Event details
Event Start Date: 12/09/2017
Event End Date: 12/09/2017
Time: 6.30pm

Location: Edition Bookbar, 181 Harris Street, Pyrmont
Drinks and canapés will be served.

Book launch - Asylum By Boat: Origins of Australia’s refugee policy

We invite you to join us for the launch of Asylum By Boat: Origins of Australia’s refugee policy by Dr Claire Higgins. The book will be launched by special guest David Marr.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017, 6.30pm
Edition Bookbar, 181 Harris St, Pyrmont
Drinks and canapés will be served

In 1976, the first refugees from Vietnam sailed into Darwin Harbour, seeking asylum.

What followed is an astonishing story of necessity and invention by the Fraser government, vividly told in Asylum by Boat: Origins of Australia’s Refugee Policy (NewSouth), by Kaldor Centre Senior Research Associate Dr Claire Higgins.

Through exclusive access to UNHCR records and interviews with key players, this important new book traces how Australia's original principled position on refugees was shaped – and how it was gradually eroded by political exigencies, leading to today’s dramatically different approach.

‘A behind-the-scenes account of how Australia’s asylum seeker policy moved from humanity to inhumanity.” –Professor Gillian Triggs

Dr Claire Higgins is an historian and a senior research associate at the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW. She is a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar, and completed doctoral study in History as a Clarendon Scholar at the University of Oxford. Claire has previously held the Margaret George Award at the National Archives of Australia, and in 2017 she held a visiting Postdoctoral Fellowship through the Australian European University Institute Fellowship Association Inc., to pursue research into safe pathways to protection for asylum seekers.

David Marr is the author of Patrick White: A Life, Panic, The High Price of Heaven and Dark Victory (with Marian Wilkinson). He has written for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Saturday Paper, Guardian and The Monthly, and been editor of The National Times, a reporter for Four Corners and presenter of ABC TV’s Media Watch. He is the author of five bestselling Quarterly Essays.


The Kaldor Centre plays a vital role in developing legal, sustainable and humane solutions for displaced people around the world.