The Long Journey To Nauru

The Long Journey To Nauru

Julie Macken in New Matilda – 12 January 2016

Nauru 7

“30 years ago, it would have been unthinkable to Australians that they would lock up men, women and children without charge, in conditions likened to a concentration camp. And yet, here we are. In this special feature, Julie Macken charts the course that made Australia an international pariah for its treatment of the world’s most vulnerable people – those seeking asylum.”

“We need to do three things. First, grant amnesty to all those currently held on Nauru and Manus Island and bring them to Australia. That’s less than 2,000 women, children and men.”

“Second, cancel the contracts for Transfield and Wilson Security and begin the diplomatic, legal and financial work necessary to implement a safe, secure and long-term regional solution. This means redirecting the billions of dollars currently being spent on Nauru and Manus Island to meaningfully resourcing the UNHCR in Indonesia and Malaysia.”

“Third, Australia needs to increase its intake of refugees from these newly resourced assessment centres in Indonesia and Malaysia.”

Read the full article here

The reflections in this quote from the article are worthy of consideration.  

“It is worth noting the government’s frame has never been meaningfully challenged by a systematic, resourced and informed counter-narrative. For instance, in contrast to the refugee movement, the environment movement has spent the past six years putting serious financial resources into a national communications strategy that challenges the political, cultural and economic hegemony of the coal industry, with some outstanding successes. Unfortunately, the refugee movement continues to forgo the alliance-building work necessary for such an approach with the result that the narrative stays firmly in the grip of the major political parties. Indeed, both Labor and the Coalition argue the policies have been successful. The boats have essentially stopped coming to Australia and therefore people are no longer drowning at sea … … …

Those concerned about Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers need to get smart about creating a counter narrative to the current story of fear, distrust and inhumanity. By changing the frame to one of shared humanity, success and courage, it becomes harder for politicians from both major parties to get political mileage out of brutalising them.”