Religion & Refugees: Prof Gillian Triggs to launch Dr Sue Ennis’ new book

rmitProfessor Gillian Triggs will launch Dr Susan Ennis’ new book: Religion, Spirituality, and the Refugee Experience in Melbourne, Australia, 1990s-2010 (Palgrave Macmillian, UK. 2016).


Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, and Acting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, will formally launch and share her reflections on Dr Susan Ennis’ new book

About the book:

This book is an in-depth study of selected refugees from Ethiopia, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan. It examines the relationship between the refugees’ religious and spiritual beliefs and the refugee experience. Susan takes a closer look at the circumstances of the refugees’ flight, their asylum, and their initial period of settlement in Melbourne, Australia during the period between the 1990’s and the early 21st century. She finds that a sense of religiosity seemed to aid the refugees, in some way during all stages of their journey. Furthermore, nearly half of the refugees she studied reported a shift in their religiosity over the course of their emigration. Based on her research, Susan puts forward a framework of religiosity and the refugee experience grounded in shifting typologies at each stage of their journey.

“This will become the benchmark study for the leaders of the multicultural and religious organisations, NGOs and INGOs…. The study’s findings will have a significant impact on our understanding of the refugee phenomenon throughout the world.” – Prof Joseph Siracusa, President, Council for Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, Australia


Gillian Triggs

Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs is the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, with a five year appointment. She was Dean of the Faculty of Law and Challis Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney from 2007-12 and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law from 2005-7. She is a former Barrister and a former Governor of the College of Law.

Professor Triggs has combined an academic career with international commercial legal practice and has advised the Australian and other governments and international organisations on international legal and trade disputes. Her focus at the Commission is on the implementation in Australian law of the human rights treaties to which Australia is a party, and to work with nations in the Asia Pacific region on practical approaches to human rights.

Professor Triggs’ is the author of many books and papers on international law, including International Law, Contemporary Principles and Practices (2nd Ed, 2011).

Professor Desmond Cahill OAM is the Professor of Intercultural Studies with RMIT the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies.

Dr Susan P. Ennis for more than 30 years has coordinated and taught English to newly arrived adult refugees and immigrants in Melbourne. Sue has also taught English as a Second Language in Turkey, China (during the Tiananmen Square incident), and Cambodia (during the UN mandate) and lived in Israel. Dr Ennis has served as Secretary of Religions for Peace Victoria Branch from June 2010 – 2016. Dr Ennis has been serving as the National Secretary of Religions for Peace Australia since June 2014.

Event Details

Program: Religion & Refugees: Prof Gillian Triggs to launch Dr Sue Ennis’ new book
Location: RMIT University, Building 80, Level 1, Room 002, 445 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Date: Thursday, 24 November
Time: 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM (AEDT)
Bookings: Free. Book online at Eventbrite
More Information: Dr Susan Ennis