Lisa Dillon, Ballina
The government just doesn’t get it! All the money in the world can be pumped into medical facilities on Christmas Island, but the only thing that’s going to cure mental illness amongst refugees is the promise of a meaningful life.
A meaningful life has a purpose, with opportunity for fulfilment and satisfaction. This is never going to be possible for refugees incarcerated in detention centres.
How many talented people is Australia missing out on? In the past we’ve welcomed ‘boat people’, and many have contributed enormously to their new country.
Three of these are artist, writer and comedian, Ahn Do; film director and screenwriter, Khoa Do, who was 2005 Young Australian of the Year; Associate Professor in orthopaedic surgery and specialist in prosthetic limbs, Munjed Al Muderis.
Amongst the current Manus Island detainees are Abdul Aziz Muhamat who has just received an international human rights award, and Behrooz Boochani, journalist, novelist and poet, who recently won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award with his book about life in the Manus Island Detention Centre.
How many other intelligent, determined people is Australia missing out on?
How many more are going to have the hope crushed out of them by the Australian government?