Institutional Disrespect

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Whose responsibility is it to address the disrespect felt by immigrants and other marginalised groups in their dealings with government institutions? The book Institutional Disrespect, argues that when disrespect comes in the forms of injustice, institutional mistreatment, or systemic in governance arrangements, the responsibility lies not with individuals but with the state, its institutions and its appointed bureaucrats. Combining theoretical analysis of institutional engagement through the lens of respect with examples of the resettlement experiences of South Sudanese Australians, the book seminar examines how blocked pathways to develop positive self-identities and meaningful lives can lead to a breakdown of social bonds between immigrants and social institutions.

Join our panel as it discusses Ibolya Losoncz's latest book Institutional Disrespect: South Sudanese Experiences of the Structural Marginalisation of Refugee Migrants in Australia (2019).

The book is part of a new vogue of scholarship that points to the broader struggle of democracies relying on institutional processes that are deaf to human needs. It invites us to consider institutional shortcomings, as sources of inequality and injustice. The analysis and findings of this book are important for academics, researchers, public policy makers, and for members of all diasporic, migrant or refugee communities living in Australia.

About the speakers

Dr Ibolya (Ibi) Losoncz is a researcher at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), Australian National University. Her research focuses on the experiences of resettled refugees in their dealings with Australian government and social institutions. She has published in a range of international journals and her recent book Institutional Disrespect explores the destructive consequences of democracies relying on institutional processes that are deaf to human needs. Ibi is a Chair of the Board of Companion House: Assisting Survivors of Torture and Trauma.

Atem is a PhD candidate studying the settlement of Sudanese in Western Sydney. Atem was born in South Sudan and migrated to Australia in 2002. He came to Australia as a humanitarian migrant. He currently lives in Sydney. Atem has been working with refugee and migrant communities in various roles supporting them with settlement and adjustment to life in Australia. In 2017, Atem received the John Gibson Refugee Community Leadership Grant to address the United Nations in Geneva about his experiences as a former refugee and those of other refugees in Australia.

Karen Middleton is chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper, and former chief political correspondent for SBS Television. Karen has worked in the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery since 1989 and served as its president for four years. Her first book, An Unwinnable War - Australia in Afghanistan was published in 2011, followed by a biography of Labor MP Anthony Albanese in 2016 titled_Albanese: Telling it Straight. She has appeared regularly on ABC TV's political talk show Insiders, and is a freelance contributor to ABC Radio, Monocle24 Radio UK and Radio New Zealand. Karen has been a regular volunteer of her time and talent to assist refugee families relocate to Australia.