Are Crime Rates Higher Among Migrants, Including Refugees?


Whenever I find myself in a conversation about refugees it’s not long until somebody brings up the question of refugees and crime. They worry that migrants, including refugees, are more prone to crime than established Australian communities, and can usually cite some anecdotal evidence to support their fear. So what do the crime statistics say? Australia doesn’t record crime rates by...

The Shocking Stories We Tell


Today’s Sydney Morning Herald led with a gut wrenching story about the remains of 800 children found in a sewerage pit in Ireland. These were children who died while institutionalised at ‘the Home’, a place to which unmarried women who fell pregnant were sent in the 1920s-1950s. A journalist whose research broke the story commented: “When daughters became pregnant, they were...

No, it is not a joke. We really are trying to send refugees to Cambodia


Immigration minister Scott Morrison has just visited Cambodia and apparently one of the points on his agenda is the possibility of Australia sending asylum seekers there. Seriously? Cambodia? I’m just reading The People Smuggler, which tells the story of refugee Ali Al Jenabi. Ali grew up in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, where he and his family experienced almost incomprehensible persecution...

Right Question, Wrong Answer


Many people find themselves torn over asylum seekers. They want to be compassionate, and for them this includes stopping people from dying at sea. Between 2000 and 2013 it is thought that approximately 1,225 asylum seekers on their way to Australia died at sea. During the same period 24,203 people arrived by boat , meaning just on five percent of those embarking for Australia perish during the...

Australia Day. A Time to Laugh and a Time to Cry


I find myself conflicted this Australia Day. Do I laugh or cry? On the one hand I am a proud Australian. I love this country. I love the fact that I can go to a footy match, sit beside supporters of my opponents, and feel perfectly safe. I love our self deprecating sense of humour, that calling a mate a “silly bastard” can be a compliment. I love the cultural diversity of our nation...

Should Scott Morrison be Charged with Child Abuse?


Federal Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is guilty of child abuse and should be reported to the Department of Child Protection, says the Australian Medical Association (AMA) of the Northern Territory. The legality of making such a report is being investigated by the AMA, “not as a political stunt but as an important medical intervention”, said AMA NT’s president...

Putting Jesus in Detention


What’s a parent to do? A murderous tyrant sits upon the throne and ruthlessly crushes all opposition. Drunk with power, he even assassinates three of his children whom he fears will try to usurp him. The message is clear: no-one is safe. The tryant maintains a network of informers, which means a loose word can see a person disappeared. People in this country have consequently learned the art of...

An admission of cruelty


Finally a politician has admitted it-asylum seeker policies are quite intentionally cruel. Malcolm Turnbull was quoted in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald as saying Our policy is a harsh one, it really is. All of the policies to deal with asylum seekers and people smuggling are harsh, cruel in fact. But the problem is the status quo is cruel. It is analogous to what people say about the...

A Bigger Vision for Who We Can Be


It seems that the major parties are leading us into a time of turning our backs upon our global neighbours. We are witnessing a race to the bottom on asylum seekers, both parties are pulling back on their previous commitments to increasing aid, and there is fading resolve to lead on combating climate change. Given both major parties are led by committed Christians this is tragic. In the Gospels...


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