Akbari. This powerful contemporary film is described as a reflection on “the threat to human rights, the loss of democratic values and our increasingly heartless treatment of ‘the other’”.

Burnside questions whether the West has lost its moral compass by adopting ideas that reject humanity and undermine democracy, and issues a challenge to us all: “It is not adequate to look back in future ages and say we regret what we did.”

Monday 19 November 2018
Riverside Theatres, Parramatta


Julian Burnside is one of Australia’s leading commercial barristers, successfully representing some of Australia’s most high profile business people.  Until the late 1990’s, he mainly acted for the ‘big end of town’.

But all that changed in 2001 when he was asked to act pro bono in the Tampa Case and discovered that Australia was doing very disturbing things to refugees.

Since then he has become one of the most outspoken defenders of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and a fierce critic of Australian government policy.  He believes that successive Australian governments have failed to meet their international obligations, breaching the Declaration of Human Rights, the International Rights of the Child and the Refugee Convention.

As Burnside says “The human dimension of the problem is kept well hidden. The tragedy is that those who suffer it are politically irrelevant, and those who have the power to change it either do not know or do not care”.