Alex Bhathal is a social worker, human rights advocate and environmentalist. She lives in Preston, Melbourne, where she is active in her local community of Darebin.
A qualified social worker with 30 years in the social welfare sector, Alex’s professional experience includes clinical practice with young people, community development and policy development.
In recent roles, she coordinated refugee youth programs in Victoria for a large NGO and worked as a senior Child Protection practitioner in Broome. She has also worked extensively with Aboriginal young people and families.
Alex has worked as a researcher and has taught at university level in the fields of social work, political science and international relations. She trains and consults in cross cultural communication.
As an Australian Postgraduate Award recipient, Alex conducted PhD research on the social impacts of climate change and climate displacment in the Asia-Pacific region.
Internationally, she has published and presented on climate displacement at UN forums and is active in the global climate justice movement. In 2011 she worked as the Australian Greens’ National Climate Campaigner.
Within Australia, Alex is well known for her refugee and migration rights advocacy, having visited immigration detention centres for many years and worked on the People’s Inquiry into Detention. In 2009, in response to continued attacks on Indian students, she co-authored and coordinated research for the first report into the Community Safety of International Students in Victoria. A Sikh Australian, she remains actively involved in Australia’s rapidly growing Indian and South Asian communities.
Alex ran six times for the Greens in the federal seat of Batman (now Cooper), in 2001, 2004, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2018. In that time, the Greens vote in the seat increased ten-fold, from 4% before she ran in 2001, to 40% in the 2018 Batman by-election. Former International Co-Secretary of the Australian Greens, she co-founded the Global Greens Women’s Network in 2012.
Alex tweets at @alexbhathal