Citizen Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘Refugee’

Roaring at the man drilling tattoos into my sensitivities

In Nancy Cato, Refugees on March 5, 2013 at 4:24 PM
Survivors of Unthrown Children - 2001

Survivor Family of Unthrown Children – 2001

By Nancy Cato
March 3, 2013

At my usual early hour on a sunny Melbourne Saturday, I pushed back the covers along with the urge to go back to sleep and wondered why I felt discomforted.

I’m a happy soul, usually.

And then I remembered; the images of Scott Morrison’s many interviews the day before on his pea-sized understanding of the asylum seeker debate were drilling tattoos onto my sensitivities.

Before I had much chance to let my brain catch up to my outstretched hand. I’d sent out this message via Twitter for all to see:

Your words @ScottMorrisonMP have punctured my skin, entered my bloodstream & sadly for you, boosted my adrenaline levels. #fightnotflight

 I stand by them.

Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she equipped us with the instinct to take flight or stand and fight when sensing danger. The animals of the wild also know it well, and you Mr Scott Morrison have turned me into a wild Mother Lion today. A very wild one.

You see, Mr Morrison, I have two tiny granddaughters. They’re innocent, loved and free and I want them to remain that way, at least while I’m around to tear anything to pieces that would destroy their rights or foul the very air they breathe.

That’s just what you’re threatening to do, Mr Morrison. Do you realise that? Do you have the faintest idea of the impact your words have the minute they settle somewhere, anywhere?

No?

Of course you don’t. You’re far too busy stirring your inner crucible aren’t you. Let’s take a look in it shall we? I hesitate, but see it for what it is we must.

Ugh.

It’s bile. It’s slimy and deep. Look, I can see the ingredients that refuse to integrate: superiority, affluence, ambition, greed, power and opportunism. And what’s that down at the bottom? Ah yes. Hatred, all fine-tuned to the latest recipe of racist thought your alignments dictate.

Can you see what your words turn into, the minute they leave your mouth and mix with the hot air you’ve summoned around you Mr Morrison?

No? I’ll tell you.

They become as blowflies. Each one blowing in the wind to settle and leave its new hatching to poison and rot the environment we love and care about.

Oh yes, I’m a Mother Lion today but not just for my grandchildren. I’m roaring in rage for all the children who hope to grow up in this beautiful country of ours, free from the despicable discrimination that you wish to impose on their thought. And I’ll tear into you as much as you deserve – albeit just with my words.

You do not seem to understand, Mr Morrison, that it’s far too late for you to pretend that this society of ours is pristine white and problem free. Like it or not we already are a Multicultural Society with skins ranging from black through red and yellow to white. Read the rest of this entry »

Refugees tell @latingle how they would change our policy and practice

In Immigration, Jane Cattermole, Refugees on March 5, 2013 at 2:13 PM

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By Jane Cattermole
March 5, 2013

I recently attended the Perth Writer’s Festival and heard heard refugees tell their own stories and describe the mistrust and bitterness they felt from some Australians. Laura Tingle moderated the forum on ‘Refugees: Where do they come from?’ and the panel was:

Robin de Crespigny, Author of The People Smuggler and winner of the 25th Human Rights Award for Literature

Kooshyar Karimi, Refugee, Author of I Confess: Revelations in Exile and General Practitioner

Carina Hoang, Refugee, Author of Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus and a Special Representative of Australia for UNHCR

Robin’s book tells the true story of Ali Al Jenabi, who fled Saddam Hussain’s torture chambers and became a people smuggler to get his family to safety. He became known as the Oskar Schindler of Asia.

Kooshyar’s story began in the post-revolutionary bloodshed of the Iran-Iraq war. He practised medicine and helped desperate women and girls who had been raped terminate their resulting pregnancies. He was kidnapped and tortured over 65 days and then had to spy on his own people or be slowly tortured to death. He smuggled his wife and children out of Iran into Turkey where he hid for more than a year before the UNHCR granted him refugee status. He now lives in Sydney and works as a GP near Newcastle.

Carina was the eldest of seven children living in Saigon during the Vietnam war. After four years living under communist rule and not knowing the whereabouts of her father, Carina, still a teenager, set out for a new life with her younger brother and sister. They had seven gruelling days at sea, ran out of food and saw people die, were attacked by pirates and tossed around by violent storms. They landed in Indonesia and taken by authorities to an uninhabited island where they lived for a year. Carina was finally granted refugee status and lived in America before settling in Australia with her husband and daughter.

As you can imagine their stories of persecution, war, torture and escape were harrowing, but I will focus on their responses to these questions from Laura:

We have a federal election coming up. If there was one thing you could get changed about refugee policy in Australia what would it be? Would it just be increasing the humanitarian intake? Also there are questions about processing and all that sort of stuff, or would it be onshore versus offshore. What would be the one thing, that if a politician was actually going to be brave in this debate, what would you like to see them do?

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Read the rest of this entry »

Is the ‘liberal’ in the Liberal Party a case of false advertising?

In Ideology, Liberal Party, Noely Neate on March 2, 2013 at 5:32 PM

By Noely Neate
March 2nd, 2013

When I was young I would see something I thought was unfair, have a rant about it  (obviously have not changed over the years)  and my dad would mutter under his breathe ‘bloody bleeding heart liberal’.  As a youngster I never really knew what that meant, though I did get the gist that my dad thought I was being soft.

Reading about the highly anticipated or dreaded Costello report , depending on how you feel about the future of Queensland,  it was pretty clear that the Atate I love is about to be parcelled up and sold to the highest bidder.  In a nutshell Mr Costello is telling his liberal mate Mr Campbell Newman to Sell assets and outsource health services.

So where does that leave the people?

Kay Rollison has expressed my concerns very well in her recent article: Privatisation: Coming to Public Schools and Hospitals Near You.  She  infers that the LNP Queensland Government is setting the blueprint for what an Abbott Federal Government is planning to do to the country as a whole.  I have a terrible feeling she may be right, and again I ask, what about the people?  The people who can’t afford private schools, the people who can’t afford a private hospital, the people who are already struggling to pay their ever increasing electricity bill. Are we destined to a future of the rich being wealthier, healthier and educated, whilst the less affluent become poorer, die waiting for a hospital bed and more ignorant due to poor public education standards?

Is this what a so-called Liberal party should be doing? Let’s see how the party so proud of it ‘Liberal Party Values’ stacks up against the definition of the word ‘liberal’.

Being an old fashioned sort of girl, I hit the dictionary for the definition of liberal and you know what, the political party does not seem to fit the definition that the trusty old Oxford Dictionary shows me.  Let’s see…

willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own

I don’t think so. The demonisation of asylum seekers is not liberal by definition.  Recent comments by Morrison and Abetz display exactly how ‘accepting’ the Liberal Party is. Personally I would prefer to be warned that Morrison or Abetz was living next to me than an asylum seeker trying to start a new life with the family.  (their words and views)

open to new ideas

Gee that is a funny one. I’m pretty sure that the LGBT Australians are pretty sure there will be no gay marriage under the Liberals. In fact, dialling back Civil Unions was on the top of the LNP’s list when they rocked into power last year.

favourable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms

Well if Mr Abbott has his way, women definitely do not have reproductive rights or freedoms?  Now get back in that kitchen and make your husbands dinner, unless of course you work for or are related to Mr Abbott, because you are obviously one of the ‘good’ women…

(in a political context) favouring individual liberty, free trade, and moderate political and social reform Read the rest of this entry »

Laura Tingle reveals why some policies don’t get covered any more

In Jane Cattermole, MSM, Refugees on February 23, 2013 at 9:00 PM
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Laura Tingle

By Jane Cattermole
February 23, 2013

On Friday I attended a forum at the Perth Writers Festival titled Refugees; where do they come from. The speakers were Robin de Crespigny, author of  ‘The People Smuggler’, Kooshyar Karimi, refugee and author of ‘I Confess: Revelations in Exile’ and Carina Hoang, author of ‘Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus’. The forum was convened by Laura Tingle from the Australian Financial Review. After the presentations and discussion there was time for a couple of questions. Here’s one asked of Laura, and her reply.
Question:
Don’t you feel that the media has a much greater responsibility to act rather than to simply mouth what is the party line? You’re in a privileged position where you can speak with a far greater volume than most of us, so I would like to ask you, why doesn’t that happen? Who’s stopping you from speaking out? Why won’t more journalists have the courage of our convictions?

Laura Tingle answer:
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Right!

This is a complex question which I’m trying to answer very seriously and successfully, and we’ll also be having a discussion about media tomorrow.

A few things have happened. One of them is the way the political debate in Australia is reported has changed dramatically over the last ten or fifteen years in particular. We used to have people who wrote about immigration and refugees and asylum seeker policy. We used to have people who were health policy experts.

I work in Canberra and this is what I can tell you about best. The change in the economics of the media and the change in the way the media works means that we no longer have specialists in those areas anymore. Now that sounds like a really small thing but it means that when a story is reported it’s reported by generalist reporters.

In Canberra we’re political reporters and we tend to report it, and I’m using the Royal We here. I’ll take responsibility for the sins that are mine and that aren’t. We report it as a political story, as a matter of political controversy. There aren’t people in the key offices of the newspapers who would have written really detailed, well informed pieces backgrounding these issues, but that’s a sweeping generalisation. The guy who won the Gold Walkley in December was Steve Penros from The West Australian and he wrote about the Christmas Island tragedy – but it is now a rare thing that it happens.

Now the Financial Review, which isn’t your mainstream Refugee policy paper I fairly concede, but we actually had a period, and this shows you how these things happen, where there are a whole heap of issues which the editor, the previous editor, there were a range of issues that business was just not interested in.

Refugees was certainly one of them. Climate change was another, and we literally couldn’t get them into the paper. That extended to immigration generally, which was I thought was, well, a bit stupid because, you know, it’s the labour market. Read the rest of this entry »