In this episode of Law in the Bush, Dr Patrick Graham is joined by recent UNE Law graduate, Simone Cameron. Simone has worked and volunteered in the refugee sector for nearly a decade. She recently completed her LLB with Honours with us having previously completed a Master of Applied Linguistics and a Graduate Certificate in Migration Law. Simone has recently been admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland as a solicitor.

Simone is interested in the intersection of language and law reform, having completed a thesis which analysed the language used by politicians to justify the repeal of the Medevac laws, laws which streamlined the medical transfer process for asylum seekers held in Australia’s offshore detention centres.

Simone played a key role in the ‘Home to Biloela’ campaign involving the Murugappan family who lived in her hometown of Biloela in central Queensland before, in 2018, being put into immigration detention as the government moved to deport the family to Sri Lanka. 

The ‘Home to Biloela’ campaign captured the attention of all Australians and, after the 2022 federal election and change in government, was ultimately successful as the Murugappans returned to Biloela in June. They were soon granted Australian permanent residency.
Simone and Patrick explore Simone’s innovative research in this area and her role in the ‘Home to Biloela’ campaign. They also talk about Australian political discourse on asylum seekers.

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Patrick Graham, Lecturer UNE Law School