Asylum by Boat is a fascinating investigation into the Australian Government’s welcoming of thousands of Vietnamese refugees during the 1970s in the face of prejudice and panic. Refugee lawyer and writer Claire Higgins details how governments and policymakers have dealt with the confluence of issues emerging from the end of the White Australia policy, a recognition of international responsibilities and shifting public opinion. She speaks to prominent barrister Andrew Boe about her important and timely book.

Claire Higgins ()

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Historian Dr Claire Higgins is a Senior Research Associate at the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW, and the author of Asylum by Boat: origins of Australia’s refugee policy. Claire has also written for The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald and Forbes, and she is currently a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Claire holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford, and was previously a visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute.

Andrew Boe (Australian)

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Andrew Boe is a barrister with chambers in Sydney and Brisbane. He was involved in cases which attracted some public attention including, R v Ivan Milat (serial killer); R v Pauline Hanson & David Ettridge (alleged political corruption); R v Robyn Kina (Indigenous bicultural competence/domestic violence murder); R v Lorna Mackenzie; (pre-emptive self-defence murder by a victim of sustained domestic violence) as well as cases concerning the Palm Island death in custody of Cameron Doomadgee as captured in Chole Hooper’s The Tall Man