The Australian Institute of Families Studies (AIFS) is hosting a seminar on July 16, titled "A truly wicked problem: Dealing with the complexities, realities and impact of the refugee debate" which may be of interest to some of our supporters to hear from Paris Aristotle AM, Director of Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Inc. (VFST) , also known as Foundation House and Dr. Ida Kaplan, Direct Services Manager VFST.

Mr Aristotle was one of the expert panel members (together with retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC, AFC and Professor Michael L’Estrange AO) appointed by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship in June last year to provide advice on the best way forward for Australia to prevent asylum seekers risking their lives on dangerous boat journeys to Australia.

The report, handed down in August last year, made 22 recommendations including increasing Australia's humanitarian intake, introducing offshore processing as well as encouraging the government to continue the Malaysian solution idea. The ACL's then Managing Director Jim Wallace spoke to the ACL's Katherine Spackman on the Political Spot about the recommendations at the time. Mr Wallace said he was encouraged by the report's recommendations which acknowledge the need to deter people from making the boat trip. He said even though many of Australia's neighbours aren't signatories to the refugee convention, a proper regional solution requires involvement with our neighbours which can be achieved through Malaysian solution type models. Listen to Jim's comments on the Political Spot here.

Yesterday Mr Aristotle wrote an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald titled It is time all sides work together to halt needless asylum seeker drownings urging for a proper regional system which involves Malaysia and Indonesia. He said in the video interview with Fairfax's Tim Lester that it’s important that policy discourages people from engaging people smugglers or makes it unnecessary to do so. He urged the Parliament to take immediate action.

The upcoming seminar hosted by the AIFS is being held in Melbourne. However, there are some limited places available to participate via webinar.

For more information and to RSVP see AIFS seminar series presentation website.