I took this photograph of a photograph taken by Australian Rosemary Laing on display at the 2007 Venice Biennale. It is a shot of Woomera Detention Centre. My photo does not do it justice. It is a raw, cold and confronting image of Australian policies.
Every person who arrives by boat seeking asylum has a story. Over 90% of asylum seekers who have arrived by boat over the last 15 years or so have been granted protection, so you can be sure that these stories include tales of hardship, violence and persecution.
If there’s one thing that Bob Carr’s recent comments on asylum seekers demonstrated it was that our politicians think they can say anything they want about ‘boat people’ and not be held to account for the truth.
Acting Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, members of the Council, Staff of the University, Families and Friends of Graduates, and most importantly, Graduates, it is a great privilege to have been invited to give the Occasional Address at this graduation ceremony tonight.
It is hard to comprehend how outrageous it is that a shameful political standoff on the offshore processing of asylum seekers has forced the Australian Government into a position where it has no choice other than to dump a harsh and punitive policy in favour of its own more just and humane policy.
‘Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice. All the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ (Deuteronomy 27:19)
On the 6 May 2011, the Uniting Church Assembly issued the following statement about plans the Government was exploring to re-open the detention centre in Manus Island – another God-forsaken place we have access to for the dumping of vulnerable people who we believe we bear no responsibility for. This even though we continue to … Continue reading An angry note about Manus Island