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In the wake of the tragedy, that is the Syrian Refugee Crisis, we have

witnessed what true inhumanity looks like; where today, innocent

children are being caught in the crossfire of a political battle. Despite

the announcement by the Abbot Government on Tuesday that

Australia will provide formal sanctuary to 12,000 Syrian refugees,

this is simply not enough; because we could, and should, be doing so

much more.

And thus we must consider: What kind of a nation are we?

Since 2013, our Australian stance on accepting Asylum seekers

has been eminent – we will


at all costs. Rejecting

boats, sending boats back, to Nauru, to Manus Island – we’ve tried

it all, it’s known to us as the Australian Asylum Seeker Policy, which

is Fair and just.

But internationally, our actions to prevent asylum seekers from

settling in our country are seen as a ‘strange obsession’ which reflects

the disgustingly selfish Australian values. It is almost impossible, for

less wealthy, less developed and smaller nations, to fathom how we,

one of the most economic and socially developed countries, can be

declining a basic human right to those who are absolutely helpless.



figures revealed that in 2013, Australia was home to

only 4% of the world’s asylum seekers, it’s no wonder why we have

been criticised left, right and centre, most notably by the leaders of

China, Fiji and even, the


. Once again we are seen as shooting

ourselves in the foot, our own actions are damaging our international


Represented by ruthless leaders, who commit to ‘stopping at

nothing’ to end asylum seekers from settling in our nation, we

should be ashamed for lack of compassion we have shown towards

those who have turned to us for help.

We need to stick by our Australia values, we need to show some


We can only interpret words off a page and figures in statistic, but

we will never truly experience the devastation of not having a home.

Asylum seekers have no home. They have no hope.

For the simple privilege to leave their country, they risk their lives,

spend their entire life savings on just a one way ticket. A ticket which

gives them a glimpse of hope, but buys them an overcrowded,

unhygienic voyage, unlikely to make it to their destination.

In an exclusive 60 minutes interview with Bashir Yousef, one of

Asylum Seekers

Eliza Li

Alan Patterson Public

Speaking Award