Asylum seekers and the seven-year itch

If Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton ever had a lapse in judgement, it would be thinking that asylum seekers and their supporters have given up. Over a seven-year span, Mr Dutton and his predecessors have exposed asylum seekers to a punitive system (which is outside the UN Convention on Refugees). As you may hear this weekend, Sunday marks seven years of detention for those who were sent to centres on Manus Island and Nauru. At…

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Non-viral news stories you may have missed

Even when the world is assailed by an invisible foe – a global pandemic – the ordinary news cycle continues. Not that you’d know it, with electronic and print media obsessed 24/7 with the virus and its long-term effect on the global economy. (That is, the economy has been seriously affected – not ‘impacted’, please- the latter referring to something jammed together, e.g.  wisdom teeth. SWAG(SheWhoAddsGrammaticalNotes)) The Guardian Weekly has taken to presenting 15-20 news…

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Readers guide to Friday on My Mind

A few weeks ago I promised you an overview of the past five years’ worth of Friday on My Mind missives, but the Federal election got in the way. Sorry about that. Today it’s a mostly politics-free zone. I started this weekly column (it was supposed to be a one-off) with my theory (and not at all an original idea), about taking refugees and asylum seekers off Nauru and Manus Island and resettling them in…

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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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