Sometimes I wish I could personally tell the asylum seekers currently languishing in detention centres that we care about them. That we think about them. That we’re deeply ashamed of the way our government has treated them, and we want to see them safe and at peace.
Julian Burnside QC thinks we should do exactly that.
The barrister/advocate for refugees has started a letter-writing campaign asking compassionate Australians to write to people in the Nauru detention centre or on Manus Island. All you have to do is grab a pen, explain who you are, and send it to Julian – he’ll take care of passing the letter on to an asylum seeker.
It’s such a simple, beautiful idea.
I live my life every day knowing that vulnerable, terrified people have come to this country asking for help, and we’ve turned them away. Knowing that a government I did not vote for is acting on my behalf when it sends desperate people to dangerous places rather than allow them to settle here.
If you feel the same, pick up a pen. Write a letter. Diminish the loneliness of someone who deserves safety as much as you do.
If you’re scared or don’t know what to write, that’s OK. It’s hard to know what to say. Keep it simple, like me. Here’s the letter I’ll be sending to Julian Burnside. I’ll report back once I have a new pen pal. I feel really good about it, and you should too.