I had the slightly curious but none the less worthwhile experience a couple of weeks ago of providing evidence to a public hearing a Senate Committee inquiry, sitting on the opposite side of the table from where I’d been so many times since 1997.
The inquiry is into issues surrounding international students. While a lot of the media coverage has focused on violence towards some students in some southern states, there are many other systemic problems with policies affecting international students which merit consideration. From my own experience as a witness and from reading the transcripts of other hearings, it looks like this Committee is taking its job seriously, rather than looking for political point scoring opportunities.
The nature and breadth of the questioning from the Committee members gave me a good chance to raise a wide range issues and information I gain through the various different jobs and roles I have at the moment. The other more immediate thing that hit me was that 4 of the 5 Senators present when I gave evidence had entered the Senate since I left less than 15 months earlier – which is a reminder how quickly the caravan moves on.
You can read my submission to this inquiry – and everyone else’s – at this link. Mine is number 61. The transcripts of the public hearings are at this link. I appeared as the second witness at the Canberra hearings on 18 September.
The Committee is due to report on 16 November.