Rohingya People

I want to speak tonight about people outside this country who are in a dire and desperate situation. I speak of the Rohingya people in our own region, nearby. Tonight, I’d like to read into the record words put together by Rohingya groups, coordinated by the Burmese Rohingya Association in Queensland, based in my home city of Brisbane, on behalf of the Central Queensland Rohingya community; the Darwin Burmese Rohingya community association; the Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia, based in Sydney; the Arkan Rohingya Community of Australia, based in Melbourne; and the Australian Burmese Rohingya Organisation, based in Melbourne.

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Same Things Haven’t Changed

This blog has been dormant (and  mostly offline) for well over a year.  The last entry was just before the federal election, and addressed the growing humanitarian crisis in the Australian government controlled offshore detention centres. Sadly, this grotesque exercise in deliberately torturing innocent vulnerable people is now far worse, with an hundreds of refugees…

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‘False’ Hope vs No Hope

Last month when another refugee on Nauru set herself on fire, Australia’s Immigration Minister Peter Dutton attacked advocates for providing “false hope” to people seeking asylum.  The Minister’s comment reveals the strategy at the very core of the offshore detention camp policy – to destroy every tiny shred of hope in the heart, mind and…

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A diverse, positive country is a strong country

If you ever need a clear, succinct outline of just how crucial migration and multiculturalism has been to Australia’s success – and just how damaging it has been when the country has succumbed to divisive leadership that sought to cause division by attacking this – read George Megalogenis’ book Australia’s Second Chance. The potential for…

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A progressive Senator in Northern Queensland?

When I nominated for the pre-selection ballot amongst party members for the Greens Senate ticket in Queensland in mid-2015, it was specifically only for the number 2 spot, as I wanted to be clear I was not seeking to challenge Larissa Waters who has done an excellent job since being elected as the first Greens…

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First, Do No Harm

I must have given hundreds of talks and speeches of various types over the last twenty years on the issue of refugees and people seeking asylum – and written plenty of pieces on the topic (not least on this blog).  Last weekend I was speaking to a group of inspiring young medical students at Griffith…

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Teaching & schooling

Last year I did some high school teaching, which I found to be the most difficult paid work I’ve ever done. Definitely way harder than being a Senator – apart from anything else, Senators have staff to help them do what they need to do (& get paid 3 times the money of course). And…

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Onward (& upward?)

Just as well my New Year resolutions of 2015 didn’t include blogging more, as I only did 9 posts all year. Having said that, 6 of those blog posts were in January, so maybe I did make that resolution without remembering it – one of the benefits of not writing resolutions down I guess. I…

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Magna Carta & refugees

My favourite memory of the Magna Carta involved a group of refugees who had recently arrived in Australia after spending years being kept in the detention centre on Nauru. I’d visited them while they were incarcerated in Nauru, where they were uncertain of their future – not knowing how long they would be locked up…

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Daylight Saving Redux

I wrote a piece here nearly ten years ago about how I personally wasn’t a big fan of daylight saving – mainly because I’m a bit more of a night owl than most people.  But it’s an issue that repeatedly raises it’s head in Queensland, and I’ve certainly had countless people mention to me that…

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