WHAT: Free screening of international award winning documentary 'Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea' followed by two former child refugees sharing their stories with the audience.
WHEN: 2-4.30 pm, Saturday 16 June 2012
WHERE: Max Webber Function Centre, Blacktown Library, Corner Flushcombe Road & Alpha Street, Blacktown
The Blacktown Greens, in conjunction with NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, are inviting residents to celebrate Refugee Week by watching the award winning documentary 'Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea' and listening to two former child refugees share their stories.
Film maker Jessie Taylor travelled around Indonesia interviewing 250 asylum seekers in jails, detention centres and hostels. The film tells their story and that of many refugees worldwide. Following the screening two former child refugees will discuss their experience with the audience:
- Juma Abraham is a refugee from South Sudan who now works as a Case Manager at Break Thru People Solutions in Blacktown, helping clients with mental health conditions find employment.
- Masihullah Mobin, a Hazara refugee from Afghanistan, will explain how he was beaten and imprisoned by Indonesian police after surviving a boat wreck when he was 15 and travelling alone (more detail of their experience available on request and Juma is available for interview).
Australian Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon says, "The whole point of the refugee system is to provide safety for people fleeing their homelands in fear for their lives. This is often not the case for the people who are waiting years for assistance in Indonesia or Malaysia.
"The purpose of this event is to encourage people to think about the driving forces that make people leave their home and seek refuge. The reality is there is no queue in countries like Afghanistan, Malaysia and Indonesia, so people fall prey to people smugglers.
"Australia takes very few people recognised as refugees directly from Indonesia and Malaysia.
"The billions we spend on our Fortress Australia policy could be much better spent in supporting people at risk in these countries when they seek asylum.
"Refugees make a tremendous contribution to Australia.
"Rather than importing thousands of temporary foreign workers Australia should be significantly lifting our humanitarian intake of refugees.
"Apart from finally providing a real alternative to the leaky boat route, it makes so much sense on an economic, political and humanitarian level.