Here in Australia we are still emerging from a period when our handling of refugee issues caused much disquiet. Not all is well by any means, but there has been progress. And Australia is just one small player in a great world problem. Would that the policies and actions that fuel the flow of refugees came to an end! The wars, the tribalisms, the fanaticism… But even if that were to happen, we face the newer and developing problem of environmental refugees. We are all in this together.
The spirit of today’s Bloggers Unite is not to address the enormous issue of refugees as a whole, however, but to focus on one very human aspect: that the flight of refugees often tears families apart, and that it can be years, if ever, before these families are reunited.
The front page of the South Sydney Herald this month tells such a story – of a Bangladeshi asylum seeker in Sydney who was reunited with his wife and children after seventeen years, only being successful in this because he had an advocate in the form of Newtown resident Natalie Gould. I guess the story does show that individuals can make a difference, even if we throw up our hands in despair at times at the size of the problem.
Refugee Council of Australia – Head Office
Suite 4A6, 410 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010