For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 11 Aug 2013.
Former agricultural scientist Graeme Swincer has spent the past two years of his retirement immersing himself in the lives of asylum seekers struggling for recognition as refugees. He says the policies of the Australian Government, and the administrative procedures of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, “result repeatedly in inhumane outcomes.”
He says part of the problem is a history of misinformation, perpetrated by politicians and a substantial section of the media, that has built up a totally false picture in the minds of most Australians.
And there is Australia’s policy of deterrence, a strategy of punishment for those fleeing persecution, encouraged by a culture of xenophobia, racism, hypocrisy, ignorance, and a desire to denigrate.
Graeme Swincer says in a world of spin we must seek the truth. We must never condone deliberate cruelty. And we must act with understanding, compassion, generosity and justice toward asylum seekers who seek to come to Australia by boat.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.