Law and Order Week: Compassionate Bastard
Despite their differences, both of our major parties profess to share a common approach to illegal boat arrivals: lock them up and send them somewhere – anywhere – else. But, after years of incarceration, most illegal boat arrivals are granted refugee status. It’s this mix of indifference and compassion that makes the issue such a divisive one.
In this event, Peter Mitchell, former manager of Villawood Detention Centre, is in conversation with David Manne, one of Australia’s most committed refugee advocates, and broadcaster Peter Mares.
David Manne is a human rights lawyer and Executive Director of Refugee Legal (previously the Refugee & Immigration Legal Centre (RILC)). He has worked in various capacities assisting refugees and asylum seekers for over 20 years. In January 2001, he joined Refugee Legal, at the forefront of defending the rights, the dignity and the lives of asylum seekers, refugees and disadvantaged migrants.
Peter Mares is lead moderator with The Cranlana Programme, an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to developing the ethical decision-making skills of Australia’s leaders. Peter is also contributing editor at Inside Story magazine and adjunct fellow at Swinburne University’s Centre for Urban Transitions. He is a former ABC broadcaster and the author of three books, including No Place Like Home: Repairing Australia’s Housing Crisis (Text 2018).
Peter Mitchell worked for the Department of Immigration from 1990 to 2003, including time spent as manager of the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.