KERRY GOULSTON. A personal view on our current treatment of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

There is growing concern across Australia about the current policy for Asylum Seekers and Refugees, particularly those on Nauru and Manus Island.

I read in the Guardian Australia ( Sept 25 ) that our Federal Court ordered the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, “to transfer all family of three from Nauru, also stipulating that they not be treated by anyone contracted by the Australian Border Force or detention health provider. IHMS “

More than 700 Asylum Seekers and Refugees are still held on Nauru “ indefinitely “. Under a policy endorsed by both major political parties.

This made me reflect on my own family. My great great grandmother Rebecca Goulston fled pogroms in Poland. Somehow she got to London with her children. She arrived in Sydney on the first boat … the Golconda …after the Dunbar…. in 1858 with two young children. During the long boat voyage 8 of 302 died en route.

My father and his two younger brothers served overseas with distinction in World War 2. My father finished as a Colonel, his younger brother Stan won a MC during the siege of Tobruk. They, like so many from families of refugees and asylum seekers served Australia for many years and made a major contribution to our country.

I was brought up to be proud to be an Australian.

Despite a concerted campaign by many Australians, both major political parties persist in insisting that our current refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island will never settle in Australia.

In the past, we have accepted so many refugees and asylum seekers. This current situation makes me now ashamed to be Australian. I worry about the effect of this current policy will have on my young grandchildren.

Kerry Goulston is a retired gastroenterologist and medical academic- and a concerned citizen


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One Response to KERRY GOULSTON. A personal view on our current treatment of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

  1. Ian Webster says:

    Dear Kerry,

    What a great piece.

    My wife and I are travelling in Europe with Americans and others from other countries. We can see at first hand how different countries have implemented hard-line policies to prevent an influx of refugees. Then, around the table, we are ashamed to have to explain the Australian approach. Not that we need to. The Americans are certainly aware of it and others too. We could hold our heads high at various periods in the past when new arrivals and refugees were welcomed. But now we feel ashamed of our country and know we could stand for more than this.

    As you point out, both sides of politics are responsible for our hard-line and brutal approach.

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