Robin de Crespigny

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Date and Time
28/08/2012 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Melbourne Wine Room

Robin de Crespigny
Author of The People Smuggler: The True Story of Ali Al Jenabi, the ‘Oskar Schindler of Asia’
Topic: The People Smuggler

Robin de Crespigny Biography
Press Release – The People Smuggler

Robin de Crespigny is a Sydney film-maker, producer, director, writer and a former Directing Lecturer at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School.

Her book ‘The People Smuggler’ was recently published by Penguin and has attracted a lot of attention because of the topicality of the subject matter. The book tells the true story of an Iraqi refugee, Ali Al Jenabi, who became a people smuggler to save his family and ultimately came to be seen, not as a heinous criminal the government had hoped, but as the ‘Oskar Schindler of Asia.’

When the Head Publisher at Penguin Books, Ben Ball, first read ‘The People Smuggler’ he wrote – ‘this is a book that has the chance to change the terms of our national debate about refugees’.

Central to the book is the question of whether this man is a savoir or a criminal (as quoted on the cover by Thomas Keneally), and is an excellent conversation starter. The book makes no judgment, it simply tells the extraordinary epic tale of a remarkable man, and leaves it open for the reader to make up their own minds on one of the most complex and significant electoral issues we face.

The book was launched at the Sydney Writers Festival. It was the highest selling Australian book at the Festival, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Pick of the Week, and it is currently hovering at the top of the Bestseller list in bookshops around the country.

Robin will speak about how, when, why she came to this project, her writing process, and how she worked with Ali all intercepted with readings of a few amusing or engaging sections, then Robin will open up the floow for a Q&A type discussion which is always vigorous.

The club will be meeting at Melbourne Wine Room at 6.30pm; booking are essential – please use the booking form below (including selecting your menu preference) or email your information to

Please note: if this event is heavily booked a venue change may apply – we will keep to St Kilda area, but it is essential that when booking you provide valid phone/email details so we can alert you to any venue change information.



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