The Minister’s Council on Asylum Seekers and Detention (MCASD) is holding a two day meeting in Canberra this week.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton recently appointed new members to the council and the incoming members are attending meetings yesterday and today.
Mr Dutton met with the new council yesterday.
“The new council will continue to provide independent advice on often complex and contentious issues covering immigration detention and the resolution of individuals’ immigration status,” Mr Dutton said.
“Council members have been selected from diverse backgrounds and work in a variety of disciplines related to immigration and asylum seeker issues.
“I have appointed a reduced council of nine members, a number which balances the need for expert advice with the reduction of people in immigration detention.”
Last night Mr Dutton attended an official council dinner which also provided a chance to farewell and thank the outgoing members – Dr Jamal Rifi, Ms Libby Lloyd AM, Ms Caroline (Caz) Coleman, and Mr Noel Clement – for their service.
“I want to thank the outgoing members for their efforts and commitment to a number of Ministers over an extended period,” Mr Dutton said.
“They have delivered expert advice on policy, asylum seeker issues and detention, and have represented a range of localities, cultures and organisations.”
The council is chaired by Mr Paris Aristotle AM, a long term member and an active chair of the council since 2009.
Two new members have been appointed to the council, Dr Georgia Paxton and Ms Catherine Scarth, who will bring a fresh perspective through expertise in paediatric immigration health and multicultural education.
Dr Paxton has led the Immigrant Health Service at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne since 2006 and has worked in refugee health for over 10 years.
Ms Scarth has over 20 years’ experience in designing and implementing a wide range of innovative social programmes and was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Adult Multicultural Education Services (AMES) in 2011.
The council has been appointed for a period of three years.