What’s the matter with Nauru?

This story begins with a hint of remorse and a pang of guilt – for a long time, I wasn’t sure how to undress the complacency lurking in my mind. I recoiled at every report of abuse in Nauru or mention of ‘refugee’; it was the type of recoiling that sprouted indifference and distance. I had noticed it in others too – we were communal in our unwillingness, gracious in our neutrality.

The politics of asylum seeking has a lot to do with the emotional, spiritual and mental wholeness of a person. It’s starting to register that the consequences of ‘locking people up’ are countless and generational.

But, the dialogue surrounding refugees is complicated and multifaceted. Where do we even begin?

The conversation weaves in narratives of power, wealth, race and national identity and most of the time it creates a dangerous blend of fact and fear. It clouds the road ahead for asylum seekers but at the root of it all – is a lack of care. And that’s where this story begins…

Featured voices:

Read more from Tim O’Connor here and meet Martine Valentine here.


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