Quizzically Musing

Watching the madness

Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Island

Not In Our Name

with 4 comments

Getup has launched a campaign to stop Australia sending children to Malaysia as part of the “asylum seeker solution”.

I am proud to put my name to the cause and it is somewhere amongst these 31,654 names.

Not in our name

Not in our name

I quote from the email sent to me by GetUp:

To see it all you need to do is grab a copy of The Age. The ad also appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday. You might need a magnifying glass to see your name but that’s a good thing. It means that the response was so overwhelming that we could only fit in everyone’s names by squeezing them in with small font.


You may have also heard that on Sunday the High Court put an injunction on the Malaysia deal. This will temporarily halt the transfer of asylum seekers to Malaysia. The final outcome of the case may still be weeks away but this is exciting news and you can read more about the court case by clicking here.

We must stop this happening.  Join the cause!





Written by Robyn Dunphy

August 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm

The Malaysian Solution? (via Australian Immigration Blog – Grant Williams)

leave a comment »

Still image from the documentary film "Wa...

Image via Wikipedia

I have written several articles in the past about Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers.

Today I would like to draw attention to Grant William’s writing on the topic.

I’d really hoped not to have to write this article but the signing of the ‘refugee swap deal’ with Malaysian followed by the arrival of the first boat post signing makes it impossible not to respond. Before I start… I’m already on record (other posts and newspaper articles) as an opponent of the mandatory detention of asylum seekers. I have no vested interest in this, as my business has never received a single dollar for processing Humanitarian v … Read More

via Australian Immigration Blog – Grant Williams

Who locked up the children?

leave a comment »

This article today runs with the opening phrase of “Julia Gillard locks up …” 

No, Julia Gillard doesn’t lock up anyone.  WE, the Australian citizens are locking up these children, just as we did under Howard (which the article also refers to).

Prime Ministers do not do these things personally.  Prime Ministers and parliaments (assuming we are indeed a democracy) are simply doing what WE, the citizens, ask them or tell them or let them do.  WE are personally responsible, every single one of us.  For WE give the power.

Time for us to voice our disapproval of what our representatives are doing in OUR name.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

January 30, 2011 at 11:05 am

Australia cops criticism…

with one comment

… and rightly so.  While my personal page is off-line as the topic is considered sub judice currently, naturally the two articles I discuss here are close to my heart.

Australia has again been highlighted as the only developed democracy without national human rights law.   Perhaps if we did have such a law, my family and I wouldn’t be in the position we are currently in.  It has been interesting, as I discovered neither the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 nor the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 are scheduled to or declared under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act.  I was not aware of this until last week and I am horrified.  I hope all Australians are horrified at such a discovery.

The second article was written by Malcolm Fraser.  Malcolm Fraser was Prime Minister of Australia from November 1975 for seven years.  I remember him well, as I had recently arrived in Australia in February 1974.  Malcolm has been involved in humanitarian work for many years.  He points out the regression in Australia’s policies since that time 35 years ago when we welcomed Vietnamese refugees.  That community is now, he tells us, nearly a quarter of a million strong and contribute greatly to Australia.  What changed?

What I have learnt about Civil and Human Rights in Australia over the past year has been enlightening: yet not in a way I would have ever expected.  It has been a sad year for me personally, of course, but I cannot consider only my personal situation.  I am horrified when I consider the possible extrapolation of my situation across the country.  I am still haunted by the images of the Christmas Island tragedy and the Christmas Island detention conditions.

It is time: time Australians stood up for what is right.

Richard Flanagan sums it up

leave a comment »

Excerpt Reposted from the UK Guardian I have no personal comment for this one – Richard’s article stands alone.  Please click on the link to read the full article.

Boat tragedy: How Australians became complicit in the horror of Christmas Island

The myth that we must be protected from hordes of refugees is a weeping sore at the heart of my country’s public life

As the Australian territory closest to Indonesia, Christmas Island has in recent years become a favoured destination for refugee boats. And so it fell to the islanders to be awoken on Wednesday by the screams of the drowning as a small wooden boat carrying about 70 refugees was smashed by a wild sea into a limestone cliff.

“I saw a person dying in front of me, and there was nothing I could do to save them,” resident Kamar Ismail is reported to have said. “Babies, children, maybe three or four years old, they were hanging on to bits of timber, they were screaming ‘help, help, help’.” Lifejackets thrown down were tossed back by storm winds, the last illusion of a hope that had once borne the name Australia.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

December 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm

US$11 million for a Christmas Tree

leave a comment »

Jewellery decorates an $11m Christmas tree at the Emirates Palace hotel in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi on December. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

Interesting.  Not the Christmas Tree, the comments.  This story is published in the same Australian paper, the HeraldSun, that just two days ago was carrying terrible comments from readers about asylum seekers.

Now readers of the same paper are saying this $11 million should be being used to feed the starving in some of those very same countries asylum seekers are coming from.  While I agree that $11 million for a Christmas Tree could definitely be better spent, I find it hard to accept that one day we, the Australian people, can be jumping up and down and saying we don’t want asylum seekers, then we do a complete about face and say other people should do this and that for essentially the very same people.  Either people need help, or they don’t.

I understand there is a passage in the Bible, Matthew 7:5 to be precise, that says: Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (English Revised Version).  Yes, I’m an atheist; even so, it is appropriate to quote a passage from the Bible at Christmas, given whether I believe or not, that is what Christmas is about.

Are these the same readers that commented in relation to the asylum seekers?  I’m not about to start delving that far into the analysis.  Over 88% of the readers who took the poll were against the asylum seekers (although I did note it was a badly worded poll question), so it stands to reason at least some of those readers made comment on both articles. 

I made the comment then about greedy people.  Seems here we are saying someone else should take care of the problem, just keep it away from our doorstep.  How charitable of us.

Let me predict a typical response would be: “Oh, but the people coming to Australia on boats are not the same people we are referring to, and we are only talking about the boat people.”  Are you?  Can you be sure they are not the same people?  Do you know beyond reasonable doubt that is the case?

Hypocrisy is an ugly thing.

When some of those people get to Australia, we incarcerate them on Christmas Island, among other places.  When they become distressed due to the treatment by our hands, we kindly pump them full of drugs to keep them quiet.  We make the women ask for sanitary supplies in the most embarrassing circumstances.  Yet we have the cheek to criticise others.

Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

December 18, 2010 at 9:34 am

Tragedy again for Christmas Island

with one comment

Image source: Channel 7

Go here for the full report as published by WA Today.  While the headline says it was a people smugglers’ boat, I saw no evidence of that in the article.  People smugglers indicates the illegal trafficking of asylum seekers.  While this may well be suspected, may well prove to be true, I do wish the media would not inflame the situation until the facts are in.

If anyone thinks people take these risks without good reason, I ask them to think again.

I have heard the most ridiculous statements about asylum seekers.  Such as they should come by plane if they can afford a boat ride.  My husband came by plane, it didn’t do him much good.  I remind people that they should watch “The Sound of Music” again.  The von Trapp family were asylum seekers.  I didn’t notice them catching a plane, for what were very obvious reasons.  They walked over the mountains.  If it has been necessary, they would have taken a boat.

The von Trapps were rich, white and fleeing a tyrant.  They were asylum seekers, refugees. Yet we like their story.  It is wonderful, is it not? 

There were children on that boat today, as there are children seeking asylum the world over.  They were not rich and white, perhaps, but they were fleeing.  Watch the movie again.  Let us offer those who seek refuge the same chance at a future the von Trapps were offered.  Let us honour our international commitments.

I would also like to refer you to the first entry on this site, looking at the conditions of Christmas Island’s detention centre.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

December 15, 2010 at 7:42 pm