Refugee Sponsorship and Public Attitudes Toward Refugees

18 January 2022 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. EST/12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. PST/7:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. AEDT
Online, Free

As part of the Research Colloquium on Refugee Sponsorship, The Refugee Hub invites you to join us for a panel discussion on the connections between refugee sponsorship and public attitudes towards refugees.

All forms of refugee resettlement rely on public support, but this is especially true of refugee sponsorship programs, which ask private citizens to take on primary responsibility for supporting the arrival and settlement of refugees in a new community. The potential for these programs is crucially shaped by public attitudes toward refugees, and sponsorship programs may in turn influence public attitudes and perceptions.

Based on world-leading research and on-the-ground experience, the panelists for this workshop will explore the multi-faceted relationship between refugee sponsorship and public attitudes toward refugees.



Tim Dixon, Co-founder of More in Common, Keynote Presentation

Tim Dixon is a social entrepreneur who has started businesses and non-profits in the US, the UK and Australia, where he was born. He trained as an economist, worked as a tech sector lawyer for the law firm Baker & McKenzie from 1999 to 2004 and built a leading educational publishing business that was acquired by Pearson Australia in 2004. From 2004 to 2010 he worked in senior political roles, including as economic adviser and chief speechwriter for two Prime Ministers. He co-founded the social change agency Purpose Europe in 2013 and helped start social movement organizations around the issue of modern-day slavery, the Syrian crisis, the Colombian peace process, economic inequality, gun control and civic participation.

Shankar Kasynathan, National Campaign Manager for Amnesty International (Australia), Discussant

Shankar Kasynathan came to Australia with his family seeking refuge from the early years of the civil war in Sri Lanka. He has worked with asylum seekers & refugee communities in Victoria, the Northern Territory and the ACT. He has worked on campaigns with Oxfam Australia and the National Heart Foundation. He has been an adviser to both State & Territory Ministers. He has degrees in Economics and Public Policy. Since December 2017, he has served as the Refugee Campaign Coordinator for Amnesty International.

Louisa Taylor, Director of Refugee 613, Discussant

Louisa Taylor is co-founder and director of Refugee 613, a grassroots project supporting Ottawa’s response to the global refugee crisis. In her previous life as an award-winning writer and editor, Louisa’s journalism appeared in the Toronto Star, Maclean’s magazine, the Ottawa Citizen and The Economist, among others. Louisa is co-chair of Welcoming Ottawa Week, an annual festival of events celebrating Ottawa’s immigrant community, founder of @datafestOTT which explore intersections between migration and new technology, and serves on the Advisory Committee on Social Innovation, which explores new policy ideas in settlement and integration for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.


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