Fortress Australia: How long can we stay closed?

Thursday 9 September, 5:30 - 7pm

Interstate border restrictions are now second nature to us in Western Australia. With announcements of COVID-19 cluster hot spots and sudden slamming shut of state borders, many of us have become wary of short-term travel, lest we find ourselves stuck far from home or in quarantine. Over a third of us in Western Australia were born outside of Australia – feelings of isolation and separation from extended families is mounting and the outlook is uncertain.

In this event, we’ll unpack the steps towards the future of travel and border restrictions: state and international borders, regulation of travel, quarantine and vaccination requirements. What would it take for us to open up again, and what would this new world look like? What are the benefits of open borders – economically, socially, nationally – and what are the potential costs and risks?


Event details

Thursday 9 September, 5:30 - 7pm
Middar Room, State Theatre Centre of WA


Panel line-up

  • Dr Katie Attwell, Senior Lecturer, School of Social Sciences. Katie leads the interdisciplinary Western Australian project 'Coronavax: Preparing Community and Government', which engages in community and government research in readiness for a vaccine roll-out for COVID-19, funded by Wesfarmers and the Health Department of Western Australia. 
  • Dr Loretta Baldassar, Professor, School of Social Sciences and Director of the UWA Social Care and Ageing (SAGE) Living Lab. Her research and teaching areas include migration, transnational families, ageing across the lifecourse, and Australian society. Loretta collaborates on two Australian Research Council projects that explore the impact of mobility and border closures on social support networks and wellbeing including YMAP – examining youth mobilities, including the impact of COVID-19; and Ageing, Migration and New Media examining the impact on older people. She recently participated in a podcast on this topic.
  • Dr Dirk Baur, Professor of Finance at the UWA Business School. Dirk has published about international financial markets, Bitcoin, and blockchain technology.
  • Kevin Brown, CEO of Perth Airport. Chief Executive Officer MBA, MSc, BEng (Hons), CEng, FIET, GAICD. Kevin joined Perth Airport as Chief Executive Officer in July 2016. Kevin has been involved in operational and commercial roles in both hub and regional airports for more than 15 years in the UK and Australia. Prior to joining Perth Airport, Kevin held the position of Chief Executive Officer of North Queensland Airports, which operate Cairns and Mackay Airports, where he was responsible for implementing a growth strategy for both airports. He also spent nine years with the British Airport Authority (BAA) and was Managing Director at Edinburgh International Airport. In 2017, Kevin was appointed to the Tourism Western Australia Board. Kevin is also a Board Member for AIMWA and a Council Member for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Western Australia and Freight and Logistics Council of WA.
  • Dr Omar Khorshid, President of the Australian Medical Association. Omar is an experienced medical leader and orthopaedic surgeon, specialising in arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery of the knee and hip. He was elected President of the Federal AMA on 1 August 2020, and is a past President of AMA WA. He completed his medical degree at the University of Western Australia in 1997, later completed his Advanced Surgical Training in Orthopaedics and was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2007. Omar has a longstanding interest in medical education, and was appointed as an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Curtin University’s new medical school in 2016.
  • Phil Payne, CEO of StudyPerth. Phil leads a team which, in collaboration with government, educational institutions and other stakeholders, provides a leadership role in building the profile of international education in WA and overseas. In this role, Phil manages a team of dedicated marketing professionals, and he sits on various committees that support the sector. Prior to joining StudyPerth, Phil was employed by Murdoch University in various roles, including: Director of External Engagement, Vice President of Educational Partnerships, the inaugural Chair of Murdoch Singapore, Pro Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and the Peel Campus, and CEO of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Phil began his career in healthcare, in the UK then Australia, and has managed hospitals and a Medical School.  

This session will be live-streamed and recorded for regional, remote and international communities, as well as those who wish to watch on demand. Please register your interest and we'll send you the Zoom link beforehand, and the YouTube link following the event.

Register here