The Kaldor Centre’s Frances Voon has been named a finalist in the Global Australian Awards, with presenters at calling her ‘a global human rights leader who has dedicated her life to advancing the rights of refugees’.

A ‘2022 Gamechanger’ and finalist in the Social Impact category, Voon was selected from more than 400 nominations.

‘As Executive Manager of UNSW’s Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, Ms Voon provides strategic leadership at the world’s first centre for international refugee law, with the aim of placing evidence and principle at the centre of what remains a divisive topic of public and policy debate,’ the presenters noted

At the Kaldor Centre, Voon has led efforts to foster a positive alternative narrative about how we can respond to refugees, demonstrated through the Kaldor Centre’s Principles for Australian Refugee Policy and the award-winning multimedia project she co-produced, Temporary. She spearheaded the Centre’s mentoring program for refugee scholars.

Voon is also on the board of the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) and has previously worked for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Geneva and South Sudan, for the Jesuit Refugee Service in Jordan, and with the World Food Programme in Bangladesh. She has a UNSW Law degree and earned her Masters at the University of Oxford as a John Monash Scholar.

The Global Australian Awards recognise inspiring Australians who are achieving a global impact – including Australians living and working overseas; Australians who have built their career overseas in the past; international alumni of Australian universities; and recent migrants to Australia. The organisers say the awards showcase people who are innovating in their field and shaping the world.

Award winners will be announced in a free livestream on Wednesday 7 September from 7:30pm AEST, with in-person satellite events open in Sydney, Singapore, London, Los Angeles, New York and the San Francisco Bay area. Anyone can register to receive the link to the live stream.

Voon was also recently named to the list of the ‘40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australians’, honouring her outstanding leadership in advancing the rights of refugees.