There has been some good TV on Australia’s view of Asylum Seekers e.g. ABC’s Q&A and SBS’s Go Back to Where You Came From and possibly people have been given food for thought on their views of Asylum Seekers.

However, this hasn’t changed the view of the Coalition who proudly broadcast their record on stopping the boats during the Howard Government.  I didn’t approve of Howard’s move to excise places like Christmas Island from Australia to, in my view, make it more difficult for asylum seekers to gain access to Australia.

Under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) (the Migration Act), asylum seekers who arrive on the Australian mainland without a valid visa must be held in immigration detention until they are granted a visa or removed from Australia.  How is this helping the plight of asylum seekers?  Especially when they have come from highly dangerous and very traumatic places.

Why is it so hard for Australians to accept asylum seekers? Especially when so few choose to come to Australia.

In 2010 there were 25+ million refugees protected by UNHCR.   Here’s a short video from UNHCR that explains the refugee situation for 2009.

It’s great to find websites like ajustAustralia and the Refugee Council both working hard for the rights and respect for refugees.  Refugee ambassadors provides information about personal journey’s taken by refugees like Abdul Kargbo.

Abdul arrived in Australia in late 2009 having fled Sierra Leone. Abdul was orphaned at 11 years of age when rebels raided his village, Makassie. He is now a Year 11 student at Menai High School, NSW.  Read more …

Can Australians read his story and still believe Asylum Seekers are queue jumpers or terrorists?

Where has our compassion gone?

I just received an email from Oxfam talking about the East Africa food crisis.

Almost 12 million people in East Africa are facing desperate food shortages following the worst drought in 60 years.  More than a third of the population in Somalia is in need of humanitarian assistance.  

All of this is heartbreaking.

Australia is a wealthy country.  Most of us have food on the table, a roof over our heads and a steady income.  We can afford to be generous to asylum seekers.  Our generosity in the past has benefited Australian society as a whole.  We enjoy the wonderful Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, Italian, German foods and products.  We enjoy Tai Chi, Yoga, Tai Quondo, Judo, Karate.  We are the wealthier because of our generosity toward refugees.