PEN International’s call for greater protection of refugees worldwide

The statement issued by PEN International for World Refugee Day, a week ago, is an eloquent appraisal of the crisis facing the record numbers of asylum seekers in search of protection, globally and, more specifically, seeking protection in Europe today. Continue reading “PEN International’s call for greater protection of refugees worldwide”

Chasing Asylum: A film by Eva Orner

Reviewed by ARNOLD ZABLE

12819321_1758276254391156_7368155351293765253_o (1)Chasing Asylum is a visceral and confronting documentary which includes revealing, clandestine footage shot inside the Nauru and Manus Island detention centres. The images are reinforced by eye-witness accounts of former detention centre workers, and the observations of asylum seekers who have spent time inside the centres. Continue reading “Chasing Asylum: A film by Eva Orner”


Every Sunday afternoon, Richard Davis conducts a lone vigil outside the Wickham Point Immigration detention centre, thirty-five kilometres south of Darwin.  Affectionately known by detainees as ‘The Grandfather’, Davis, 76-years-old, has conducted his weekly vigils for the past four years—first outside the Darwin Airport Lodge where asylum seekers were once housed, and for several years now outside Wickham Point, defined by its Orwellian acronym as an APOD, an Alternative Place of Detention. He also maintains a vigil, two days a week, outside the immigration offices in Darwin. Continue reading “Vigil”

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre: 15th anniversary

Wednesday June 8, 2016, marks the 15th anniversary of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. The Melbourne University Studies Program congratulates the ASRC on this occasion. The Centre has, remarkably, helped over 13,000 asylum seekers and refugees over the years. Much of the work has focused on empowering asylum seekers to tell their stories, to study, update their skills, create businesses, and above all, come out of their isolation to a place of welcome. Continue reading “Asylum Seeker Resource Centre: 15th anniversary”


In the first week of November 2001, a Turkish flagged boat, the Brenier, carrying 713 Iraqi Kurds and Afghan asylum seekers, broke down in the Ionian Sea. Abandoned by the crew, the ship was rescued by the Greek coast guard. The crowded boat was towed to the town of Zakynthos. As it moved towards the port, the townsfolk lined the waterfront and cheered. The local baker was waiting with sandwiches. Other residents brought food, clothes and blankets. Pregnant women and babies were ferried to hospital or housed in hotels. Continue reading “Philoxenia”

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