The Great Debate: Unimelb vs UWA

A world without borders is a desirable and viable alternative.

African Studies Group
5 min readAug 21, 2022

To whom does the planet belong? How might we share the space we call earth, and how, if at all, should human movement be managed?

The University of Melbourne’s African Studies Group (ASG) will debate the University of Western Australia’s African Students Union on the motion: ‘A world without borders is a desirable and viable alternative’ as part of the 2022 ASG Conference on ‘Reimagining Migration in(out) of Africa in the Post-Pandemic World: Taking Stock and Building Resilience.

When: 1:30 pm — 3:30 pm, Thursday 29 September 2022

Where: Room 230 (Theatre), Kwong Lee Dow Building, University of Melbourne, 234 Queensberry Street Carlton, VIC 3053

While many would agree that unhindered mobility is pivotal to building a freer and more prosperous world, others would consider such a proposition a recipe for disaster. These contentions underscore the paradoxes of our world today.

  • How do we account for stricter borders in an increasingly globalised world?
  • Put differently, does the idea of a globalised world demand that we dismantle borders or reinforce them?
  • How must we, in this moment of human history, even as we are emerging from a global pandemic, begin to rethink the role of boundaries, borders, and mobile bodies?

This year’s debate critically examines such questions by exploring the prospect of a ‘borderless world.’ Through vigorous discussion, we consider whether such a notion should be embraced as a desirable alternative or recognised as an unrealistic dream. Full concept note here.

About the Facilitator

Samuelson Appau is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Melbourne Business School. He has a background in marketing and market research and holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Melbourne.

Dr Samuelson Appau

Samuelson’s multidisciplinary research examines how transitions and transformations in people’s lives, society, and the marketplace affect consumer behaviour and wellbeing. His research has been published in leading marketing and business journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research, Energy Economics, Journal of Business Research, and the Journal of Marketing and Public Policy, among others. His research and academic projects have received funding from Plan International, Scanlon Foundation, and the Victorian Government.

Arguing for the Motion — UWA’s African Students Union Representatives

Daj Janneh is a Business Management and Political Sciences student at the University of Western Australia (UWA) who is very active in the community. He was previously Secretary of the OAC Youth Department, General Secretary of the UWA Student Guild, and currently President of the UWA African Student Union. In recognition of his contributions within the African community in Perth, Daj received the African Australian Emerging Youth Leader Award in 2021.

Julius Chota ( He/Him) is a biomedical student at the University of Western Australia and also the youth Chair at the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (Perth). Julius has a passion for health and law and hopes to combine these two disciplines to impact his community positively.

Rana Ibrahim is passionate about medicine both as an area of study and its social impact. She is a Fogarty Scholar pursuing the Doctor of Medicine at the University of Western Australia and has worked with the Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS) as a consumer consultant since 2015. Within this space, she advocates for and advises policy regarding culturally and linguistically inclusive standards of care within the health service. Outside of this sphere, Rana thoroughly enjoys volunteering with young people as a mentor, coach to the WADL state debating team and Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society WA.

Arguing against the motion — Unimelb’s African Studies Group Representatives

Dominic Roche is a first-year undergraduate student at the University of Melbourne, hoping to major in Geography and Politics. He’s only recently joined the African Studies Group but is looking forward to developing the skills and understanding necessary for further studies and work in the realm of geography and international policy.

Rebecca Tamusuza Nalwanga is a Naarm-based PhD candidate (Social & Political Sciences) whose research explores what the social, political and economic dimensions of disability within Uganda’s primary education can reveal about the country’s development and democracy pathway. Rebecca identifies as an African situated in the diaspora, who often finds herself reimagining the alternatives afforded to an assortment of settlers in a world without borders.

Moses Mensah is a PhD Candidate and a Teaching Fellow with the University of Melbourne’s School of Social and Political Sciences. His doctoral project is focused on the schooling experiences of indigenous minority youth in Ghana’s Oti River Basin as they negotiate their local knowledge resources vis-à-vis the promise of neo-liberal modernity offered in formal education. Moses’ research interests include the decolonisation of schooling, African indigenous knowledges, and education-sector development initiatives.

Reimagining Migration in(out) of Africa in the Post-Pandemic World Conference -Registrations Still Open!

The African Studies Group (ASG), in collaboration with the African Research and Engagement in Australia Initiative (AREiA), invites you to join the 3rd annual International ASG Conference.

This 3-day conference seeks to bring together scholars (students, faculty, and researchers), advocates, practitioners, policymakers, and community members within and outside Australia for a conversation on the increasing politicisation of mobility in and out of the African continent and the experiences of migrant communities and their resilient cultures.

Conference highlights include a public lecture on ‘Decolonising Asylum: Colonialism, Racism and Humanitarianism in the Shaping of Refugee (Un) Belonging in East Africa’ by Professor Patricia Daley (University of Oxford), a research masterclass with Professor Karen Farquharson (University of Melbourne), an Oxford Union-style debate between UWA African Students’ Union (ASU) and Unimelb’s African Studies Group (ASG), a ‘fireside conversation’ on rethinking refuge for refugees in and from Africa, a cultural performance by Drum Voices and many more.

Tickets are between $80 and $200 (click the registration link for details).

While we encourage people to pay for our highly subsidised conference fees to support ASG’s activities, we have limited sponsorship for students, seniors and community members interested in attending the conference. Please contact the conference team at to facilitate free registration.

We hope you are able to join us!

For any inquiries, please contact



African Studies Group

ASG is an association of researchers with interests in African studies hosted by the University of Melbourne.