Australia is known for its offshore detention regime, however, what is less well known is the fact that once those remote islands were “full”, 30,000 more people remained in Australia and were left in an endless limbo.
UNSW Sydney has released a new storytelling project, Temporary, which sees refugees in Australia share their stories.
Launching on November 26, the podcast has been produced in a collaboration with UNSW’s Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Centre for Ideas and Guardian Australia.
According to their official website, the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW is the world’s leading research centre dedicated to the study of international refugee law. Founded in October 2013, the Kaldor Centre undertakes rigorous research on the most pressing displacement issues in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and around the world, and contributes to public policy by promoting legal, sustainable and humane solutions to forced migration.
According to a press release, “Temporary lays bare a system designed to deter people fleeing danger and seeking protection in Australia,” offering rare access to people who have lived the experience.
“This is such an important project because it brings to the fore voices that have been silenced for so long,” says Professor Jane McAdam, Director of the Kaldor Centre. “Even though we know about the injustices of temporary protection and its detrimental impacts on refugees’ lives, it is quite jolting to hear people talk about their experiences directly. It brings home just how damaging Australia’s policies are – for people trying to rebuild their lives in safety.”
The series aims to shine a spotlight on people in what is known as the “legacy caseload” with their stories coming to life in an eight-episode series hosted by Sisonke Msimang — an Australian based writer whose own family was granted asylum in Canada.
“The stories of refugees and people seeking a better life, just like my family, really matter to me – and the stories in ‘Temporary’ reveal the inhumanity of a system that goes to extraordinary lengths to thwart the ambitions of regular people fleeing harm,” Msimang said in a statement.