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20 July 2022

New podcast explores Australia's offshore processing policy for asylum seekers

The first episode of the new podcast Australia: Inside Out takes a close look at the history and politics behind the Australian offshore processing model.

People at refugee protest holding 'refugees & migrants welcome here' signs

The UK Government’s proposal to process asylum seekers in Rwanda is influenced by Australia’s policy of offshore detention, which has sent thousands of asylum seekers to the Pacific Islands nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea since it was introduced more than 20 years ago.

The first episode of Australia: Inside Out explores the history and politics behind the Australian model, and evaluates how successful the model has been in stopping asylum seekers arriving by boat. It features several experts on offshore processing, including one of the politicians behind the original policy implementation.

Australia’s offshore processing policy has been incredibly contentious and there’s more to it than we see in the media. I hope this episode sheds light on offshore processing, its entanglement with politics and what we can learn from Australian experiences with people smuggling and asylum seeking.

Dr Agnieszka Sobocinska, podcast host and Director of the Menzies Australia Institute

Australia’s policy of offshore processing became increasingly strict from 2001, when it was first implemented, until its peak in 2012, when over two and half thousand people were held in detention in Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

By then, these people were told that they would never be settled in Australia, even if they were found to be genuine refugees.

The first episode explores the purpose of the policy and Australia’s rich history with asylum seekers and people smuggling, with people escaping World War II, the Iron Curtain, Vietnam and more.

Experts featured include Madeline Gleeson (UNSW), Alexander Downer (King’s College London), Dr Jordana Silverstein (University of Melbourne), Professor Antje Missbach (Universität Bielefeld) and Associate Professor Julie Kalman (Monash University).

To find out more, listen and subscribe

The Australia: Inside Out podcast series seeks to explore aspects of Australian politics and society that are relevant to the UK and beyond.

Find the full episode on Acast or through your preferred podcast provider by searching for "Australia: Inside Out"

In this story

Agnieszka Sobocinska

Director of the Menzies Australia Institute