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    AT SEA

    boat people coming to Australia


    I was there the day her husband died
    Bravely, vainly by the ocean side,
    On our hearts forever more a stain
    That day of blood that the soldiers came
    At sea are we in this boat of sorts
    Ground down by fears and tears and thoughts
    But renewed, each day at dusk am I
    By her voice, as she sings that lullaby.


    Time now for dreams
    Leave me my love
    You will be safe
    Here in my arms
    When morning breaks
    Over the sea
    Then you will know
    To fly home to me
    That’s when you’ll know
    To fly home to me

    Dark eyed, dark haired nightly she succumbs
    To that song her mother sings and hums
    Innocent flotsam, at sea, afloat
    Asleep wrapped up, in her fathers coat
    Whether hostile shore awaits our kind
    Or sanctuary is ours to find
    All my life, as now at dusk will I
    In my heart, hear again that lullaby


    by Michael Patrick Moore
    © 2010


    Just out of interest……………………………………………………………………….

    The U.N. Refugee Convention of which we are a signatory recognises the right of refugees to enter another country to seek asylum. These laws exist because it is not always safe or practical to obtain documents or travel through authorised channels for an asylum seeker. They are by definition fleeing persecution and more often than not they are being persecuted by the very governments they would need to approach if they were to seek asylum through official channels.

    In 2008 just over 88 thousand of the world’s 15.2 million refugees were resettled, well under 1 %.

    The myth that onshore applicants take places away from offshore applicants does have some basis in truth. This is however as a result of Australian Government policy. This is not because individuals seeking asylum are attempting to rort the system or ‘jump the queue’ but because when an onshore applicant is granted a protection visa, a place is deducted from the offshore program. No other country in the world links its programs in this way.
    The majority of asylum seekers who have reached Australia by boat have been found to be genuine refugees. Between 85% and 90% of these asylum seekers arriving by boat have been found to be refugees compared to around 40% who arrive via plane with a valid visa.

    Australia is one of the few nations in the world which imposes mandatory detention on asylum seekers. The individual seeking asylum has after all committed no crime in doing so. Asylum seekers leave behind them everything they know and love and set out into the dangerous unknown as a last resort and usually in response to persecution.

    Many refugees who come to Australia are educated middle class people, whose education, profession or opinions have resulted in persecution.

    Most of the world’s refugees live in countries bordering their own, many of them in camps. The average length of time spent in a refugee camp is 17 years.

    There are many examples of Australians who have arrived here as refugees and who have contributed to and helped shape this country into what it is today.

    Between 1989 and the year 2000 some 705 thousand people overstayed their visas in Australia, in comparison 8131 people over the same period of time entered Australia as seeking Asylum either by sea or by air.

    Over the four year period encompassing 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, 3195 asylum seekers entered Australian waters by sea.