Book Launch; Modern Day Slavery and Orphanage Tourism

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Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000


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The Book

Orphanage tourism is where tourist interactions with 'orphaned' children are central to traveller itineraries and experience making in less-developed contexts.

While appealing to the desire of tourists and volunteers to 'do good' while travelling, underlining orphanage tourism is the fact that the vast majority of children (over 80%) in orphanages and allied care institutions are not orphans. Instead, children are often placed in institutions due to poverty and hardship, and as victims of human trafficking.

In some cases, orphanages can be for-profit enterprises, where the commodification of good intentions begins and becomes embedded in the tourism supply chain. Children are becoming tourist attractions and the focus of tourist consumption, leading to orphanages as sites of tourism production and consumption.

ReThink Orphanages Australia brings together charities, faith-based organisations, the travel sector and academia to address Australia's contribution to institutionalisation of children overseas. As members of the network, Save the Children and Forget Me Not Australia advocate for children to be raised in families, not orphanages. Drawing on their expertise in child protection, child rights, modern slavery and tourism, the editors have brought together leading voices on the issues of orphanage tourism and modern day slavery to consider how we can best protect children who live outside of parental care.

This book, the first of its kind, examines the links between modern slavery practices and orphanage tourism with all proceeds of the sales going to Save the Children Australia and Forget Me Not Australia.

We hope you can join us.

The Session

Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, Minister of Defence

In her role as Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Minister Reynolds was instrumental in pushing the Modern Slavery Bill through the Australian Parliament enabling the world-first recognition of orphanage trafficking as a form of modern slavery.

Leigh Barnes, Chief Customer Officer, Intrepid Travel

The Intrepid Travel is the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences. As CCO, Leigh is responsible for working closely with The Intrepid Foundation and external partners as Intrepid Travel seeks to create more shared value projects and operate a business with a purpose beyond profit. Leigh will talk to Intrepid travel's support of the book and Intrepid’s story of transitioning away from supporting residential care.

The Book Editors

Prof. Joseph M. Cheer

Joseph is a Professor in Sustainable Tourism at the Center for Tourism Research, Wakayama University, Japan. He previously lectured in sustainable tourism at Monash University, Australia and is board member, International Geographical Union (IGU) Commission on Tourism and Leisure and Global Change and Steering Committee Member Critical Tourism Studies (CTS) Asia Pacific. His research draws from trans disciplinary perspectives, especially human/economic geography, cultural anthropology and political economy, particularly in the Asia Pacific. As a former practitioner (industry and government), now academic researcher and practicing consultant/analyst, his work emphasizes resilience building, sustainability and social justice. His recent books include Tourism Resilience and Adaptation to Environmental Change (Lew & Cheer, 2017), Tourism Resilience and Sustainability: Adapting to Social, Political and Economic Change (Cheer & Lew, 2017) and Overtourism: Excesses, Discontents and Measures in Travel and Tourism (Milano, Cheer & Novelli, 2019).

Dr. Kate van Doore, Program Director, Griffith Law School

Kathryn (Kate) van Doore is an international child rights lawyer and an academic at Griffith Law School, Australia. Kate is an internationally recognised expert on orphanage trafficking and works with governments, companies and charities on their approach to this issue. Kate's work in this area was recognised by the Anti-Slavery Australia Freedom Award in 2017. She is a co-founder of Forget Me Not, an international non-governmental organisation focused on child protection and deinstitutionalisation of children in Nepal, Uganda and India. Kate is the Program Director of the Masters in Australian Migration Law and Practice and the Graduate Certificate in Professional Legal Studies at Griffith Law School.

Karen Flanagan, Principal Advisor Child Protection, Save the Children Australia

In addition to Karen’s role Save the Children Australia’s Principal Advisor for Child Protection, she is a member of Rethink Orphanages Steering Group. She provides technical support and capacity building for governments, child protection systems and program staff nationally and internationally to ensure all children live safely in families and communities.

Leigh Mathews, Founder & Principal Consultant, Alto Global Consulting

Leigh is a highly experienced consultant with over 15 years diverse experience in child rights and child protection, and the Co-Founder of Rethink Orphanages, a global network aiming to prevent the unnecessary institutionalisation of children. Leigh is a recognised expert in the issues of institutionalisation, residential care of children, and voluntourism.


What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Being located in the central business district, the Wheeler Centre is within easy walking distance of public transport, taxis, bicycle hire stations and parking.

For all your transport options please visit

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Please call Zoe Fitzpatrick on 03 9002 4475 or email

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No, we'll have you on the guest list so no need to print your ticket.

Is my ticket transferrable?

Yes, we can transfer your ticket so please contact the event organiser if you can't make it.

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Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000


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