Category: Exclusive Interviews

Biometric Surveillance: An Interview with Electronic Frontiers Australia’s Jon Lawrence


The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting on October 5 marked a new era of mass surveillance in this country, as the leaders of all states and territories signed on to the Turnbull government’s proposal for a national facial recognition system. The National Facial Biometric Matching Capability is a system that will provide federal and state police, ...

Protecting Online Privacy: An Interview with Digital Rights Watch’s Tim Singleton Norton


The Australian government has been steadily tightening laws regarding the digital environment over the last few decades, frequently in the name of counterterrorism. However, many of these laws have been impacting the civil liberties of all individuals – none more so than the right to privacy. The right to privacy is enshrined in article 17 ...

The Legacy of Blackbirding: An Interview with WASSIUC President Jacintha Bezgovsek


On August 17 1863, a ship called the Don Juan arrived in Moreton Bay, Queensland carrying 67 men from a group of islands known as the New Hebrides, which is now the Republic of Vanuatu. These Pacific Island people were brought to Australia to work at a cotton plantation. The men aboard the Don Juan were ...

Drug Decriminalisation Is Logical: An Interview with SSDP Australia’s Penelope Hill


The tough on drugs approach has been shown to actually increase the harms associated with the use of illicit substances. However, successive Australian governments have ignored the evidence and continue to apply zero tolerance policies. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the state of Victoria at present. The Andrews government passed a bill last ...

LGBTIQ Harm Reduction Innovations: An Interview with Unharm’s Kane Race


Australian authorities continue to take a heavy-handed law enforcement approach to illicit substances. This is despite the evidence that suggests zero-tolerance policies actually increase the harms associated with the use of illegal drugs. Victoria police are currently pushing for expanded powers that would enable them to search people at music festivals without having a reasonable ...

Barriers to Justice: An Interview with People With Disability Australia


The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities was adopted on December 13 2006. It seeks to protect the rights and dignity of people with disability. Australia ratified the international human rights treaty on July 28 2008. Article 12 of the convention calls on states to provide equal recognition before the law for ...

Defending the Nauru 19: An Interview with Sydney Lawyer Christian Hearn


Nineteen people from the island of Nauru are facing trial accused of public order offences following a protest against the Nauruan government on June 16 2015. Now known as the Nauru 19, the group were part of hundreds of locals who’d gathered to demonstrate. The protesters were making their way to Nauru parliament house to hold a ...

Explaining the Rohingya Crisis: An Interview with the ARNO


The UN Refugee Agency reports at least 420,000 Rohingya people have fled across the border from Myanmar into neighbouring Bangladesh since violence erupted in their homelands in late August. The refugees are now living in makeshift camps in the Cox’s Bazar district. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has called for a coordinated response to the ...

Stop Murdering Drug Users: An Interview with Harm Reduction Advocate Pascal Tanguay


At 8pm on Thursday night, Catholic leaders across the Philippines rang their church bells simultaneously for five minutes to honour those who have died during president Rodrigo Duterte’s “reign of terror.” The ritual will take place for the next 40 days and is a call for the bloodshed to stop. The Philippine president won last year’s election ...

Medicinal Cannabis for the Elderly: An Interview with Canna Nanna Karen Burge


The Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Special Access Scheme (SAS) is a formal arrangement that allows patients to import unapproved therapeutic goods into the country. There are two main pathways to access imported medicines via this scheme: category A and category B. Category A allows terminally ill patients fast access to imported products, as a doctor only ...