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On ‘Welcome’: Migration, First Nations and Refugee Communities
What’s in a welcome? It’s a word we hear often in relation to Australia’s refugee movement – but in the context of hostile refugee policy and unceded sovereignty, what meanings can it hold?
Together with the Refugee Council of Australia, we’re hosting the official launch of Refugee Week 2020. We’ll kick off the week-long celebration with a deep dive into…
Books and Ideas at Montalto: Arnold Zable
Arnold Zable is a much-loved Australian writer and a life-long traveller. He’s well known for his affectionate accounts of the characters and suburbs of his hometown, Melbourne (in Cafe Scheherazade and The Fighter) as well as his portraits of people and places he's encountered all across the world, in his incredibly far-reaching travels (Violin Lessons).
The Wheeler Centre
A Walk in the Park: Lisa Dempster with Leah Kaminsky
There’s walking, and then there’s walking. When Lisa Dempster set out to tackle the Shikoku Pilgrimage – a 1200km, 88 temple route through regional Japan – she was at a nadir of mental and physical health; desperate for something to bring major change to her life.
'People really do see walking now as a solution, and an answer to things.'Lisa Dempster
As she describes the gruelling journey, laid out in her travelogue Neon Pilgrim (2009; re-launched in 2017), it surprised her with unexpected spiritual encounters. Yet the sense of an inner shift was still elusive and intangible – and something which only later emerged through writing about the experience.
Walking Princes Park with doctor and author Leah Kaminsky, Dempster recounts the circumstances of her adventure, her writing of it, and how it’s impacted her life in the near-decade since.
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Double Booked Club: Liam Pieper and Josephine Rowe
Two prolific Australian writers have recently published new works of fiction. Here Until August is Josephine Rowe’s collection of short stories; Liam Pieper’s latest novel is Sweetness and Light.
Rowe and Pieper have shared roots – in Melbourne’s writing community, and as Voiceworks editorial committee alumni. In recent years, both have enjoyed successful, critically-celebrated careers as authors. Rowe’s work has…
Books and Ideas at Montalto
Live-stream: Arnold Zable
This event will be live-streamed on this page.
Arnold Zable is a much-loved Australian writer and a life-long traveller. He’s well known for his affectionate accounts of the characters and suburbs of his hometown, Melbourne (in Cafe Scheherazade and The Fighter) as well as his portraits of people and places he's encountered all across the world, in his incredibly…
12 Flight from Manus
Aziz, in a hotel room facing onto Genève-Cornavin railway station — Photo: Michael Green
'I just feel like I left my soul back there, you know. Personally I'm here, but my heart is still in Manus.'– Abdul Aziz Muhamat
Aziz is shortlisted for a major international prize, the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders. The ceremony is in Geneva, Switzerland. Improbably, the prize’s organisers secretly arrange permission for him to leave Manus Island to attend the event.
In this episode, Aziz finally – temporarily – escapes Papua New Guinea, five and a half years after the Australian government took him there against his will. But he has no proper passport or visa, and no idea what to expect.
After years of exile and captivity, how will it feel to visit Switzerland – one of the richest countries in the world? And can Aziz make any difference for those who remain stuck on Manus Island and Nauru?Transcript
A transcript of this episode is available here (PDF format).
The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders
In this episode
Abdul Aziz MuhamatMichael Green Michael Khambatta Hans Thoolen
Our theme music was composed by Raya Slavin. Music used in this episode is by Hour House (Mark Leacy and Sam Kenna).
The Messenger is a co-production of Behind the Wire and the Wheeler Centre. This episode was originally commissioned and produced for the ABC Radio National programme, Earshot. It was produced by Michael Green. The supervising producer was Lyn Gallacher. The sound engineer was Melissa May.
Narration by Michael Green. Additional editing and mixing by Jon Tjhia.
André Dao, Jon Tjhia, Hannah Reich, Bec Fary and Sophie Black. Thanks also to Camilla Chapman, Cecilia Cannon and Sean Cole, and to Behind the Wire's many participants and volunteers. Michael Green's travel to Papua New Guinea was supported by a grant from the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund.
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