On 24 May, the Kaldor Centre held a panel event, 'Accounting for Australia’s refugee policy – from the Tampa to tomorrow', a conversation with author and journalist David Marr, Kaldor Centre Director Jane McAdam AO, After the Tampa author Abbas Nazari and Guardian Australia journalist Ben Doherty.

This was a fascinating discussion about where we've come from and where we're going in Australian refugee policy. 'The Australian electorate is ready to have this conversation, it's electing people to its parliament... who are outspoken about this and saying we can do better,' said Ben Doherty.

Hear the panel's reflections on how we can steer a better course for Australia's refugee policy, and what's at stake, in the podcast recording from this event.

Listen to the podcast here.

Abbas described his seven-year-old view from the moment his over-packed boat was saved: ‘Out of the horizon, a small black dot gets closer and closer and closer until it just blocks out the entire horizon. And there’s this giant red metal wall, and it’s the MV Tampa, 260-meter-long behemoth, the pride of the Norwegian Wilhelmsen shipping line.

‘We don't need to be told this is it, up you get… climbing up into the heavens and being rescued, it is both a physical and mental journey that will forever stick with me.’  


If you would like to explore his story, his memoir, After the Tampa: From Afghanistan to New Zealand, is published by Allen & Unwin and is available at all good bookstores.


Banner image credit: Remi Jouan