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Pakenham: Public Forum: Life on Manus Island
12 April 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
To generate awareness on the current situation on Manus and efforts to support refugees, the local advocacy group are hosting a public forum “Life on Manus Island” on Thursday 12 April at the Outlook Community Centre.
The forum will feature guest speakers
Anne Moon, a refugee advocate and visitor to Manus Island,
and Abiola Ajetomobi from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
The forum will run from 7:30pm to 9:30pm at the Outlook Community Centre, 24 Toomuc Valley Road Pakenham.
“The forum is about creating awareness on the current situation on Manus Island,” Anne Moon said.
“It’s about showing people what is happening in their name; it’s not by some foreign country but by Australia in the name of all Australians.
“Due to the lack of media attention, a lot of people I’ve spoken to don’t really know what’s going on and are shocked to hear what is happening today.”
The well-known refugee advocate has visited Manus Island on numerous occasions.
“The most common thing I hear from the men on Manus is: what was my crime? What did I do wrong?
“There is no end in sight to their incarceration. They have committed no crime and shouldn’t be there.
“These men, all 1200 of them, are from different countries with no commonality, no common language and no common goals apart from seeking freedom.
“They’ve all been chucked in together, yet the amount of integrity, loyalty, sheer strength and goodwill they show is amazing. It’s just out of this world.”
In her visits to Manus, Ms Moon says she has met all kinds of people – from doctors to biochemists to civil engineers – who all had their own hopes and dreams when they decided to embark on their journey to Australia.
One young man even completed an online university course from the small screen of his phone.
“There are so many university degrees in there, so many people with potential and so many stories of resilience.
“They care for and look out for each other in there against all odds.
“They need us to fight for them to change this.”
The forum will also be raising funds for the Manus men denied refugee status.