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Madeline Gleeson - 2019 Finalist

Madeline Gleeson

Madeline Gleeson’s research, public commentary and multi award winning book Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru have significantly influenced public debate and raised the profile of refugee law in Australia. She is frequently invited as an expert contributor to media, policy and conferences; speaking to governments, academics, human rights organisations and the general public. She brings clear analysis and intellect to public debate, a voice of legal reasoning in a highly politicised environment. Her meticulous research and outstanding communication skills have helped to shine a spotlight on Australia’s offshore processing regime; uncovering new evidence and demonstrating the human impacts of successive legal and policy changes.

Madeline graduated from UNSW in 2011 with a Bachelor of International Studies / Bachelor of Laws.

Madeline’s evidence-based approach ensures that she leads in an area that suffers deeply from excessive political preconception, reaction and reflex. 

Scientia Professor Rob Brooks, Chair of the selection panel

Thought leadership is not just about new ideas, but about whole new ways of framing ideas. It challenges assumptions and prejudices. It upends traditional frameworks governing how we think about the key problems facing the world today. It uses an evidence base to link intellectual pursuits with the reality of life; and, if we are lucky, to prompt radical shifts in the way complex issues are understood, in order to better society as a whole.

Thought leadership is critically important in the field of refugee law and policy, both in Australia and globally, now more than ever. It is an area riven with deeply-held political and ideological positions that can bring progress to a standstill. Thought leadership is vital to breaking through this impasse. 

Madeline Gleeson