Monday, 20 June 2016

Trauma professional speaks about his Nauru deployments - "the worst" trauma he's seen

Children protest in Australian offshore detention
In years to come, long after this Lieberal gov and present political leaders from both major parties are gone, Australia's offshore detention of refugees will be remembered for what it is. Free of political spin and fear-mongering.

A dark very period in Australia's history. A violation of fundamental human rights for political gain in a few western Sydney electorates. A violation of international law that deserves to be addressed at the International Criminal Court. A time when our gov went mean and nasty, turned rogue for power. 

Future generations will wonder how the hell this happened. In Australia of all places. 

Personally, this is the biggest reason I vote Greens. I can't countenance with any conscience the major party's competing with each other to be meaner than each other. To vulnerable people who just need our help.

This man is running for the senate as an independent. 
Over a career spanning decades Stevenson has worked with the survivors of the Port Arthur massacre, the Thredbo landslide, the Boxing Day Indian Ocean tsunami, the Bali bombings of 2002 and 2005. He has counselled diplomats after embassies were bombed, and families who have lost loved ones to bushfires and floods. Stevenson says that the great privilege – “the joy, even” – of working in the field of trauma is witnessing people fight back from cruel circumstance, working with people “who are incredibly brave, incredibly resilient, incredibly positively focused about what they’re doing”.

But there’s none of that in offshore detention. You don’t see the positive glimpses, you don’t see the strength of resilience, you don’t see the quirky little things that people do when the chips are down, you don’t see the laughter and you don’t see the bravery, and you don’t see any of those things that give hope for improvement in the lives of these people.

Every day is demoralising. Every single day and every night. And you can work an eight-hour shift, or a 16-hour-shift, or a 20-hour-shift, you can get up in the middle of the night to answer the calls to go down to the camp, and you know it’s not getting any better. And it’s that demoralisation that is the paramount feature of offshore detention. It’s indeterminate, it’s under terrible, terrible conditions, and there is nothing you can say about it that says there’s some positive humanity in this. And that’s why it’s such an atrocity. The Guardian