Offshore

By Madeline Gleeson NewSouth Publishing

What has happened on Nauru and Manus since Australia began its most recent offshore processing regime in 2012?

This essential book provides a comprehensive and uncompromising overview of the first three years of offshore processing since it recommenced in 2012. It explains why offshore processing was re-established, what life is like for asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus, what asylum seekers, refugees and staff in the offshore detention centres have to say about what goes on there, and why the truth has been so hard to find. In doing so, it goes behind the rumours and allegations to reveal what is known – and what still is not known – about Australia’s offshore detention centres.


Madeline Gleeson

Madeline Gleeson is a lawyer and Research Associate at the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law. She holds a Master in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, which she completed after being awarded the prestigious John Monash scholarship in 2012.

Madeline also holds a Bachelor in International Studies and Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours from the University of New South Wales, and a Diploma of Political Studies from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Aix en Provence, France. Previously, Madeline worked with the UNHCR and the International Catholic Migration Commission in Geneva, with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Cambodia, and as a solicitor in Australia. She also has human rights and refugee experience in South Africa and Indonesia. Madeline’s research areas include State responsibility, extraterritorial human rights obligations, offshore processing, and the protection of children.

Judges' report


Offshore is a rigorous and comprehensive narrative on one of the central challenges of our times: the care of those who seek asylum in Australia when life in their own countries becomes untenable. The book is an extended exposé of the machinery of offshore processing in a context that does not always encourage visibility or, indeed, community confidence. The Regional Processing Units on Nauru and Manus Island are revealed as places of desperation, enabled by impersonal international agreements over the disposition of displaced adults and children. This book offers a potent challenge to Australia’s asylum-seeker policy by detailing the locations and procedures of offshore processing of asylum seekers, and the desperation experienced by those who seek safe haven in Australia.