Skip to content

Sandy Duncanson continues to inspire social justice action

Almost 10 years on from his death, Sandy Duncanson continues to inspire, and this evening’s Social Justice lecture is bound to do just that.

The lecture has a track record of spurring social justice action. Last year’s lecture inspired University of Tasmania Master of Journalism student Mashuka Tabassum (pictured) to develop a collaborative art exhibition highlighting young people’s perceptions of refugees and asylum seekers.

“I was inspired to start a social justice project, which led to the collaborative exhibition with year 6-12 students to find out their feelings towards refugees and asylum seekers,” Ms Tabassum said.

“The exhibition will show photos of meaningful objects from home that refugees and asylum seekers have brought to Tasmania, alongside the children’s artworks. The exhibition will be on display for one week at the Waterside Pavilion, Hobart, 10-17 December.”

Tasmanian lawyer and social justice advocate Sandy Duncanson died in 2010 at the age of 37 after living with cancer for 16 years. His work is honoured through this evening’s annual lecture and a philanthropic fund in Mr Duncanson’s name, which provides bursaries of up to $2,500 for University of Tasmania students with a passion for social justice.

Ms Tabassum is one of this year’s bursary recipients, along with students Sancia Bingham and Stephen Cronin, both studying Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees.

Longtime friend and member of the Sandy Duncanson Social Justice Committee Jess Feehely said Mr Duncanson would be thrilled with the work he has inspired.

“The calibre of projects completed with assistance from the fund has been outstanding and Sandy would be so delighted to see the variety of work that his legacy has supported,” Ms Feehely said.

One of these successful projects is Community Engagement Tasmania (COMET), which educates disadvantaged Tasmanian youth about their rights and responsibilities under Tasmanian law. It was started six years ago by University of Tasmania alumna and now law lecturer Dr Charlotte Hunn.

“It is my hope that young people will feel empowered by learning about the law – a hope that is shared by the incredible law students who are involved in COMET. Being awarded the Bursary helped me establish COMET and I am enormously grateful,” Dr Hunn said.

Applications for 2020 Sandy Duncanson Social Justice Bursaries are open until 31 October 2019.

This evening’s lecture will be held at the Stanley Burbury Theatre, Sandy Bay Campus at 6pm (refreshments from 5.30pm) and will be given by former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick AO. Register on Eventbrite.

Published on: 03 Oct 2019 10:03am