Temporary reveals – in longform stories, podcasts, art and photography – the lives of people who came to Australia seeking refuge, and the laws that entangle them in an endless uncertainty.

The project is produced by UNSW’s Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, initiated with support from the Collier Charitable Fund, and features an eight-episode narrative podcast series from the UNSW Centre for Ideas and Guardian Australia.

Temporary offers rare access and intimate understanding of people navigating Australia’s refugee system, with no way to secure permanent protection. In their own voice, each refugee and asylum seeker in Temporary speaks from a shadowy legal limbo of Australia’s own creation. Zaki, Hani, Kumar, Elaheh, Arman and Yehye cast individual lights on the shared story of 30,000 people who make up the ‘legacy caseload’.

The art, music and photography in Temporary comes from refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia.

The legal and policy context is explained by experts from the Kaldor Centre, the world's leading research centre dedicated to the study of international refugee law, and the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS), an organisation based at UNSW Sydney providing free legal advice, assistance and representation for financially disadvantaged and vulnerable people seeking asylum in Australia.


The Temporary podcast won the Australian Podcast Awards 2021 for Best Current Affairs podcast and was a finalist in the Best Documentary podcast.

The Temporary project won the 2021 NSW Humanitarian Award for Media.

The introductory story to Temporary, ‘A Legacy of Endless Limbo’, won the American Society of Journalists and Authors Award for best long-form content of 2020.

The Temporary project was a Silver Medal winner for the inaugural Anthem Awards in the Human & Civil Rights, Awareness – Special Projects category.

The Temporary podcast series was named a Webby Awards Honoree in the Documentary podcast category.