Sat and talked with my downstairs neighbour D this morning. He is studying at Wollongong TAFE and lived five years in Surry Hills before coming to The Bates Motel.
He came to Australia via Uganda, but is originally from Southern Sudan.
Figures from this time last year say that Uganda hosts about 100,000 refugees from Rwanda, Ethopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya and Sudan. They live in various refugee camps scattered all over the country.
Makes you think, doesn’t it? Why on earth are we getting so uptight about 5-6000 “boat arrivals”?
On the other hand, maybe the people here aren’t all paranoid. Last Monday’s Sydney Morning Herald had a poll showing that “the government’s decision last week to allow asylum seeker families with children to live in the community while their claims are processed is supported by 47 per cent of voters, while 50 per cent are opposed. The decision to let the families out of detention was announced on Monday last week.”
D likes Wollongong better than Sydney; it’s more laid back and the people are more friendly.