The global situation in this area is worrying. Many thousands are fleeing their countries of origin, leaving their homes, because they are at risk of losing their lives. There are people in our midst in Australia who share their stories of prison and torture, stories of so many family members who had been killed.
As Marist Sisters in Australia, we ally ourselves with many Australians who care and who desire to see our government put in place policies that are compassionate. We are concerned about recent happenings.
On 7th November, the Haberfield community of the Marist Sisters, attended a screening of “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”. The evening was hosted by Amnesty International, Edmund Rice Centre and the House of Welcome, all of whom addressed the audience before the movie, sharing their concerns as groups who are engaged in helping refugees and asylum seekers. The movie treats of the plight of asylum seekers who attempt to make their way to Australia by boat, through Indonesia.
Boat journeys are in fact a big risk and many lives have been lost at sea. People who venture on these journeys are desperate. With many other Australians who are presently feeling shame with regard to current policies in this area, we would urge Australia to put in place measures, including those from the Houston Report, that would facilitate access to the granting of refugee status and visas to our shores.
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