Guided by Justice and Compassion

  • Dutton’s Dog Bill is back in the Senate

    Dutton’s Dog Bill is back in the Senate

    Institutionalised brutality has to be challenged.
    Again! Last year we thought that we had stopped Minister Dutton’s plans to allow the use of dogs in detention centres and for officers to have increased powers for strip searches and seizures without warrants. We thought that the Minister of Home Affairs wouldn’t have the arbitrary right to decide what was to be a “prohibited object” in detention centres and would remain answerable to Parliament and the courts for his actions. We thought that people in immigration detention could keep their phones.

    But the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017 is back.  It is in the Senate to be voted on this session.
    Write to the Independent Members of the Senate.
    Read more

  • Teaching resources for Refugee Week and beyond

    Teaching resources for Refugee Week and beyond

    Education resources for Refugee Week and beyond
    Want to involve your local school in Refugee week? Refugee week 2018 is the 17th to the 23rd of June. The NSW Education Department has produced an excellent teaching resource called Roads to Refuge suitable for upper primary through to year 10 which covers a number of curriculum areas. It includes lesson plans-videos, fact sheets, and worksheets.
    It is worth passing the link on to your local school. They take notice when locals contact them!! links follow
    Read more

  • 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

  • Australia built a hell for refugees on Manus. The shame will outlive us all – Richard Flanagan

    Australia built a hell for refugees on Manus. The shame will outlive us all – Richard Flanagan

    So this is what we have come to as a nation.
    The wretched of the earth, because they were no longer safe where they lived, sought to come here. With a determined cruelty, we kidnapped and imprisoned them in Pacific lagers. These lagers became synonymous with the idea of hellholes because it was important to our government that they be – ­and be known as – hellholes.
    On this policy of deterrence, as it was called, which had as its declared purpose to make innocent human beings suffer indefinitely, we spent billions of dollars. To this end we had truck with vile regimes such as Sri Lanka’s. And to this end we began forsaking our democratic rights.Read more

  • Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time

    Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time

    Today I attended the world premier today of Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time at the Sydney Film Festival.   It is one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen.   As an Australian I feel ashamed, complicit and appalled.
    Iranian-Kurdish journalist detainee, Behrouz Boochani and an Iranian-Dutch filmmaker, Arash Kamali Sarvestani, made this film with footage shot on a mobile phone.
    It is a unique record of daily life on Manus Island detention centre.
    Also a list of some of Behrouz Boochani’s articlesRead more