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Refugee Alternatives 2021 - Rebuilding: Resilience and Innovation - Conference Outcomes Report

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

REBUILDING: RESILIENCE AND INNOVATION

The theme of the conference this year was Rebuilding: Resilience and Innovation. The main focus was on navigating the impact of COVID19 and amplifying the positive initiatives led on the grassroots community level, which emerged as a response to the global pandemic. Through this lens, the various panels and conversations were presented on topics including: Centering community organising and grassroots work in the refugee sector, re-energising international responses to displacement; race, power and privilege in human rights work; supporting mental health and inclusion of LGBTIQ+ people in refugee services; finding solutions for refugees on TPVs and SHEVs; Australia and the Asia-Pacific refugee issues and opportunities of support; allies, partnerships and change in the refugee space; and a youth caucus focusing on shaping policy in the refugee space.

The areas of change that emerged from the conference themes this year included

  • Changing negative attitudes and moving away from victim language when talking about refugees.

  • The importance of lived experience leadership and self-representation.

  • Refugees and people seeking asylum are facing multiple pandemics.

  • Cultural safety in practice: Embodying diversity and collaboration in institutional policies and various systems.

These themes were collated in reference to key themes and topics spoken about by all of the panelists during the conference.