With guests of Multicultural Development Australia
QAG Lecture Theatre
Culture/Social Equity / Home/Family/Childhood
#About the event
Duration: 45 minutes
Reflecting on I'm Australian Too, the panel shares their personal stories and discuss I'm Australian Too and the importance of sharing diverse stories with young people.
Mem Fox, Imitaz Ali, Kagi Kowa, Lili Sanchez
Chair: Kon Karapanagiotidis
Presented in partnership and in conversation with guests of Multicultural Development Australia.
Mem Fox was born in Melbourne, grew up in Africa, went to drama school in England, and came back to Australia in 1970, aged 23.
In 1983 Mem became Australia’s best-selling writer. Possum Magic, her first book, is still available in hardback after 36 years and has become a beacon of children’s literature for millions of Australian families. She has written over 40 children’s books and several non-fiction books for adults. Her books have been translated into twenty-one languages, and many of them have been international best sellers.
Mem is a retired Associate Professor of Literacy Studies from Flinders University, South Australia, where she taught teachers for 24 years. She has received many civic honours and awards, and three honorary doctorates.
Her recent book: I’m Australian Too, takes her back to where she started: her passion for Australia. She hopes it will spark spirited discussions about Australian-ness, create an awareness of Australian immigration over the centuries, and begin to calm the rising racism in her country.
Lili was born in Santiago Chile and came to Australia in 1988. She considers herself as one of the lucky humanitarian entrants to Australia and wishes to make a difference through her work. Lili has been with MDA for almost 3 years more recently in the role of Cultural Competency Facilitator where she gets to take her passion to #changetheconversation to a whole new level, reaching out to the greater community.
Lili has also been involved for the past two years in a theatre production called The Village which is a partnership between MDA and La Boite Theatre company and tells her personal story as part of the production helping #changetheconversation.
Lili Studied a BA in Anthropology and Philosophy and has a passion for understanding and learning about humanity, different cultures and migration.
Kagi was born in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan but sought safety in a Kenyan refugee camp where she lived for most of her young life until coming to Australia in 2015. She painted for the first time three months after her arrival and held her very first exhibition a month later. From that moment on, Kagi discovered that she could use her talent to express her culture and tell her story but also connect to people and provide a platform to give others the opportunities and ultimately, give back to the community. Kagi does this by holding art workshops for the wider community through her social enterprise Nubia Designs.
Born in Pakistan, Imtiaz left his home country as a refugee in 2012. He arrived in Australia by boat on 23/05/12 and spent time in detention centres.
He lived in Sydney for a year while learning English before moving to Brisbane in 2014 where he now calls home. Imtiaz graduated from Yeronga State High School and is currently studying to get his Legal Diploma while working in Aged Care.
Kon Karapanagiotidis is the CEO and founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, the largest independent human rights organisation for refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia. They assist over 5,000 people seeking asylum each year, with the help of over 1200 volunteers and 125 staff.
Kon grew up in a working-class family in a small country town in Victoria. His personal experience of racism and witnessing the exploitation of his parents in factories & farms planted the seeds for his passion for human rights. He started early, by volunteering at his first of 25 charities, a centre for homeless men at the age of 18, and went on to complete 6 degrees and become a lawyer, social worker, and teacher. Kon founded the ASRC at the age of 28.
His work has been recognised with over two dozen awards and honours including: an Order of Australia Medal (OAM), a Churchill Fellowship & finalist for Australian of The Year (Victoria) & the Human Rights Medal, as well as Citizen of the Year in his local community.
His memoir, The Power of Hope is published by HarperCollins Australia.