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Newsletter | December 2019

With the year's end quickly approaching, the Peter McMullin Centre is pleased to share our current news and activities in this final newsletter for 2019.  It has been a busy few months, with several open calls coming to a close and preparations for next year's events (in particular our Statelessness Intensive Course) in full swing.

Last month we were pleased to welcome Thomas McGee to the team as our newest PhD student. Thomas is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and holds an MA in Kurdish Studies from Exeter University, having written his thesis on the situation for stateless Kurds from Syria. Thomas has worked as a researcher and humanitarian practitioner specialising in the Middle East

We have been delighted with the response to the many opportunities we have offered this year. The contributions of our visiting fellows, seminar speakers, interns and students have genuinely enriched our work and enhanced the effectiveness of the Centre. The team would like to thank all those we have worked with in 2019.

Statelessness Seed Funding Scheme - Round 2
We are pleased to announce seven successful projects in the second round of the Statelessness Hallmark Research Initiative Seed Funding Scheme. The scheme serves to foster cross-disciplinary academic collaboration on statelessness across the University and with external partners.
Read about the successful projects.


Statelessness & Citizenship Doctoral Workshop
Organised by Centre PhD student Deirdre Brennan, the Statelessness and Citizenship Doctoral Workshop was held from 20 – 22 November 2019. The workshop was an outstanding success with 15 PhD students participating.The students were from all over the world, including Thailand, Malaysia, Germany, Greece, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Kenya and Canada. The academic convenors were Michelle Foster, Christoph Sperfeldt and visiting fellow, Lindsey Kingston.

ABR Behrouz Boochani Fellow - Dr Hessom Razavi
The inaugural ABR Behrouz Boochani Fellowship (a partnership between our Centre and the Australian Book Review) has been awarded to Dr Hessom Razavi. Hessom is an Iranian-Australian writer and ophthalmologist. After fleeing persecution in Iran with his family in 1983, he grew up in Pakistan and the UK, before migrating to Australia in 1989. He has visited Manus Island and Nauru detention centres in a medical capacity and produced written material about these experiences in various publications. He writes prose and poetry, as well as journalistic pieces and articles for medical journals. We are delighted that Hessom will be participating in our Statelessness Intensive Course in February 2020.
Statelessness & Citizenship Review
Submissions for the third issue of the Statelessness & Citizenship Review remain open until 15 January 2020.
Visit SCR website 
Elif Sekercioglu - International Internship
Elif Sekercioglu is the recipient of our 2019 International Internship, offered in partnership with the UNHCR's Division of International Protection (Statelessness Section) based in Geneva. Elif recently returned from Geneva and is spending one month at the Centre to complete her internship. Read her reflections on her time in Geneva.
Early Career Researcher Scheme success
Congratulations to our Senior Research Fellow Christoph Sperfeldt who was awarded a grant as part of the 2019 University of Melbourne Early Career Researcher Scheme. The grant will fund Christoph's reasearch into legal identity as a sustainable development goal.
Parliamentary Submissions
The Centre continues to make submissions to parliamentary committees in response to relevant inquiries. Most recently, we made a submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee in relation to its Inquiry into Nationhood, national identity and democracy. The submissions are all available on our
The office will be closed from 20th December until 13th January. We wish you all a happy and relaxed festive season and very much look forward to engaging with you in 2020.
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