Welcome to Asylum
Welcome to Asylum, the Melbourne Refugee Studies Program (MRSP) blog. The blog is intended as a space for discussing policy, programs and any other issues of importance to asylum seekers and refugees. It is for posting your ideas and initiatives, for sharing research and reports, and for posting information about public forums and events. We welcome all who are interested in asylum seeker and refugee policies and programs to contribute – researchers, educators, students, health, social services and legal professionals, those who work in community agencies providing services to asylum seekers and refugees, policy makers, program managers…. We hope, above all, that it becomes a place where refugees and asylum seekers can directly express their views and experiences, and contribute to the continuing discussion of asylum seeker and refugee issues that currently rarely include the voices of the people being discussed.
The Melbourne Refugee Studies Program is a University of Melbourne Initiative that aims to reach out far beyond the confines of the university. Our aim is to inform and support the development of effective and ethical asylum seeker and refugee policies and programs, by contributing to a better-informed discussion, one that gets beyond slogans and pre-conceptions and focuses on evidence, and on what ought to be the ethical foundations for decision-making.
There are urgent issues requiring immediate attention, such as the PNG Supreme Court decision and its implications for off-shore processing, and the tragic self-immolation by two young refugees in Nauru – Mr Omid Masoumali and Ms Hodan Yasin. There are also critically important mid- and long-term issues requiring well-informed and sustained consideration.
The decisions we make, both in the short- and longer-term, will define who we are as a nation.
We invite you to contribute.
Harry Minas and Arnold Zable
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Thank you for this opportunity. I am a member of the community, somewhat confused as to what I can do to aid in the rescue of asylum seekers. I don’t understand why Europe accepts its responsibility and our government acts as if no-one has the right to refuge here. Also the Asylum Seekers base here in Melbourne has been recently accused of bullying and infighting, whereas their whole reason for being should be to assist the refugees that are here. How can I help ?
I am so glad to contribute my ideas as a refugee and as well as a student. In fact I don’t have any clue I start.
Four people have self immolated in less than a year. Each had suffered in their country of origin but it was in Australia that they gave up hope and took this action. Their commonalities are that they were seeking protection in Australia. Each comes from a country where human rights are abused to a country without a human rights architecture.
Their actions have created barely a ripple in the body politic or the broader Australian public beyond those people concerned with refugee and asylum seeker policy.
What does this say about Australians?