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 migration agent, and Executive Director of the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre (RILC). He has worked in various capacities assisting refugees and asylum seekers for over 20 years. In January 2001, he joined RILC, which has been at the forefront of defending the rights, the dignity and the lives of asylum seekers, refugees and disadvantaged migrants.
Peter Mares is an independent writer and researcher. He is a contributing editor for online magazine Inside Story and a senior moderator with The Cranlana Programme. Peter was a broadcaster with the ABC for twenty-five years, serving as a foreign correspondent based in Hanoi and presenting national radio programs. His latest book is Not Quite Australian: How Temporary Migration Is Changing the Nation.
Peter Mitchell worked for the Department of Immigration from 1990 to 2003, including time spent as manager of the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.