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    #WithRefugees: Watan Film Screening & speaker Q&A

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    Event description

    Join the UNAA Victorian Young Professionals for a screening of Watan followed by guest speakers and Q&A.

    Watan (Homeland) is a 52-minute documentary that looks beyond the rhetoric and into the human cost of the Syrian refugee crisis. Intimate portraits of refugees in the camps and cities of Jordan reveal a very human struggle for normalcy and dignity in a situation that is everything but.

    The evening provides a platform to discuss the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time in Syria, and the global refugee crisis more broadly.

    We hope to not only raise awareness about the plight of refugees and build empathy but also change the way we, as a society, think about refugees.

    We will also be collecting donations for the Refugee Council of Australia to contribute to their work in supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Australia.

    We are thrilled to have guest speakers Bill Irving, Louise Olliff, and Innocent Karabagega, and the event being facilitated by Erika Feller. With the combined life experiences, expertise and views on the refugee crisis, nationally and abroad, this event is not one to miss. 

    In the meantime you can watch a snippet of Watan here and follow their Facebook page here.

    Event facilitator

    Erika Feller

    Erika Feller is Vice Chancellor's Fellow at The University of Melbourne. From 2005 to April 2013 Ms Feller held the post of Assistant High Commissioner (Protection), one of the four top management positions with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. This was the culmination of a 26 year long career with UNHCR, and had been preceded by 14 years service as an Australian diplomat, in Canberra and overseas.

    For UNHCR, Erika served both in Geneva and in the field. She was the initiator and manager of the 2001-2 Global Consultations on International Protection, which generated the Agenda for Protection, the internationally endorsed global "road map" on protection policy for refugees. She has visited all major refugee situations during her time with UNHCR, and is broadly respected as a refugee law advocate who has been widely published. She was made a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs.

    Guest speakers

    Innocent Karabagega 

    Innocent Karabagega re-started his life in Australia as a refugee from Burundi, Africa, and aspired to become an international human rights lawyer and future president. A 25-year old father of two, husband, brother, friend, employee and law student, Innocent arrived in Australia in 2012. Upon his arrival, the custom officials asked whether he knew of any Australians. He nodded, smiled, and said, ‘yes sir, I know Julia Gillard.’ He had seen Gillard’s face on a poster in the Australian High Commission in Kenya before he started his journey to Australia to commence his new life.

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    Linkedin: Innocent Karabagega


    Louise Olliff

    Dr Louise Olliff works as a senior advisor (policy and community engagement) for the Refugee Council of Australia, where she has been employed in policy, research and advocacy roles since 2009. She completed her PhD in Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Melbourne in 2018, where her research was on the international humanitarian work led by former refugees living in Australia.


    Bill Irving

    Bill Irving is part of a creative team with co-director, James L Brown, based in Australia. Bill is a writer, director and editor of commercials, music videos and short films, having won international and local awards for his work for Fox Sports Australia. WATAN is Bill and James’ first long-form documentary project.

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