Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 18, 2013- Refugees and Business

Here's an interesting article about the success of refugees in the business world in Australia. However, the article fails to address that after August 13, 2012, any refugee that arrived by boat would no longer have the right to work. An arbitrary date divides the economic success of certain refugees from others.

That doesn't seem just to me...

The link to the article:

August 16, 2013- The Opposition's Plan for Immigration

Most Australians that I spoke with regarded the intensified stances on immigration issues from both parties to be  part of election strategies. Hopefully that is the case... 

"Australia's opposition leader has outlined tough new immigration and asylum proposals, three weeks ahead of the country's general election.

Tony Abbott has said some 30,000 asylum seekers already in Australia will be limited to temporary visas and required to work for welfare benefits.
He has previously said he wants to introduce a military commander to lead operations against people smugglers and asylum boats."

Video link here:

August 16, 2013- Immigration and Election Battles

Here is a news clipping I found on the BBC website regarding immigration issues in Australia.

"With just three weeks until the Australian general election, the candidates appear to be attempting to outdo each other on who will be toughest on immigration.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott said he would appoint a military commander to lead operations to tackle people smugglers and asylum boats.
Kevin Rudd unveiled a plan last month to send boat arrivals to Papua New Guinea, where those found to be genuine refugees would be resettled."

Rudd's plan denies refugees the right to repatriate in Australia, even if they are detained and processed in the country, however Abbott's plan isn't much better; he would just "turn the boats around."

You can watch the video at:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Well, here's my first blog post!

Sorry for the slight delay, but these past few weeks have been incredibly hectic. After returning from Perth on August 14th, I only had one week to prepare for my semester in Washington D.C.! I have been in D.C. exactly one week now, and I think that I have finally settled into life in the Capitol.

As an introduction to my blog, I want to explain why I am doing this in the first place...

This past spring I proposed a project to the Engaged Learning office at Southern Methodist University. I was granted a scholarship to do independent research and travel to Perth, Australia with the Embrey Human Rights Program in order to study the current status of Aboriginal (or indigenous) rights in the country, and the efficacy of organizations promoting restorative justice and equality. I hoped to achieve this information by meeting with leaders in the Aboriginal community, interviewing human rights activists, and recording recent news relating to the progress of combatting discrimination.

Upon my arrival, our group witnessed the distinct beauty and culture that is AUSTRALIA

 The gorgeous Swan River that winds around Perth

Past students from Professor Dennis Simon's Civil Rights Pilgrimage reunited with a photo of Dr. King

The modern Perth skyline gleaming at sunset of our first day

The Bell Tower

Some of the group posing with the kangaroos!

Isn't that a pretty sight?

Our first official meeting of the trip was with Simon Forrest, an indigenous elder who works at the Curtin Centre for Aboriginal Studies. Simon performed a traditional Aboriginal "Welcome to Country" ceremony explaining the significance of King's National Park, or Kaarta gar-up, to the indigenous Noongar people.

Another interesting fact: Before the Europeans settled some 200 years ago, Perth was called Boorloo by the Noongar people. This is the name that was used for 40,000 years... so I think it is fitting that I use it as well.

Simon used sandalwood and gum from the grassroot tree in the smoking ceremony to symbolize the origins of his mother and father.

Yes, that is a kangaroo pelt...

Here is most of the Human Rights group with our WONDERFUL guide and friend, Gary Hepworth, without whom this trip would never have existed

Our first sighting of authentic Australian wildlife: the kookaburra! 

I just thought this tree was too beautiful to pass up a photo...

Dr. Halperin, as always, representing the program.

I think this is a good place to stop as far as an introduction to the trip...

I will continue to update the blog while I am here in D.C. with more information regarding the trip to Australia, my research project, and other relevant news/media that have to do with human rights in Australia!