Orator of the Year
Imagine you are in a boat. Not your pristine white boat that we see
occupying the docks at Portsea, but a boat darkened with smoke and
grime, shabby and discoloured. Now imagine the constant rock of
the rumbling waves below, making your body sway from side to side.
You are suddenly overcome by motion sickness, you try to make a run
for the side, but you can’t. You can’t move. There is no air around you.
There is not a familiar face in sight.
Article 3 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights
states that ‘everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.’
The Labor Party’s new asylum seeker policy, of sending asylum seekers
toPapuaNewGuinea, hasmade it practically impossible for thousands
of people seeking asylum to claim that right.
Today we commonly see the screaming headlines about asylum
seekers and how they are ‘Clogging our nation’s shores’ or ‘Taking
away our land.’ Well, according to a survey recently conducted by
Amnesty International, the number of asylum seekers to arrive in
Australia by boat would only take up 6.8% of the MCG. In 2012 only
14, 415 people sought asylum in Australia, not such a big number
when compared to the 45, 197 people who sought asylum in the UK.
But most importantly, the number of asylum seekers who have
arrived by boat and have been found to be terrorists – 0. Asylum
seekers are fleeing conditions that we could never endure or
understand and yet both major political parties would remove all
hope and safety from these individuals’ lives and place them in
Najeeba Wazefadost is 22 years old and is currently completing a
degree in medicine and hopes to become a doctor. As a young girl,
many of her relatives and friends were killed by the Taliban. With
her parents she fled Pakistan, which she said is one of the hardest
decisions you can be forced to make. For her it meant a break with
all that she knew – family and friends. All the familiar sights, sounds,
smells and tastes are left behind. They were eventually crammed
into a tiny fishing boat with 100 other people.
But when Najeeba and her family saw the barbed wire at Curtin
Processing Centre, and they knew the months ahead were going to
be tough. Finally, after months of uncertainty, the family was granted
refugee status. Now a student, Najeeba deeply appreciates the help
she has received and sums up her views on the asylum seekers’ issue
she quotes a line from Advance Australia Fair: ‘We’ve boundless