Refugee documentaries – preaching to the converted

As it is Refugee Week, I’ve been reflecting on how my support for refugees and asylum seekers is shamefully passive. I was reminded of this after attending a viewing last Saturday of Julian Burnside’s refugee documentary, Border Politics. Then on Monday I was one of 67 people who devoted the evening to a public viewing in Buderim of the refugee film, Constance on the Edge. ‘Constance on the Edge’ charts the struggles of a mother…

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Global Insights On Neglected Political Issues

There have been issues aplenty for people to mull over ahead of tomorrow’s Federal election, not all of them as obvious as climate change, refugees or the Murray Darling. Chair of Australia21, Paul Barratt, named those issues as his top three in a contribution to John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations newsletter. But he also added 10 neglected political issues. They include inequality, reversing the cuts to research and development, early childhood education and a world-class…

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Refugees settling in despite funding cuts

While refugees and migrants have been welcomed into Australia’s rural communities, successive Budget cuts have made life difficult for refugee support services. Although not attracting too many headlines, a $50 million cut in the 2018-19 Budget, and another $77.9 million over four years in the 2019-20 Budget, means that organisations trying to help refugees with the transition to a new country, a new culture and a new language are left scrambling. The Refugee Council of…

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Medevac, May Election, 3m missing voters

If one believes that the Australian government will delay holding a Federal election until the last possible date (May 18) that’s just 92 sleeps away. Given the Morrison government’s historic defeat (75/74) when Parliament passed the so-called Medevac Bill, this week, I can’t see ScoMO heading up the hill to the Governor-General’s whare* for an early election. The electorate is clearly polarised and there is a high degree of suspicion about what both major parties…

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