Australias handling of the asylum-seekers on board the Oceanic Viking and recent 'freeze' on Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum applications has sparked vigorous and ongoing debate. In this interview ahead of her inaugural lecture as the Freilich Foundation Professor, Penelope Mathew looks at Australias past and present policies against the backdrop of global refugee movements and makes some suggestions for steps that could be undertaken. The full lecture can be viewed on ANUchannel at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC_ua4T0YQQ Professor Mathew has taught at the law schools of the University of Melbourne, The Australian National University and The University of Michigan, US. She has published widely in the areas of international law, human rights and refugee law. Her main area of expertise is refugee law and she has worked with and for refugees in many capacities. In 2008, she was presented with an International Womens Day award by the ACT government for her outstanding contribution to human rights and social justice.