- Robin’s book awards include Best Non-Fiction at the Queensland Literary Awards, the 25th Human Rights Award for Literature, the Alex Buzo Prize for Research and Literature, and Ned Kelly Award for Best Non-Fiction.
- A finalist for The 2012 Walkley Book Award, Robin spearheads public debate on issues for refugees seeking asylum in Australia and is emerging as a leading authority on this hot, contemporary social issue.
- She has spoken at over 100 events about how her book inspires others, and the issues it raises in media interviews, including ABC Radio National’s Margaret Throsby Show, Paul Barclay’s Big Ideas, Philip Adams Late Night Live and ABC Breakfast TV, and around the country at public forums for clients including the United Nations, leading Australian universities, churches, unions, conferences and others.
- Robin’s skills and former life experiences, particularly as a filmmaker, director and author have contributed to her success as a compelling, articulate and non-judgmental presenter, allowing people to look within and come to their own conclusions.
- It impossible not to be moved, motivated and inspired by Robin’s talks, resulting in a change of attitudes about oneself and ones values.
- She encourages the audience to recognize how we don't need to have had life and death occurrence to learn from Ali¹s experiences of overcoming obstacles, never giving up, learning from our mistakes, letting go of the past, and despite being demonized by others, holding onto honesty, decency, compassion, and belief in ourselves without blame.
- The People Smuggler is the story of Ali, who became a people smuggler in order to save his family, and is ultimately seen not as a criminal, but as the ‘Oskar Schindler of Asia.’
- Robin has the ability to tailor a number of presentation topics or to work with a client to develop a talk specific to a brief.
- Inspirational: Robin opens the hearts and minds of the audience by leading them through Ali’s story in a way they can identify with and draw upon.
- Motivational: A call to action and how to motivate the audience to reinvigorate their situation using Ali’s unusual example.
- Humane: Ali’s life is an outstanding example of humanitarianism demonstrated by his commitments and his sacrifices to stand by his beliefs. Swimming with the sharks: Using Ali’s capacity to stand back up after being knocked down over and over again, no matter how big the challenges or setbacks, and to never look back to the past, inspires human strength.
- Robin’s journey: Writing a book in the first person about someone from an entirely different culture. How and why? How she gained trust and maintained the honesty and integrity of the story.
- Political: Is Ali a Villain or a Hero? Is it all a matter of perception? Robin’s book puts a human face on one of the most topical political subjects of our time. Facts and myths can be explored in a non-judgemental and safe arena to allow the audience to become well informed on this current political debate.
- Compassion: Robin creates an atmosphere where a more compassionate and understanding view towards people who are less fortunate than ourselves can develop.
We were thrilled to host Robin in a public forum. She is not only a gifted writer but also a powerful public speaker. The audience was riveted by her passion, humour and depth of her insights. Robin has captured an extraordinary human narrative and richly deserves all of the accolades she has received.
Tania Penovic |Co-Deputy Director |Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
I popped into Newtown Festival Writer’s tent for Robin’s appearance…. ‘She was amazing. She was the last author to speak for the day— so for an hour and a half, we all sat there listening to her in absolute awe. Robin’s passion, enthusiasm and knowledge on the topic at hand was moving to say the least. She deserves all the accolades that The People Smuggler is getting…
Penguin Sales Coordinator
The story of Ali al Jenabi was delivered with clarity and passion and was seen to move to tears a member of the audience who had earlier in the evening described the audience as “a crowd of bleeding hearts”.
Sue Nuttall |President |Rotary Club of Bendigo South in Bendigo