I'm Steph Cousins and I'm passionate about promoting the rights of people in times of conflict and crises. In 2017 I was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research innovative refugee admission programs in Brazil, USA, Canada, Italy, Germany and Switzerland - so a lot of this blog captures the lessons I learnt travelling through these countries in 2018.
I've been working in refugee and human rights advocacy for nearly 15 years. I am currently Australia Director for Talent Beyond Boundaries, working with Australian businesses, the community sector and government to promote skilled migration pathways for refugees to Australia. Before that I worked in various roles with Oxfam Australia, Oxfam International and Amnesty International Australia.
My home base is Melbourne, Australia, but I've also lived in Sydney and have travelled extensively around the world.
One of my first jobs was working for the Refugee Review Tribunal in 2004, doing eligibility checks for appeal on refugee cases that were rejected by the Immigration Department. I saw the crazy bureaucratic hoops that refugees have to jump through in order to prove their claims. It made me passionate about advocating for refugees - and making it easier for people to build a new life after being uprooted in terrible circumstances.