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Plains To Share

Ellora Kelly

Orator Of The Year


Who dreams of winning lotto? That $21 million jackpot all yours.

Well, Surprise… You have already won. The greatest lottery is your

place of birth. It guarantees you legal protection fromdiscrimination,

education and access to clean water and shelter. More than two

thirds of the worlds population cannot guarantee these basic

human rights.

Nauru, is the size of Melbourne airport with a tent community

of 1200 asylum seekers on it. Lost, alone, unemployed and many in

poor health. They have fled discrimination and horrific violence.

Since September 2012, Australia has been incarcerating



seekers including children. Physically and emotionally vulnerable

they live in tents where temperatures can reach 45–50 degrees


So, let me get this straight, fellow human beings are coming to us,

begging for help but we turn our hearts away and lock them up..

People on Nauru have constantly stated that they are ‘always scared,

all the time, always checking the door to see if it is locked.’ People

are promised medical treatment, but there are no prescriptions

filled, getting a pair of glasses can take 9 months.

Can you imagine getting sick in a foreign country where you did

not speak the language and you were told you could not have a


What is worse is Australia is legally required to provide asylum.

Australia is defying articles 1–9, 12–14, 16, 20–25 and, 28–30 of



Declaration for Human Rights. We breach 37 of the 43

articles of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. We are guilty

of more than 1000 individual cases of abuse on Nauru. We should

be ashamed. Australia was one of the first signatories of the


Declaration and now we mistreat those in need. Even basic privacy

is violated as women have been watched in the shower by male


In 2012 asylum seekers spent an average of 72 days on Nauru,

now it is 441! There are people who have been there for more than

3 years waiting… waiting. If we were the ones seeking asylum I hope

we would receive compassion and kindness. We give these people

nothing. Just think, what if we had not won the “born in Australia

lotto”. What if you were fleeing Syria right now?



, many English children went into the country

with signs around their necks stating their name, address and