Letters to
the editor

Telling the story of Indigenous youth

Credit to The Saturday Paper for giving a voice to the marginalised each week. Dylan Voller has the kind of lived experience that those who make decisions affecting thousands of young lives absolutely need to acknowledge, if they are to respond to core problems in any meaningful way (“Kids on country, not in custody”, November 17–23). The cynical view would be to presume his story will fall on deaf ears. The optimist in me notices that the more these stories are told, the more Australians are inclined to put pressure on disconnected bureaucrats.

– Kylie Mulcahy, Eugenana, Tas

A compelling advocate and activist

I was impressed by the article by Dylan Voller. I still remember the shocking footage of him shackled in a restraining chair with a spit hood over his head at the Don Dale detention centre. It was hard to believe this was happening in Australia. Like Dylan, I wonder why the centre was not closed after the report from the royal commission. How this young man has turned his life around is incredible. How good it is that he is now fighting for change for other young Aborigines. Considering his lack of education over the years, he is extremely bright and writes so well. I wish him the best for his future, the future that he says every child deserves.

– Susan Munday, Bentleigh East, Vic

The political race to extinction

The landslide election result in Victoria makes it eminently clear that the small “l” Liberals are abandoning the party en masse (Paul Bongiorno, “Movin’ right along”, November 24–30). If the Coalition continues upon its Sky-after-dark trajectory, all that may remain will be a small posse of hard-right philistines kickin’ back in Paul Murray’s proverbial man cave.

– David Duncan Kerr, Ravensthorpe, WA

Tarnishing the brand

The nasty, narrow and greedy agenda that has been a Liberal Party mantra has tarnished their brand indefinitely along with careerists such as Tim Wilson, Tim Smith and Josh Frydenberg, who use the party as their ideological plaything here in Melbourne. This new “brat pack” group has infiltrated our politics for too long where individualism is taking precedence over community interests. Menzies is doing somersaults in his grave at the sad demise of his beloved party.

– Melina Smith, Brighton, Vic

Stop the torture

Behrouz Boochani eloquently describes his emotions and thoughts on seeing his photo portrait taken by Hoda Afshar (“This human being”, November 24–30). The picture evokes for him, and for us, the horror of deprivation of personhood not only for Behrouz but for the many other tortured souls with him. His description of their suffering without end contrasts with the garbled, nonsensical statements of our prime minister. It has been admitted by our immigration authorities at a public inquiry that refugee incarceration on Manus and on Nauru is not necessary to deter people smugglers. We have a fleet to do that. It is vindictive and has the political aim to frighten the electorate and to secure power at the expense of morality. How enriched our society would be if the asylum seekers were brought here and given consent to stay.

– Gael Barrett, Balwyn North, Vic

AAT changes under Dutton

The attack on the Administrative Appeals Tribunal was always a priority of Peter Dutton’s, who saw its appeals processes as a direct threat to his momentum towards stifling and gagging opposition to the following draconian measures he would take to secure Australian borders and secure his domain over who he thought would be suitable (colour, race, religion) to migrate to Australia (Karen Middleton, “Exclusive: Metadata requests top 350,000”, November 24–30). Together with promoting fear of immigrants, a twisted view of the common good and a rabid dislike for difference, George Brandis, Dutton, Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott successfully stifled views contrary to their own. They’ve done this, too, through the conflation of the Department of Home Affairs and legislation to erode the privacy rights of Australians through access to their mobile phones and emails. Dutton’s motives, manipulations and machinations are hallmarks of a dictatorship and this from a man whose legitimacy to even serve in parliament is in question. Let’s hope that it is only another 25 weeks until these deceptive members are removed from power.

– Ian Ossher, Dover Heights, NSW

Bring them here

Why is Dr Kerryn Phelps, the honourable member for Wentworth, where I live, still talking about a “third country” for the people held hostage on Manus and Nauru? They are clearly our responsibility, and I can show her an article from Canada’s National Post, outraged that their prime minister, Justin Trudeau, should be even approached to take people who lawfully came to Australia and claimed asylum. One solution that does exist, as she knows, is to bring the people we have been torturing here, and somehow rebuild the lives we have broken for them. Who is going to tell the truth about their rights that we have violated? The ABC ducks for cover. The human rights organisations have not cut through. Murdoch does what Murdoch does. Perhaps we need to start acting decently, as Julian Burnside, QC, and so many others advocate, and bring them here.

– Stephen Langford, Paddington, NSW

Letters are welcome: [email protected]
Please include your full name and address and a daytime telephone number. Letters may be edited for length and content, and may be published in print and online. Letters should not exceed 150 words.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on December 1, 2018.

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