I live in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. It was the policy of succeeding governments , both left and tight to place the heavily demonised asylum seekers who had arrived on the shores of our proud country amongst our population. What they did not mention is they placed them in houses without furniture and food, some without electricity for days. This would never be reported in the mainstream media of our country as they are on the side of asylum seekers are evil.
I work at Darebin Intercultural Centre, set up to assist the assimilation of new groups to our multicultural neighbourhood. We set up an asylum seeker lounge to get the new arrivals out of their houses and into the community and provided free English lessons for anyone, some visa classes issued to asylum seekers banned them from working, volunteering and receiving the basic 510 hours English training, but we are called a civilised country.
So who is an asylum seeker, here’s the definition if you didn’t know :
asylum seeker – a person who, from fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, social group, or political opinion, has crossed an international frontier into a country in which he or she hopes to be granted refugee status.
It does not say if you came by boat you were queue jumping, that is something our government made up, so lets have a look at what the world has to say about it:
1. I was asked a question at an event called The Awakening that I attended yesterday. It was, What is it that makes you lose hope? My answer is tribalism or nationalism, that ethos that makes people thing that there are human beings on the planet who matter less than people born in your country.
2. What would the world look like if we followed the above words of the great orator and civil rights champion, Martin Luther King : Justice.
3. I teach English to asylum seekers. One of them is a Sri Lankan woman who was born in a refuge camp in Indian, having two children there. Whose relations paid for her to travel to Australia by boat as she had no chance of getting out of the camp legally, where she and her children was placed on Christmas island and Darwin detention centres for 12 months before being allowed into our community.
4. This is how having to look after Asylum seekers is portrayed by mainstream media in our country : Share It Maybe.
5. These are two lines from our national anthem Advance Australia Fair, we seem to have forgotten something.
6. One of the tricks used to raise worry about asylum seekers is that they won’t fit in. Perhaps the fact that modern day coffee and the guitar owe their discovery to the middle east may allay these fears: Guitar Live.
7. Our Air Force at the moment bombing parts of Syria, I would call that shock and awe, get the connection.
8. How do we fix the problem of asylum seekers flooding our shores? Our country has increased its equanimity with each cultural intake of refugees. When I grew up as a child all you could get was steak and three veg. at roadside cafes, I now live in a suburb with about 20 different culture’s food outlets; When you say nothing at All.
9. William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays, and screenplays. He is primarily known for his novels and short stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based on Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life.
10. Before planes everybody arrived in our country by boat, The first boat arrivals, the English, declared Australia Terra Nullius,Terra nullius – Indigenous Australians had inhabited Australia for over 50,000 years before European settlement, which commenced in 1788. Indigenous customs, rituals and laws were unwritten and their social and political organization was unknown or understood by Europeans as being analogous to their own institutions, and the British could not find recognised leaders with whom they could sign treaties.
The first test of terra nullius in Australia occurred with the decision of R v Tommy (Monitor, 29 November 1827), which indicated that the native inhabitants were only subject to English law where the incident concerned both natives and settlers. The rationale was that Aboriginal tribal groups already operated under their own legal systems. This position was further reinforced by the decisions of R v Boatman or Jackass and Bulleyes (Sydney Gazette, 25 February 1832) and R v Ballard (Sydney Gazette, 23 April 1829).
Prompted by Batman’s Treaty (June 1835) with Wurundjeri elders of the area around the future Melbourne, in August 1835, Governor Bourke of New South Wales indicated the significance of the doctrine of terra nullius by a Proclamation that Batman’s so-called treaty was null and void because Indigenous Australians could not sell or assign land, nor could an individual person or group acquire it, other than through distribution by the Crown. a land with out people , and set about trying to wipe out the native indigenous people on their arrival: Treaty.
11. One of the methodologies used by the Australian government was to stop reporting the arrival of boats in the name of national security.
12. One of the asylum seeker couples I taught English to were a civil engineer and a doctor who had to flee Afghanistan when the Taliban declared a fatwa on Lina, who was a doctor who had been empowering women. Most people who seek asylum had jobs before they had to drop everything and run for their lives: Getting It On.
13. Words not included in the asylum seeker who arrived by boat in Australia policy. We have generously given them temporary visas where they must reapply every three years to see if they can stay. What would you feel like in your life was measured on a three year life span.
14. And this is one of the main reasons that we know the term asylum seeker: War, what is it good For.
15. I have friends who say questionable things about asylum seekers, The first question I ask them is have they ever met an asylum seeker? There answer is usually in the negative.
I request you to research your knowledge of what is written about asylum seekers. A viewing of the excellent Mary meets Mohammad documentary helps greatly.
Namaste until next time, my dear friends.
I heard a program on radio national recently where they discussed the way our response to asylum seekers is affected by the language used by the media. It’s good to read your viewpoint, based on your experience of working with individuals. One of the recommendations from the panel was exactly that, to get to know those who are seeking asylum as in this way we can see their humanity.
I believe that if every Australian knew an asylum seeker the government’s policy would crumble overnight.