Love finds a way…

Hyperbole and one-up-man-ship often mark the national discourse where controversy is concerned. In the midst of the sloganeering and major political parties competing to see who can offer the greatest deterrent to “stop the boats,” are men, women and children detained in off-shore prisons awaiting their indefinite and uncertain fates. On the reception of asylumContinue reading “Love finds a way…”

The one who marches out of step…

… may be the only one who is in step! Isaiah 50:4-9a is one of the so-called Suffering Servant songs. Appropriated by the Early Church to describe the Passion of Jesus, it initially describes the despair and desolation of the people of Israel as they are led off in chains into Babylonian exile.  Suffering the indignityContinue reading “The one who marches out of step…”

Refugees in the dark over security checks – Eureka Street

This article touches on a huge source of anxiety among refugees on bridging visas and living in communities such as ours. A High Court challenge is a flickering sign of hope that our Kafka-like systems will find an inch of redress. The toxic political polarisation that soaks our our waking moments, however, will take something more. RefugeesContinue reading “Refugees in the dark over security checks – Eureka Street”

Principles for a coherent refugee policy – Eureka Street

    Fr Frank Brennan lays out a coherent groundwork should our politicians suddenly say “This is all too silly – let’s get back to a decent way of assessing and caring for those who seek asylum.” He lays it all out in Principles for a coherent refugee policy – Eureka Street.

Requiem for Shooty

  Thomas Keneally, Australian author, has written an open letter to ‘Shooty’ whose despair under incarceration led to an untimely death. Read it at  Sri Lankan Asylum Seeker Commits Suicide in Villawood. As a resident of the city that just hosted CHOGM as well as a refugee advocate who has just about run dry ofContinue reading “Requiem for Shooty”

Expedient decency

Isn’t it funny how the best humanitarian outcome is seen as a government defeat? (See PM concedes defeat in asylum stand-off ) It could have been so different, with government leadership taking a principled stand rather than letting the opposition,  a fear frenzied section of the population and empire building bureaucrats seize control of the discourse. WhatContinue reading “Expedient decency”

High Court quashes Malaysia deal

… but I fear it’s not time to break out the champagne yet. My feeling right now is one of relief at expectations vindicated. The Malaysia deal was immoral even before it was illegal. Today’s High Court decision that effectively prevents the government from proceeding with the Malaysia refugee swapping deal presents at least oneContinue reading “High Court quashes Malaysia deal”

1 is too many

Australia’s asylum seeker detention culture is very much under scrutiny. The High Court deliberates whether it is in the government power to alleviate pressure on the system through a ‘people-swapping deal’ with Malaysia.The outcome of the case will also have an impact on some backup strategies for warehousing refugees in other off-shore centres. And inContinue reading “1 is too many”

Appealing to the ‘better angels of our nature’

As we head towards refugee Sunday, Eureka Street offers some worthy material for reflection, e.g. Improving the refugee debate – Eureka Street. It well makes the point that multiculturalism, the so called bête noir of our times is really of little account. This reflects a lunch-time conversation from which I have just emerged, where a bunchContinue reading “Appealing to the ‘better angels of our nature’”

What on earth are they thinking?

Why can’t our government get it right with asylum seekers who arrive by boat? The lawfulness of the disgraceful Malaysia deal is being tested before the full bench of the High Court today. This morning’s headlines in the West Australian were like a breeze of fresh air through the stench of indifference and acrimony thatContinue reading “What on earth are they thinking?”