Migrant or Refugee?

I went to my friend Kavisha Mazzella’s first solo art exhibition yesterday and she sang a song of her nonna’s story. Her grandmother was a refugee from Burma who  had to flee when the Japanese started bombing and invading Burma and the Anglo Burmese had to flee the invasion. Here is the song: Fisherman’s Daughter.

It made me think how you become a refugee , the previous century had two world wars that saw many nationalities in the European sector become refugees and this century has seen more Asian, middle eastern and African countries due to civil wars and invasion by western countries.

What did the world do and what will it continue to do with these people who have suffered having to flee their own homeland because they have no other option.

The 15 quotes I have chosen cover statements about and people who have experienced being a refugee, let us begin the journey:


1. This pope has to keep reminding us that migrants and refugees are actually human beings as well , mothers fathers, sons , daughters , uncles and aunties as some nations have started to forget.


2. Each of us come on to the planet as a bouncing baby, some healthier than others, but none of us are illegal.


3. Communication between nations or Interculturalism: Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included would solve many of the problems that occur when people are branded migrant or refugee. I have created a Facebook Page to assist this to happen : Interculturalism.


4. On the page I talk about above I posted a quote that says if you call your self a christian or a muslim or an Italian or English you are being violent. On of you do not say you are from a particular religion or country are you not because you are owning being a human being totally. These flags above represent what is one of the major problems migrants and refugees face.


5. We can never tell what our journey will contain, unfortunately for the migrant and refugee the struggle is much more difficult than those who live in the country they are fleeing to.


6. For many of the families in my country of Australia, this is how they arrived, with one suitcase each. They made a successful life for their families from this difficult beginning.


7. One of the difficulties forced on migrants and refugees is that they must become …….., the question to be asked of the nation saying that is would your citizens do it if the situation was reversed and you were the Other.



8. We have all seen pictures of refugees camps and people crossing dangerous oceans in boats. Why do we wonder then when these same people make such wonderful citizens after putting up with these treacherous journeys to get to a safer country to call home.


9. This is a very broad statement, we probably do it to our own family at times, so how do we do this to people from countries we know very little about. Take the time to get to know people, especially new arrivals to your country.


10. This is what mainstream media forget when they place labels on people fleeing danger in their own countries. It is normally a label that has caused them to leave.


11. Tshibanda Gracia Ngoy fled tribal conflict in 2005 from Nigeria. In 2012 she was a finalist in the NSW Young Australian of the Year and a member of the NSW Multicultural Youth Network. A commerce and communications degree student at Wollongong University, Gracia Ngoy is also a caseworker for refugee families, a youth motivational speaker and a member of the Illawarra Regional Advisory Council and the NSW Multicultural Youth Network.  Gracia, who speaks five languages, arrived in Australia with her family in 2005 after fleeing tribal conflict in the troubled Democratic Republic of Congo. After settling in Wollongong, she took up an offer of free homework tutoring, simultaneously signing up as a mentor for others. An accredited freelance journalist, Gracia recently published her first book entitled A Little Recipe for Success which aims to inspire young people to live successful, fulfilled and purposeful lives.  She has also written numerous articles aimed at breaking down cultural barriers between her native Congo and Australia.  Awarded the prestigious Australian Young People’s Human Rights Medal, Gracia was also named 2010 Wollongong Young Citizen of the Year. Drawing on the wisdom of personal experience, Gracia is determined to help the ‘many people living shattered lives who have been tied up by their past experiences and challenges.’


12. What you let your government get away with when dealing with members of their citizenship, especially their migrants and refugees build the future way you are treated as well.


13. This man is considered one of our greatest minds to have ever lived on the planet, he was a refugee.


14.  António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres,  born 30 April 1949) is a former Portuguese politician who was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002. He also served for a time as President of the Socialist International. He served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015. This is what he say about accusing refugees of being terrorists.


15. This has  been forgotten in our country, in fact we call them illegal and take away their rights to live as a human being saying they do not have a right to live here and send them to gulags.

So my request is that you spend time getting to know the migrants and refugees in your country. Only then will we realise that they are fellow human beings not terrorists. Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included.

Namaste until Thursday, my dear friends.


It goes to my Heart.

My empathic traits are returning big time. Recently a friend posted a picture of her self with her girlfriends on Facebook and all the quotes were gorgeous, stunning,powerful women etc, etc. I felt like crying for her because all I could feel was the immense sadness emanating from her body. She had just returned from overseas and had posted how she was having difficulty assimilating back after separating from her lover who lives in another country.

so you know I like lists and the number 15 so here are 15 quotes or sayings about empathy and being an empath.


1. Is being an empath a good thing or a bad thing, you can shut your eyes and block things out but when you feel it in your heart it doesn’t go away, light or shadow.


2. Seeing Listening and Feeling, the three major skills of an empath that allow you to heal others and let them know that someone else relates to what they are going through.


3. Our intuitive streak, Empathy, gut feeling when all our logical sensibilities are telling us to go the other way, yes you are an Empath and the former win out most of the time.


4. We speak our truth, this may be after a very rocky journey, See most of humanity doesn’t and you can see it.


5. Blessed are the few, and when we hone in on the suffering of the planet it sometimes feels like a curse. It takes inner strength to be an Empath.


6. As an empath you can help heal other people with one word or one touch or lots of words or touches. But you are there for others as your dominant purpose on the planet.


7. As an empathic individual you may go through rough patches where what is happening around you in the world is all consuming and saddens you. At this time its goodto remember your purpose is that of a healer.


8. Imagine if all of our judges were Empaths. Would it change the sentencing of prisoners if the judge could feel the pain that they had suffered during their lives. A worthy experiment.


9. With training and practice you can lessen the effect of outside energy but also must be aware of your internal energies. its up to us to be the change in the planets energy.


10. As empaths we attend to attract likeminded people and you hear real stories, not its good and I feel fine. THis is raw honest communication, Yummy.


11. Its Tenzin Gyatso, HHDL 80th Birthday, he is one of our spiritual leaders and he keeps pointing us towards the responsibility that being an empath is, keep on track.


12. As empaths you don’t need to be directly adjacent to the person to sense whats going on, Possibly could be the reason why so many Empaths I know become Reiki masters and distance healers.


13. One of my empathic friends formed a Facebook group called the Anchors of Love, thats what i see the purpose of me being an empath is, to send out the Love.


14. A funny analogy, putting yourself in another socks, but this is what we do when we want to be comfortable to share whats going on, we take off our shoes and sometime even our socks and become more vulnerable.


15 When I was downloading the images I lost count and only did 14 so I had to find another one. I found this piece of powerful writing. The quest for Love Justice and wisdom after the heroes journey. The uniting of dreamers, we can change the world.

Well we have reached the end, so time to sign off. Namaste my friends until next time.


Small Changes, Big Results


These are the beginning of 300 foot trees if they survive their journey. This is the same for human beings, we are destined to be the leaders of the world if we fulfil our dreams or failed seedling if we do not. As seedlings/children we imagine amazing futures for ourselves and our friends, real or imagined. Then comes something called the education system that is more and more becoming about normalising children, packing them into little boxes so they all come out the same prepared for their careers in our economic world.

Would we have lost the space program if all the astronauts of the world have stuck to their childhood declaration and sought to walk on the Moon or Mars for that matter. Would we have the politicians we have today if all the 4 year old presidents and prime ministers who wanted to make a difference to their friends and family had followed their dreams and transformed their communities.

Ritu Ghatourey,a writer from India  said – Your life is made up of little moments, little efforts, little changes, big smiles, and all your hopes and dreams. Don’t think any problem in your life is any different. Don’t accept defeat. You were built to triumph through. I admit there are times where I have not lived up to these ideals.


Here are 7 things that can keep  you on the straight and narrow when you feel that the results you desire are slipping away from you.

1. You are exactly where you need to be.

All those thoughts that keep saying I’m not going to make it , I have failed are not correct, you are where you need to be right now on your life journey, you cannot be anywhere else as a matter of fact.

2. Trust yourself Vs. the Doubting monster.

Love and Respect for all, Everyone included. If you go through life with this koan there will be no room to doubt what you are doing will succeed because you will have the majority of people onside. People who exude love have to push away people who are willing to support them because there are so many of them lined up.

3. Give up resisting what life does every moment  of the day , Change!

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

4. Never stop learning.

There is a quote that goes “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning today is young. The greatest thing on the world today is to keep your mind young. I would add your heart and soul to this as well, the access to the knowledge of the elders is growing and refreshening our heart soul and mind is essential to keep our dreams and projects alive.


5.Develop a Gratitude practice.

We can be grateful for what we have in our lives, or complain and judge them, here are some reasons that being grateful works and makes us an all round better person.

  1. Feeling more connected (less lonely)
  2. Strengthened immune system
  3. Improved emotional equilibrium
  4. Better sleep
  5. Increased energy
  6. More confidence in ourselves
  7. Deeper relaxation
  8. Appear more attractive to others
  9. Increased creativity
  10. Easier bounce back from difficulty

I sure would  like some of these!! Gratitude journal and the writing of Thank you notes are great practices to help manifest this.

6. Sun Gazing.

The practice of sungazing closely resembles its name. At sunrise and/or sunset, when the sun is closest to the earth, sungazers stand barefoot on the earth and look directly at the sun for 10 seconds. Every day, 10 seconds are added and some sungazers eventually reach a duration of 44 minutes. This is meant to increase your melatonin and serotonin levels, our feel good hormones which also increase our overall energy.

7. Care with no Reason, Love with no Expectation.

Life rarely turns out exactly the way you want it to, but you still have an opportunity to make it great. You have to do what you can, with what you have, exactly where you are. It wont always be easy, but it will be worth it in the end. Remember that there is no perfect life, just perfect moments. And its these moments you must cherish; its these moments that make the whole journey worthwhile.

Another Ritu Ghatourey quote to end on, no attachments make it easier to walk your path and have more and more great moments in your life, projects , relationship, pretty well all areas in your life.

Namaste until next time, my friends.


Terra Nullius, the theft of a land


I live in a land that has been populated for close to 60,000 years. Recently the Prime Minister of our country denied this https://newmatilda.com/2014/11/14/tony-abbott-says-nothing-bush-australia-white-settlement, an act he continues to do even though he is the self appointed representative of the people who have inhabited the land for this time. Our Country, Australia is the only western country that does not recognise the indigenous native in their Constitution, in fact the words “other than the aboriginal race” were contained in up to 1967 when 94% of the population voted to have it removed in a referendum. I am ashamed that prior to this under the White Australia Policy of the government our Indigenous brothers and sisters, The First Australians had been considered less than human.

Terra nullius is a Latin expression deriving from Roman law meaning “land belonging to no one”, which is used in international law to describe territory which has never been subject to the sovereignty of any state, or over which any prior sovereign has expressly or implicitly relinquished sovereignty.

We are showing the inspirational SBS series The First Australians at the place that I work at Darebin Intercultural Centrehttps://www.facebook.com/DarebinInterculturalCentre?ref=hl ,a series created by First Australians to belie some of the myths that have been put across as the history of our land http://www.sbs.com.au/firstaustralians/. Facts I have learnt from this series are that there were over 250 Tribal groups populating the country when whites first arrived and that genocidal actions were taken against them to steal their land such as the 5 pound bounty put on an aboriginal in Tasmania and the hiring of  professional hunters to complete the task by the government of the day.

This made me think that families who first settled the land in the early days probably saw or took part in some horrendous actions to claim their lands if they were all populated by an aboriginal tribe. I grew up in the bush so somewhere in our distant past who knows what occurred.


On the night of the 12 February 1965, 30 university students from Sydney boarded a bus and set off to campaign in the country towns of New South Wales. Officially called Student Action for Aborigines, they were led by Charles Perkins, a young man who would become one of the most important Australian Aboriginal activists, as well as a leader in the Aboriginal community through his work as a politician and bureaucrat, as well as through his sporting achievements as a soccer player, coach and administrator.http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-56_u-490_t-1335_c-5130/tas/sose-history/australia-after-1945/an-era-of-protest/charles-perkins-freedom-rides

Charles Perkins and his ilk were willing to fight for the rights of Indigenous people and their actions led to the referendum of 1967 and allowed people like Vincent Lingiari to lead his fellow stockman and families off the Wave Hill cattle station where their civil rights had been being abused by the Vestey family, a wealthy British family who had run the station since the 1880’s. In 1975 the land was handed back to the Gurindji people by then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam , the first such case and the beginning of the land rights movement in Australia.

Finally, to give back to you formally in Aboriginal and Australian law ownership of this land of your fathers. Vincent Lingiari, I solemnly hand to you these deeds as proof, in Australian law, that these lands belong to the Gurindji people and I put into your hands this piece of the earth itself as a sign that we restore them to you and your children forever.—Gough Whitlam, August 16th 1975 [4]

This opened up actions to be taken by several governments to either crush or support land rights http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_title_in_Australia , the most famous case being Mabo vs. Queensland over the period of 1988 to 1992. Eddie Mabo took the government to task about the right his Murri people had  re owner ship of Mer, his home island. Unfortunately Eddie became ill and died several months before the victorious decision was handed down http://www.abc.net.au/tv/mabo/biography/eddie-mabo.htm.


So why will the government of a supposedly civilised land not recognise the first 40,000 years of their lands history in their constitution? If you look at these statistics it could be assumed that the will of the people is not there and the government are listening to the unspoken racism that exists in  our country http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/people/racism-in-aboriginal-australia#toc6

Terra Nullius is an abomination and belittles the people of our great country and we should be taking all steps we can to have it reversed and call out to our elected head of government to stop making statements that suggest he supports its existence. The fight for land rights has also risen again as the premier of Western Australia intends to  close 150 settlements http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-12/indigenous-communities-closures-will-have-severe-consequences/5886840. I believe we are better as a nation in recognising our indigenous brothers and sisters, the First Australians than some of the actions occurring seemingly in the name of the money barons who wish to mine without having to ask anyone. Say no to Terra Nullius and the fold back of land rights.

Namaste until we meet again my friends.


Who seeks Asylum?


I work at the Darebin Intercultural Centre in Preston where we have an Asylum Seeker Lounge which actually means I get to interact with actual Asylum Seekers.

Seeking international protection

The term asylum-seeker is often confused with the term refugee. An asylum-seeker is someone who says he or she is a refugee and seeks international protection from persecution or serious harm in their home country. Every refugee is initially an asylum-seeker, but not every asylum-seeker will ultimately be recognized as a refugee. While they are waiting for their claim to be accepted or rejected, they are called asylum-seekers. The term asylum-seeker contains no presumption either way – it simply describes the fact that someone has lodged the claim for asylum. National asylum systems are there to decide which asylum-seeker actually qualifies for international protection. Those judged through proper procedures not to be refugees, nor to be in need of any other form of international protection, can be sent back to their home countries.

I always ask people who agree with the policy that there are no such thing as asylum seekers who need to catch boats and not wait on the list that never decrease for organisations such as the UNCHR have they ever met an asylum seeker and listened to their stories. There is a great project in Melbourne Australia that tells these stories http://opencity.org.au/ – they cannot use there real names for fear of reprise to their families in their home countries and unfortunately in our country from over zealous government officials but I know several of the people in this projects and having read them it changed my ideas of what and why these people take the dramatic action of boarding a rickety boat that may end up at the bottom of an ocean.


Sara who I know has lost her family because of the repressive laws regarding women in her home country. Highly educated and a translator of books Sara decided to leave after the last books she translated was not allowed to be published because it broke Islamic Law. religion raising its head once again. Women do not have the right to seek leaving their country where Sara was from , so she flew out with the intention of not returning and seeking asylum in a country where women had rights and chose Australia. Sara spent 9 days on a boat after paying $5,000 to a boat smuggler and lost contact with the person who traveled with her from her home country. Because one has money does not mean you are an Asylum seeker, money is not the answer to living a meaningful life.

Mustafa was raped by the Taliban at the age of ten years old for a three month period and has been in Australia and on the same visa for the past five years. He has 8 dollars a fortnight  left over after paying his rent which he buys a packet of biscuits and a bottle of drink and recently had to leave his shared accommodation and has been going through the trauma of finding new accommodation on a severely low income.


I recently found a Pledge to Asylum Seekers written by L. Clancy and L. Mariah for Bendigo for Refugees, http://www.pledgetoasylumseekers.org/

Our Pledge to Asylum Seekers

YWC pledger_4 Welcome!

This site is for sharing the Pledge to Asylum Seekers, written by two Australian writers who wanted to create something that would generate empathy, humanity and hope.

We wrote the Pledge to bring some perspective to an issue that has become lost in politics. We hope that it will move people’s hearts, demonstrate the depth of compassion felt by both individuals and groups, and inspire further action.

The Pledge is as follows

To those who come from desperation and despair,

To those who have endured violence and unrest.

To those who have no place of safety,

Who come to our shores seeking sanctuary:

You are Welcome here.

We pledge to the mothers and to the fathers,

We pledge to the children and pregnant women,

We pledge to those tortured, broken and dispossessed,

We will acknowledge you with kindness and compassion:

You are Welcome here.

We pledge as part of the human family:

We pledge as members of a global community:

We pledge as people who have sought and found

A peace and safety such as you seek,

You are welcome here.

As the children and grandchildren of displaced persons,

We will not shirk our responsibilities.

We will Not stand by while your cjhildren are hidden offshore.

We will insist on change to the current system.

You are welcome here.

If you dream of your children living in safety,

Of sharing the hard works and the rewards:

If you long to contribute to a caring and just society

And subscribe to a ‘fair go for all’,

You are welcome here.

Bring respect fellowship and goodwill.

Bring your heart, your courage and your aspirations.

We are fair honest, open-minded and generous,

We greet you in friendship

And you are welcome here.

Signed ___________________

This is for the humans to sign, people who recognize that do not belong to teams, but one human race. Go to the webpage print a copy out sign it and get your organisations and friends and family to sign it and return the humanity to a situation that seems to have lost it at the moment.

Namaste until next time my friend