Why I spend my Friday nights in hell: visiting the Melbourne Immigration and Transit Accommodation centre (MITA)

By Sivan Barak. Every Friday night for the past 60 weeks I’ve driven out of the ‘ghetto’, over the river, just 32 km south, to the far away land of Broadmeadows. It’s a weekly participation  in a macabre ritual, the antithesis to Melbourne’s dubious title, ‘most livable city’. During these visits I witness what I can only […]

‘A racist pig’: on embroiling children in the war on refugees

By Jordy Silverstein On March 25 2004 it was reported by the Hobart Mercury that “immigration minister Amanda Vanstone said yesterday she had received letters from primary school children calling her a racist pig.” Apparently, “she said she was not offended by the abusive letters but annoyed children had been influenced to write such things.” […]

Open statement calling for immediate action on offshore detention (initiated by The Refugee Council of Australia)

The Refugee Council of Australia has issued the following statement (3/2/17), of which the AJDS is signatory, along with countless other organisations: We, as a coalition of organisations and community groups from around Australia, are writing to express our concern regarding the humanitarian crisis that Australia has created. Successive Australian governments have managed and funded offshore […]

Bring Them Here – letter to parliamentarians

The AJDS recently distributed the following letter widely. Among our recipients were Malcolm Turnbull, Josh Frydenberg, Michael Danby, Mark Dreyfus, Mike Freelander, Stirling Griff, Peter Dutton and Shayne Neumann. We implore these parliamentarians to vote against proposed legislation that will make Australia’s asylum seeker policy even more cruel than it already is. We’ll keep you posted […]

We too were strangers

By Robin Rothfield (originally published in the Jewish News, 30/9/16) AS we approach the High Holy Days, how should we in the Jewish community respond to Pauline Hanson’s call for an end to Muslim migration? Yes, a high proportion of Australians support this call but consider that in 1947 an opinion poll indicated that 58 […]

Come to a reading vigil of #NauruFiles, 12-16 September 2016

We share with you the following initiative from Love Makes a Way: Join us in a Powerful Act of Truth-Telling! Can you sense change is coming? In response to the #NauruFiles, refugee advocates from all different organisations have been holding vigils, rallies and peaceful acts of civil disobedience to let the Government and Opposition know […]

Limmud Oz 2014: Panel on Refugees and Asylum Seekers

By Harold Zwier, Robert Richter, Paris Aristotle, Robert Manne and Ralph Genende This is the transcript of a Limmud Oz session held at Monash University, Caulfield Campus, on Sunday 8th June 2014, on Asylum Seekers and Refugees. Organized by Harold Zwier, the session provided a forum for a broad discussion of a vexed issue that […]

Letter to Josh Frydenberg MP on refugee policy

The following letter to Josh Frydenberg MP concerning Australia’s refugee policy constitutes a report of  a meeting that took place on December 11, 2014.     *** The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister     Dear Josh, Thank you very much for making the time available to meet with Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, […]