August 2019

MIFF Talks - Beyond Buoyancy: International Slavery and Our Seafood Unclassified 15+

The MIFF Premiere Fund-supported film Buoyancy draws attention to the plight of boys and young men exploited in Southeast Asia’s fishing industry, which supplies much of the world’s seafood. This panel discussion – consisting of experts dedicated to exposing and preventing the human right abuses – continues the discussion the film begins, with a focus on providing information and strategies to call for transparency and traceability of seafood products in our supply chains.

Panellists: David Cooke, Mora Gibbings, Vannak Anan Prum, Kate Skattang and Rodd Rathjen; moderated by Lisa Cox

Dr David Cooke is chair and managing director of Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia. David is also the chair of UN Global Compact Network Australia, which promotes the UN Sustainable Development Goals to business. He is also the chair of the UNSW Australian Human Rights Institute Advisory Board. In 2017 Konica Minolta was awarded Anti-Slavery Australia's first Freedom Award ever presented to business, and in December 2018, the company was awarded the Human Rights Award in the business category by the Australian Human Rights Commission, for promoting human rights and its leadership on modern slavery and its work on gender equality.

Mora Gibbings was born in Cambodia and now lives in Melbourne with her family. She survived the Pol Pot regime from 1975 to 1979 as a teenager, in which her parents, two elder brothers and older sister, along with more than 30 other family members, were killed. Mora has worked and volunteered extensively in the not-for-profit sector, including for institutions such as Red Cross, UNICEF, Oxfam, VSO, Australian Volunteer International and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Mora led a team for IOM in assessing ways to prevent trafficking of women and children within Cambodia, and became an adviser for the Cambodian Ministry of Women’s Affairs. Mora has worked on community development, education and health projects within Cambodia. Currently, Mora works as the Welfare Coordinator at the Cambodian Association of Victoria in Melbourne.

Vannak Anan Prum was looking for work on the Thai Cambodian border when he was detained as a slave on a fishing boat, enduring hellish treatment for four gruelling years. After making his escape by literally jumping ship, Vannak was sold by his ‘rescuers’ on the Malaysian coast to a plantation owner and police official. After another year of hard labour and imprisonment, a human rights organisation helped him return to his family. At home in Cambodia, he drew pictures of what he remembered to explain his whereabouts during the course of his years as a modern-day slave. Though never formally educated or trained in art, Vannak has loved drawing since childhood and created these pencil and ink illustrations detailing his personal odyssey. In 2012 Prum was given a State Department Human Rights Defender Award, presented to him by then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Vannak has been commissioned by 7 Stories Press to create a second graphic novel about other survivors of human trafficking. He fights slavery with his art.

Kate Skattang is a supply chain expert, and she uses her in-depth experience to educate and inform businesses and consumers on supply chain issues across a broad range of mediums. She lectures in supply chain strategy and contributes to supply chain research at Melbourne University, is a freelance writer, and a management consultant for boutique supply chain consultancy State of Flux. Most recently her focus has been on helping clients understand how to trace their global supply chains to understand their sustainability risk and how to build business frameworks to mitigate those risks. She has experience first-hand working with community groups on anti-human trafficking programs on the ground in India and Bangladesh, and is currently working on research into the Thai fishing industry.

Rodd Rathjen is an Australian writer/director raised in Colbinabbin, a small country town in central Victoria. Rodd completed a Bachelor of Film and Television with Honours from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2010. He made the short Tau Seru in India, which had its World Premiere at Cannes as part of Critics Week 2013. The film also won Best Australian Short at MIFF 2013 and has since screened at over 50 international festivals and received a number of awards. At the beginning of 2014, Rodd received the Directors Acclaim Fund from Screen Australia and also participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus as a Director Buoyancy is his debut feature film.

Lisa Cox is an investigative journalist and Guardian Australia's environment reporter. She has covered environmental issues and policy for several years and was previously a political reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. She also works in television drama and was one of the co-creators of the Easy Tiger/SBS miniseries Sunshine.


Sat 10 Aug 1:30 pm [0473]
The Wheeler Centre Assisted ListeningAuslan InterpretedWheelchair Access
Past event
Free event, but bookings are required

To book a wheelchair space or to advise of other access requirements, please contact Box Office on (03) 8660 4898 or email

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