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Australia has a vital role to play in the region in campaigning against the death penalty, says Fr Peter Norden AO.  "I dont think it's enough for Australians to say it's not an issue in this country.  We are based in a region where many countries execute their citizens and we are host to many overseas students studying in Australia from these countries.

"We need to engage with those students while they are studying here to be more creative in their thinking, because they're going to be the leaders in those countries when they return."

"We need to engage them in dialogue and conversation.  In their own countries many of them aren't even allowed to discuss this issue; there's no freedom of the press, there's no open discussion, they're too scared to sign petitions. 

Fr Norden, a Vice Chancellors Fellow at the Melbourne Law School, will be one of a number of key speakers at a rally tomorrow at the State Library as part of the International Day of Action Against the Death Penalty, organised by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. 

Final year Melbourne Law School student and Social Justice rep Alan Wu, barrister Julian McMahon Reprieve Australia President Rachel Walsh will also speak at the event.

Dr Pradeep Taneja says that while communism in China is dead 'practically', the 60th anniversary of the creation of the People's Republic of China is particularly significant.  "It comes about a year after China hosted the Beijing Olympics, so there's an added significance that China has demonstrated to the rest of the world that China is an important country and one that has achieved remarkable success in its economic development and modernisation."

A lecturer in Asian Politics in the School of Social and Political Sciences, Dr Taneja says that while there have been many changes over the past sixty years leading to increased personal freedom for the population, there are still many internal problems.  "These are problems not just of the Xinjiang province or Tibet, but for example employment in urban areas.  Literally millions of people have lost jobs due to China's market orientated economic reform policies."

"And in the rural areas too there is disquiet - the rural population in China feels they have not benefited as much from the economic reforms of the past thirty years as the people in the cities."

"Externally however, China's standing in the international system has grown tremendously.  China today clearly is important, there's no solution to any of our global problems without China's involvement.  That is why foreign powers - such as the EU, US and Australia - feel they have very little influence on China."

The Institute will play a key role in coordinating and supporting the development of a wide range of Indigenous programs that are supported by the University and its affiliates.

The following is the full text from the 2009 Law Week Oration by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans QC AO, held at the Melbourne Law School on 22 September 2009, in conjunction with the Victoria Law Foundation.  Video of the lecture can be accessed at

The Faculty of the VCA and Music (VCAM) and Wallara Asset Management last night announced that Christopher Dolman has won the prestigious 2009 Wallara Travelling Scholarship. Every year since 2001, this scholarship is open to third (final) year undergraduate students at the Faculty’s School of Art.

Australian writers were today presented with $65,000 worth of literary prizes at a gala event at the Melbourne Writers Festival.

To help commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions (established August 1949) the International Red Cross ran an essay competition on the importance of international humanitarian law.  The following is the winning essay by Sarah Horan, a final year Media & Communications/Law student at the University of Melbourne, on the the development of international humanitarian law since the establishment of the Geneva Conventions.

Maestro Richard Bonynge AO, CBE has been chosen by the Faculty of the VCA and Music at the University of Melbourne and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) Friends’ Society as the recipient of the 2009 Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Award for his outstanding contribution to music in Australia.

Journalism conference to explore globalisation of mediaThe intersection of national and transnational news reporting in the new media environment will be a major focus of a journalism conference at the University of Melbourne on July 16 and 17.

Professor Pat Anderson, co-author of the Little Children Are Sacred report about child abuse in the NT delivered the annual Social Justice Lecture at the University of Melbourne recently.  On the second anniversary of the so-called "Intervention", she says governments have not acted on any of the recommendations from the report.