It’s not often something can dislodge the smile from Today host Karl Stefanovic’s face but he was deadly serious this morning when he labelled comments from Immigration Minister Peter Dutton “un-Australian”.
He called on the Minister to apologise for his ill-informed assertion refugees would “languish in unemployment queues” if Australia were to increase it’s humanitarian intake.
“For many people they won’t be numerate or literate in their own language let alone English… these people would be taking Australian jobs and there is no question about that,” Dutton claimed.
Stefanovic’s hurt was palpable as he explained his own grandparents spent a year in an immigration camp in Woolongong before building a life for themselves here.
“This country is built on so many pillars including those who come from far away lands with not much more than hope for a better life for their family,” he said.
“They have made this a better place. They helped make modern Australia.”
He accused Dutton of “cherry-picking” statistics to make his point saying they ignored not onnly the larger picture of “considerable achievement and contribution” but also findings from his own department.
“I think he needs to apologise. Not only for those arriving now, but those who have come and now gone giving their blood sweat and tears, handed down their values to the next generations who are many of our leaders today.”
Stefanovic’s sentiment has been echoed by many over the past 24-hours, with the Asylum Seeker Resource centre sharing a series of posts about some of the “uneducated” refugees who’ve transformed our country for the better.
You can read even more inspiring stories from Australian refugees on the I Came By Boat website.
Video via Today.