The Wheeler Centre
View all episodes in this series
Shen Narayanasamy on the Great Immigration Con
The Di Gribble Argument returns for a third year, pushing us into constructive disagreement in efforts to break a conversational deadlock. This year we’re taking on one of the most intractable conversations in Australian public life: stopping the boats.
We are – proudly – a flourishing multicultural society. Most of us carry family histories of migration, seeking safety and prosperity in this vast and varied continent. But something is broken. We spend billions imprisoning asylum seekers on remote Pacific Islands. Whenever this offshore regime hits the headlines, we reach a dead end before we even start. The solution is not ideal, chorus politicians and pundits, but there simply is no other way.
Only a country that hides from its migrant past and present could accept such a fiction – but that is Australia today. From Pauline Hanson’s return to 457 visas, we continue to leave immigration policy and practice to fear-mongering politicians and disingenuous shock-jocks.
It’s time for a proper argument. One that lays out the stunning changes to our social contract on immigration that quietly took place behind the mantra of Stop The Boats. One that looks at the system in its entirety, that replaces publicity-snatching catchphrases with a broader, deeper perspective. And an argument that actually proposes solutions. As she did in her work on the No Business in Abuse and #LetThemStay campaigns, human rights campaigner Shen Narayanasamy brings together business, government and social threads to detonate the dead end nature of this debate.
In conversation with the Wheeler Centre's co-head of programming, Sophie Black, Narayanasamy articulates the argument she presented at the annual Di Gribble Argument dinner – with substantial insights, disagreements and questions from the floor. #argument16
All messages as part of this discussion and any opinions, advice, statements, or other information contained in any messages or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not the Wheeler Centre.