When the “Queue” started…
Last year a cartoon by Cairo Modoo-Loy, Year 10, Darwin High School, won 1st prize for Years 10–12 for the National Museum of Australia political cartoon competition.
It is a timely reminder that 98% of we Australian’s can trace our roots to people who arrived largely by boat and only more recently by plane. All, including those seeking refuge today, did so for the most part lawfully. There is no queue and there are no queue jumpers. This is an established fact in International law which allows any person, from any nation, to seek asylum in any country they wish. The law also states that nations must process these applications speedily and house those awaiting a decision in humane and safe accommodation. (UDHR, UNHCR).
To believe those seeking refuge on our shores are “illegal” is flatly incorrect, it is not at all in line with the law and simply allows politicians who cynically exploit this issue to distract us all from the pressing issues of the day. We can accommodate the very small percentage of people world wide who come here seeking asylum. And in forcing our politicians to deal with this issue responsibly, it frees the political climate up for the real issues. The environment, the economy, health care, education and the issues that really impact on us all everyday. When was the last time a refugee really made your day any harder?
And if you are proud to say your family can trace it’s roots to the earlier settlers of this nation, coming aboard vessels from the UK, be proud that they too were refugees!