14 May 2015News
Speakers’ Series: Achieving justice for victims of mass atrocities
Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp
Stephen J. Rapp is Ambassador-at-Large, Office of Global Criminal Justice in the US Department of State. Before this appointment, Stephen was a prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, leading prosecutions for former Liberian President Charles Taylor and others. During his time on the court, the first convictions in history for recruitment and use of child soldiers and for sexual slavery and forced marriage as crimes under international humanitarian law were achieved. Prior to working for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Stephen worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda as both Senior Trial Attorney and Chief of Prosecutions, personally heading the trial team that achieved convictions of the principals of RTLM radio and Kangura newspaper -the first in history for leaders of the mass media for the crime of direct and public incitement to commit genocide. Stephen also worked as a United States Attorney in the Northern District of Iowa, worked in private practice, and was a member of the Iowa State Legislature. Stephen received his B.A. from Harvard, and received his J.D. from Drake University.
Phil has been the Director of the Edmund Rice Centre since its inception in 1996 and is currently the President of the Refugee Council of Australia. Phil is primarily involved in human rights advocacy and education, peace and reconciliation work, raising awareness of the impact of climate change on marginalised peoples. He has served on the Boards of the Australian Council for Social Service (ACOSS), various committees of the Australian Council for Overseas Aid, and the Centre for an Ethical Society. Phil co-founded Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) in 1997, and for 10 years he was its National President. In his work for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, Phil led the Edmund Rice Centre’s research team for the Deported to Danger series, which monitored the safety of rejected asylum seekers in 22 countries, and resulted in an internationally screened documentary, “A Well Founded Fear”, in 2008. He was also a consultant on the 2012 TV series “Go Back to Where You Came From”. Phil was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Australian Catholic University in 2007 and was also recognised by the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) with the Sir Ron Wilson Award for Human Rights. In September 2014, Baptistcare Western Australia presented Phil with the CEO’s Award for Advocacy.
Jess Hill (Facilitator)
Jess Hill has been a writer and broadcaster for more than 10 years. In 2008, she drove across the US covering the Presidential election for New Matilda and, in 2009, joined the ABC as a producer in Radio Current Affairs. In 2012, she became Middle East correspondent for The Global Mail in Cairo, then Beirut. She’s been listed as one of the Top 100 ‘women to follow’ on Twitter, and as one of the 30 Most Influential Women Under 30 in Cosmopolitan. Jess is currently an investigative reporter for Background Briefing.
About the SSI Speakers’ Series:
During 2015, Settlement Services International (SSI) will host a series of talks and panel discussions on current refugee and asylum seeker issues and related topics. The SSI Speakers’ Series aims to inform, connect and challenge SSI staff and stakeholders and the wider community by providing opportunities for discussion that enhance knowledge and awareness about relevant issues impacting the organisation’s clients and their communities.