The Power of Story

The Australian Governments attitude to asylum seekers is bewilderingly cruel. The only way that I can make sense of their persecution of desperate people is throught the lens of our cultural shadow. The first European settlers were the convicts, sentenced to languish on an island for petty crimes of survival and this has led to us, two hundred years later, imprisoning and persecuting people seeking refuge on an island {Manus) in the Pacific.

So when I came across this story my faith was restored in our humanity.

We bloggers and writers know the power of story, particularly the human ones, and when you read some of the amazing experiences of the asylum seekers, you cant help but be touched and become aware of our shared humanity

Mums 4 Refugees place books at iconic Brisbane locations to spark positive conversations ABC Radio Brisbane By Jessica Hinchliffe Posted Thu at 1:15pm A book with ‘pick me up’ tags. PHOTO: Australian books sharing positive stories about refugees are being placed around Brisbane. (Facebook: Mums 4 Refugees) MAP: Brisbane 4000 Colourful children’s books are being dropped at iconic places throughout Brisbane by mums hoping to spread positive messages about refugees. The Mums 4 Refugees grassroots campaign began on Monday to coincide with Book Week. Queensland convenor Sally Dodds said hundreds of books labelled “pick me up” had been distributed, telling stories of refugees and people seeking asylum written by Australian authors. Books include Boy Overboard by Morris Gleitzman and I’m Australian Too by Mem Fox. Children’s book left on Brisbane sign. PHOTO: Books have been left in suburbs and popular places throughout Brisbane. (Supplied: Mums 4 Refugees) “We’ve been dropping them near the Brisbane sign, Kangaroo Point and throughout the city and suburbs,” Ms Dodds told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Terri Begley. “We have 450 members and they’re spread across the south-east, so we’ve got hundreds of books out there. “I saw one of my books that I left picked up in a local Woolworths carpark.” Ms Dodds said the Mums 4 Refugees group — a network of women working with and for asylum seekers and refugees — wanted to bring “humanity back into the conversation” off the back of the book drop. “We found that over the last 20 years politicians and certain media outlets have been demonising people seeking asylum … creating an us and them,” she said. “We just want to remind people in creative ways that we’re all just people and we all want the same things.” Volunteer Alex Purnell said the book drop allowed the group to connect with the public in a creative way. “Everyone remembers the books they read as kids that have stayed with them,” she said. “We wanted to have a gentle and positive conversation with stories about refugees written by Australian authors.” She said she hoped the books would reach suburbs far and wide throughout south-east Queensland. “We want children to be learning and talking about these things around the dinner table,” Ms Purnell said. “We hope people pay it forward and leave the book somewhere in a public spot so it keeps going to spread the word.” A full book list and further details can be found on the group’s Facebook page.

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