Guided by Justice and Compassion

  • Ged Kearney’s maiden speech to the House of Representatives 21 May 2018

    Ged Kearney’s maiden speech to the House of Representatives 21 May 2018

    “That brings me to the issue of asylum seekers, a passionate and emotional issue for the voters in Batman’s community. I think proudly of the great achievements of both sides of this House, of Malcolm Fraser and Bob Hawke, who with bipartisan support provided sanctuary to those fleeing the consequences of war in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and later from the events of Tiananmen Square. …

    I cannot comprehend how a nation that provided a safe home to so many in the wake of World War II, including our large Jewish community of Holocaust survivors, allowed the Tampa and the children overboard scandal to evolve into the shameful policy of indefinite detention on Manus and Nauru. Racist dog whistling has demonised and vilified a community that has everything to give Australia. And the sacrifice of this human potential has been made solely for political gain.Read more

  • 2018 Human Rights Dinner keynote address by Behrouz Boochani

    2018 Human Rights Dinner keynote address by Behrouz Boochani

    Standing up for human rights is about picking the battles that are long and exhausting precisely because they are the ones that matter the most.
    Even after five years of misery and oppression, Behrouz Boochani hasn’t given up. So how on earth can any of us?
    As he said in his keynote address via video from Manus island last night at the Annual Human Rights Dinner in Sydney:
    “Our advocacy will be acknowledged as truly valuable and worthwhile only when we can secure the release and safety of the refugees imprisoned on these islands.”
    Never give up. We won’t.Read more

  • Walid Zazai speaks from Manus to the Palm Sunday Rally 2018

    Walid Zazai speaks from Manus to the Palm Sunday Rally 2018

    Walid Zazai speaks from Manus
    31 December 2017 As the clock ticked towards midnight, I felt both dread at another long year and hope for what seems unimaginable to me – freedom.
    Hello everyone, my name is Walid Zazai. Thank you for asking me to speak again.

    Much has changed since last year’s Palm Sunday Rally.
    On 7 August 2017, Hamed Shamshiripour died on Manus.On 21 September 2017, 24 Manus men left PNG for the US, thefirst to be resettled under what Donald Trump called a ‘dumb deal’.
    On 29 September 2017, Rajeev became the sixth Manus Island refugee to die in the last four years. His death follows those of Reza Barati, Hamid Kehazaei, Kamil Hussain, Faysal Ishak, Ahmed & Hamed Shamshiripour.
    November 2017 is a month I hope one day my memory will erase.Read more

  • A letter from Manus Island to be read on Palm Sunday

    A letter from Manus Island to be read on Palm Sunday

    Imran, a refugee on Manus, has written this letter on behalf of the refugees and asylum-seekers on the island to coincide with Palm Sunday rallies across Australia. Dearest Friends, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to everyone joining the rally on Palm Sunday, and of course, to those who support us in myriadRead more

  • Friday essay: the Chauka bird and morality on our Manus Island home

    Friday essay: the Chauka bird and morality on our Manus Island home

    Michelle Nayahamui Rooney grew up on Manus Island and returned to her home in November 2017. Here is the story of her childhood, what Manus island means to her as she tries to explains what the detention centre has done to this community.

    “My poem Chauka, yu we? started as an angry reaction to the appropriation of the Chauka and the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers. As a scholar and as a Manus Islander, I have tried to reason through the historical, political, social and moral issues that gave rise to the detention centre. At the same time I am left angry, sad and guilty…”Read more

  • The increasingly deranged diary of a detention centre visitor

    The increasingly deranged diary of a detention centre visitor

    If the Department of Home Affairs was trying to stop detention centre visits with its new, punitive visitation procedures, then it may have worked.
    Last month the Department of Home Affairs changed the visitation protocols for Australian detention centres, provoking outrage and hunger strikes among detainees.
    Here, Rebekah Holt attempts to navigate the new system for her weekly Sunday visit.Read more