Extra Curricula Activities


Date: 8 August 2014 (all day)

Synopsis: This workshop explores the relationships between knowledge and information in the treatment of ethnic and human rights issues by the media. It explores the processes involved in investigating, gathering and analysing evidence, the knowledge acquired and its dissemination. It looks at information as an abstract concept, a sensory experience in which truth-values depend on the interpretation made by the broker; in this case the communicator - journalist
or commentator. Using case studies collected over four decades in Southeast Asia, students will compare the use of knowledge and information, and the evolution of their relationships in the complex discourse of news reporting and public communication.

Tutor biography: Jonathan Bogais is Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Social and Political Sciences, Department of Sociology & Social Policy at the University of Sydney. He is an analyst, social scientist, and strategic adviser in human rights, ethnicity, and conflict analysis and resolution, specialising in Southeast Asian and Pacific affairs. Merging over three decades as a bilingual foreign correspondent and senior analyst (French/English) working mostly in Southeast Asia, with a background in social sciences (Doctor of Philosophy, Sociology - Paris, Sorbonne, 1984), he has acquired considerable cross-disciplinary experience in areas of conflict, human rights, ethnicity, violence and identity. He has been involved in several international missions, advised delegations and participated in negotiations. He also has experience teaching in these areas. His current focus is on knowledge utilisation. He has a United Nations mandate to investigate knowledge utilisation models to improve the interaction between research utilisation and evidence-based practice, especially in areas of conflict.

Note: Extra curricula activities are mandatory but will not be assessed.


DATE: 22 August 2014 (morning)

Synopsis: When thinking about and studying our society we tend to assume that “politics” is for the politicians, “administration” for the public servants and “social support” for the welfare sector and its NGOs. If your reference point is political party politics then this is a valid assumption to make but if you use a more general definition of politics as the study of power and influence in all areas of life-within each sector and across the public, private and community sectors-then political capacities and skills are needed by all.

This workshop will consider a range of questions:

  1. What is meant by “organizational politics”? How does an organizational leader manage the politics of his or her agency?
  2. How do we manage the broader political environment in which we work?
  3. What is “political awareness” and are there special “political skills” that can be developed?
  4. Is there such a thing as “political judgment” and does it apply to work in the private and community sectors as well as in government?
  5. What are the ethical issues involved in thinking and acting politically?
  6. What role should politics play in the development of strategies for any organization?

Participants will be exposed to the ways and means that have been developed to determine strength and weakness in political awareness and politics more generally.

Tutor Biography: Professor Geoff Gallop studied at University of WA, Oxford and Murdoch Universities after attending school in Geraldton. From 1986 to 2006 he represented the Labor Party in the Western Australian State Parliament and was Premier from 2001 to 2006. After retiring from politics he was appointed Professor and Director of the Graduate School of Government, The University of Sydney, a position he still holds. In 2012 he published Politics, Society, Self: occasional writings (UWA Publishing).


Date: 12 September, 2014 (half day)

Synopsis: In this workshop, students will be presented and discuss:

  1. Overview of racism in Australia including its history, roots/causes, and social, economic and legal dimensions
  2. National Human Rights Institutions as a human rights mechanism and its effect on combating racism with Australian Human Rights Commission as a case study
  3. Experiences of racism in the region, the social perception of racism as condoned/condemned by its social fabric and socio-institutional measures to combat racism/ racial discriminations

Speakers Bio:

Dr Tim Soutphommasane is Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner. Prior to joining the Australian Human Rights Commission, he was a political philosopher at the University of Sydney. During his term, Dr Soutphommasane will be an advocate for a fairer Australia and drive the Commission’s efforts to combat racism. Dr Soutphommasane is the author of three books: The Virtuous Citizen, Don't Go Back To Where You Came From, and Reclaiming Patriotism. He has been an opinion columnist with The Age and The Weekend Australian, and presented the ABC Radio National documentary series “Mongrel Nation” in 2013. A first-generation Australian of Chinese and Lao extraction, Dr Soutphommasane was raised in southwest Sydney. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, from where he also holds a Master of Philosophy degree (with distinction). He is a first-class honours graduate of the University of Sydney.

Dr. Selvaraj Velayutham is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Macquarie University, Australia. His research interests are in the area of race and ethnic studies, international migration and multiculturalism. He is the author of Responding to Globalization: Nation, Culture and Identity in Singapore and co-editor of Dissent and Resistance in Asia’s Cities and Everyday Multiculturalism. His current research include: Everyday Diversity at Work; New Racisms and the Integration Challenge in Singapore; and Indian Transient Labour, Masculinities and the Everyday.

Professor Kevin Dunn (BA (Wollongong); PhD (Newcastle); FNGS), has been Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Psychology since 2012. He joined the University of Western Sydney UWS in 2008 as Professor of Human Geography and Urban Studies. His areas of research include the racism and anti-racism, immigration and settlement, Islam in Australia, and local government and multiculturalism. He is a Fellow of the New South Wales Geographical Society and is Vice President. For fifteen years he has lead the national and multi-agency Challenging Racism Project.


Date: 24 October 2014 (morning)


  1. Morning: visit to Sydney Jewish Museum
  2. Afternoon: seminar on “The Holocaust, Human Rights and the Contemporary Museum”

Tutor biographies: This day is organised by Associate Professor Jennifer Barrett and Dr Avril Alba.

Jennifer Barrett was appointed to the University of Sydney in 2000. Her recent administrative positions at the University of Sydney include Pro Dean (2010) Associate Dean Postgraduate Coursework (2007-2009) and Deputy Chair of Postgraduate Matters (2008-2009) and Director of Museum Studies since 2001, which also has partnership with Hong Kong University. She has also held positions in art history and cultural studies at the School of Cultural Histories and Futures at the University of Western
Sydney. Her recent work includes Museums and the Public Sphere (Wiley Blackwell 2011 and 2012); a co-authored monograph (with Jacqueline Millner) Australian Artists and Museums (forthcoming with Ashgate 2012) and ‘Museums Human Rights and Universalism’ in eds., A. Witcomb and K. Message Museum theory: an expanded field (Wiley- Blackwell, 2012). Her current research explores museums, human rights, universalism and the international public sphere.

Prior to joining the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies in 2012, Avril Alba was the Education Director at the Sydney Jewish Museum where she
also served as the Project Director/Curator for the refurbishment of the museum’s permanent exhibition Culture and Continuity: Journey through Judaism. Her doctoral thesis, currently under preparation for publication as book-length monograph, explored the largely unexamined topic of museums as sacred spaces. At present, Avril is undertaking research into Holocaust memory in its broader context and in particular the efficacy of this memory in the Australian public sphere.


Dates: 26 September 2014 (all day)

Synopsis: In this workshop students will explore:

  1. Contemporary social developments in Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, and socio, economic, cultural backgrounds to understanding institutional culture in four countries: common themes, recurring issues and differences
  2. General issues that new comers to four countries should be aware of, including local cultures & customs, academic environments, current affairs, necessary precautions, dos & don’ts, etc.
  3. Understanding academic and organizational settings and university/ civil society culture in the four countries
  4. Issues and precautionary measures when conducting research in foreign environment
  5. Other issues regarding health and safety of students

Speakers: Prof. Michael Humphrey; Dr. Cynthia Hunter; Dr. Thushara Dibly (Indonesia); Ms. Anjana Regmi (Nepal); Dr. Giselle Manalo (the Philippines); Dr. Kiran Grewal (Sri Lanka)


Unit of Study Description

The intensive unit (HRTD 6905) will bring students together with human rights and democratisation practitioners from the Asia Pacific region and beyond to provide a focused engagement with issues of critical concern. Topics for the intensive will change annually subject to contemporary trends. The unit emphasises the translation of theory to practice and asks students to engage with the practicalities of application and importance of context.

Teaching Staff

The Unit of Study Coordinator is A/Prof. Nicola Piper and Dr. Mike Hayes (Mahidol University). In addition to invited guest lecturers, instructors from each of the regional partner institutions also feature in the teaching program.


In 2014/2015 the intensive is entitled ‘Rethinking the Dynamics of Democratisation’. The program will be delivered on a full-time schedule from Monday 5 January to Saturday 10 January, 2015, in Mahidol University in Bangkok.