Local comedians will be pitted against refugee advocates to debate whether Australia should have a giant fence built around it to keep out asylum seekers.
Adjudicated by Judith Lucy, next month’s The Fence debate will see comedians Cal Wilson, Akmal Saleh, Anthony “Lehmo” Lehmann and Andrew Marlton team up with human rights lawyers Julian Burnside and Jessie Taylor to put the spotlight on Australia’s asylum seeker policies.
Prominent asylum seeker advocate Mr Burnside will be on the affirmative, arguing that Australia needs a North Korea-like immigration policy.
The satirical debate has been organised by Road to Refuge, an organisation that aims to educate the community on the plight of asylum seekers in Australia.
With such an outlandish topic, the debate is aiming to not only entertain but also get the audience talking about how Australia handles asylum seekers.
“We wanted to try something completely different by using comedy to open the floodgates of conversation around Australia’s border policies,” Road to Refuge founder Dana Affleck said.
“The Fence is a way for Road to Refuge to get people in the community talking about border policy, which can be a difficult topic to broach,” she said.
Organisers have been “blown away” by the enthusiasm from both the comedians and the public.
The Fence comedy debate is at RMIT Storey Hall in Melbourne on Thursday August 27, 2015 at 7.30pm.