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Bassina Farbenblum - 2019 Finalist

Bassina Farbenblum

Bassina Farbenblum’s visionary, courageous and intelligent leadership is changing the lives of migrant workers and international students. She has established incontrovertible evidence of wage theft affecting up to 1 million migrant workers in Australia and mobilised diverse coalitions to implement change. Bassina has changed political agendas, catalysed legislative reform at state and federal levels and her work has directly led to new migrant worker legal services. She has changed the public conversation on Australia’s silent underclass of migrant workers, illuminating the paths to reform for government, business, and universities such as our own.

Bassina graduated from UNSW in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Laws.

Bassina’s thought leadership changes lives, including the lives of many UNSW students. Her work is the model of how evidence can, with persistence and vision, lead to impact.

Scientia Professor Rob Brooks, Chair of the selection panel

In an era of disinformation and policies too often driven by the media cycle, the world needs judicious analysis and thought leadership more than ever. 

If we’re going to tackle exploitation of migrant workers on a large scale, we need thought leadership that establishes compelling empirical evidence of the scale and drivers of the problem, grounded in migrant workers’ lived experiences and their decisions. 

Bassina Farbenblum