Respected refugee policymaker joins the University

June 14 / 138

There are nearly 50 million displaced people in the world today.
There are nearly 50 million displaced people in the world today.

Top UN human rights official Erika Feller will join the University as a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow on 1 July.

She will contribute to debates about refugee policy across the Asia-Pacific region.

Until recently, Erika Feller was the UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, based in Geneva. She also previously worked for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and is well known to politicians and public servants.

Ms Feller said she hopes her new posting will help bridge the gap between academia and policy makers.

"The world is a very troubled place at the moment. There is a real need for more inter-disciplinary cooperation when it comes to people being forced to leave their homes, whether because of conflict, human rights concerns, or environmental factors like climate change,” she said.

"My work will focus on promoting these linkages, including in the context of developing a more humane, regional response to refugee flows across Asia.”

“This is a real opportunity to help students and academics better understand how to really make an impact on policy development and implementation."

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis, expects Ms Feller will make a significant contribution to the University.

“Erika has vast experience across all elements of refugee policy and humanitarian outreach,” he said. 

“She will be a real asset to the University and its students, and significantly bolster this institution’s determination to help tackle the world’s grand challenges.”

Ms Feller will be based at the Melbourne School of Government, where she will have direct contact with students, as well as contributing to workshops, seminars and public lectures.

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