Compassion

German migrant rescue ship renamed after tragic toddler

A German migrant rescue ship which operates in the Mediterranean was renamed on Feb. 10 after Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian refugee boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach at the height of the… Palma Hurriyet Alan’s father, Abdullah Kurdi, and aunt, Tima Kurdi, attended the renaming ceremony held in Palma on Spain’s Balearic Island of Mallorca. The event was organized by German charity Sea-Eye which operates the… “We are happy that a German rescue ship will carry the name of our boy. My boy on ... Read More »

We can balance compassion and safety as a country

Last December, we were both in Parliament with the hope of seeing Urgent Medical Treatment amendments pass both the Senate and lower house. By Kon Karapanagiotidis and Jana Favero Brisbane Times A groundswell of support mobilised behind a call to get all kids and their families of Nauru – rural Australians, 7000 doctors, unions, lawyers, schoolchildren, artists, nurses and teachers; 170,000 people signed a petition and 400 organisations rallied. The trigger was media exposure of medical neglect and the risk ... Read More »

Informal networks of generosity are supporting asylum seekers on both sides of the border

When a woman I’ll call Elisa and her 15-year-old daughter, Ana, journeyed from their home in Honduras to Tijuana, Mexico, they survived due to the generosity of a friend who gave them bus tickets, strangers they met aboard the bus headed north and a… Jamie Lynn Goodwin The Conversation Once they arrived, they stayed in a shelter at a local church whose congregation provided food, toiletries and free health care. Elisa also helped others, by cooking, cleaning the shelter’s common ... Read More »

‘Each of those children have a dream to be someone’:

Powerful moment refugee lawyer who fled to Australia as a teenager challenges Q&A viewer about kids being kept on Nauru Refugee lawyer fired back at viewer who asked a controversial question on Q&A Man asked why the gov. ‘creating an issue’ about less than 10 children on Nauru Ms Nyoun shot back that each of the children had goals, dreams and ambitions A refugee lawyer has expressed her frustration at the lack of government action on refugee children living in ... Read More »

Dying With Dignity Versus The Metastases Of Our Religious Heritage

Why do we let religion rule our lives, but in particular our deaths? Geoff Russell takes a look at the power of Churches to prevent people from making the most intimate of choices. Geoff Russell New Matilda The fingers that once skipped around the frets and strings of her guitar made hard work of rolling the little plastic wheel. But as it finally moved into place, the process began: drip, drip, drip. Clear sodium pentobarbital moved into the plastic intravenous ... Read More »

Why Amnesty was wrong to strip Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi of top honour

‘Speaking up’ will make her look good with the international Press, but it will do nothing for the challenges Myanmar faces. Abhijit Dutta Hindustan Times The international community needs to strengthen her hands, not weaken them. The vilification of Aung San Suu Kyi continues unabated. Whether it is Amnesty International or United States vice-president, Mike Pence, no one, it seems, can wait to signal their virtue by throwing an egg at her face. The gravest charge against Suu Kyi is ... Read More »

Refugee comics: personal stories of forced migration illustrated in a powerful new way

When a work of art called the “The List” was installed in July 2018 at the Liverpool Biennial in the UK, it contained the names of 34,361 refugees and migrants who died crossing the borders of… Emma Parker The Conversation By September, it had been defaced with the words “invaders not refugees”. While local officials condemned the culprits as “fascist thugs”, rhetoric which portrays refugees as nameless “invaders” has been used repeatedly by European leaders and politicians in recent years. ... Read More »

Trolley man Michael Rogers gets a new phone and an epic feed as charity money rolls in

Australia’s terrorist-fighting superhero is slowly beginning to turn his life around with an enormous sum of cash. Here’s how he plans to spend it. Ben Graham news.com.au It has been a rollercoaster week for Melbourne’s latest superhero Michael Rogers to say the least. It was just five weeks ago that the homeless legend — who has come to be dubbed as the trolley man for his jihadi-fighting credentials — was released from jail for stealing a bike. Now he is ... Read More »

Government slashes charity Foodbank’s funding by half

A food charity says a federal government funding cut will put in danger its ability to get essential items to needy Australians. AAP – SBS A charity feeding 710,000 Australians every month says the federal government has cut its budget almost in half just weeks before Christmas. Foodbank says funding for its Key Staples program, which makes sure essential supplies like rice, bread and vegetables get to hungry people, will drop from $750,000 to $427,000. “We are dumbfounded,” Foodbank chief ... Read More »

Origins and implications of the caravan of Honduran migrants

Honduras is a wonderful place for a short visit, despite its reputation as a one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Sharon McLennan The Conversation It is a small, beautiful country with an abundance of natural resources and a warm, welcoming culture. But it is a very hard place to live. I first travelled there nearly 20 years ago to do volunteer work, meeting my Honduran husband in the process. I have visited multiple times since then, including ... Read More »

‘Perth, we’re in trouble’: Scaffidi’s tweet and the standard we walk past

If the standard you walk past is the standard you accept, might I respectfully suggest Lisa Scaffidi raises her standards? Kate Hedley WAtoday On Sunday, the City of Perth’s suspended Lord Mayor tweeted two photos. Shown in the images were two men, at two different inner city locations. They were both asleep with their meagre possessions nearby. One had a couple of small suitcases with him, the other had not much more than a yoga mat and a dirty old pillow. ... Read More »

Yazidi Survivor Nadia Murad, Subject Of ‘On Her Shoulders’ Documentary, Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Today it was announced that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 has been awarded to two individuals for their respective efforts “to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.” WYSK They include Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, a Yazidi survivor and activist, whose powerful story is the subject of Alexandria Bombach’s award-winning 2018 documentary ‘On Her Shoulders’ (view… In announcing the equal share winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Committee wrote ... Read More »

Court orders Peter Dutton to transfer ill family of three from Nauru

Judge stipulates no treatment by Border Force contractor or health provider IHMS Saba Vasefi and Helen Davidson The Guardian The federal court has once again enforced the medical evacuation of dangerously ill asylum seekers and refugees from Nauru, ordering the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, to transfer a family of three over the weekend. The order, delivered by Justice Tom Thawley on Friday, also stipulated that they not be treated by anyone contracted by Australian Border Force or detention health provider ... Read More »

‘Kill me, I can’t cope’: Refugee women on Nauru robbed of their dignity speak out

Women who have escaped oppression in Iran face similar intimidation in Australia, often by advocates claiming to help them. Saba Vasefi The Guardian Fascists kill. But for those damaged survivors who flee persecution, and face a new authoritarianism, sustaining themselves can be a monumental personal undertaking. Before I discuss four stages of redistributive justice, I’ll record examples of threat and intimidation which make the struggle for justice so necessary. “Kill me, I can’t cope anymore. Only death can rescue me” ... Read More »

‘Boat person’ Frank Lowy calls for more migrants

Billionaire Sir Frank Lowy has warned Australia would be “moving in the wrong direction” if calls for a lower migrant intake are heeded. Richard Wood 9news The Central European-born businessman last night gave the 15th annual address of the think tank he founded, the Lowy Institute. Mr Lowy, 87, told a gathering of business and political figures he backed a “big Australia”, but noted his views on expanding the country puts him at odds with many. The Wesfield co-founder was ... Read More »

Elder abuse: Many people committing financial abuse unintentionally, MP says

Could you be abusing your elderly relatives without realising it? A WA politician says many people are unintentionally breaking the law by taking financial advantage of their older relatives. ABC Greens MP Alison Xamon, the deputy chair of the parliamentary committee investigating elder abuse, said some people did not realise what they were doing was unacceptable and illegal. “People that have managed to get control of their parents’ finances, for example, who just say ‘oh no, Mum and Dad would ... Read More »