Saturday, December 18, 2010
Light-hearted Christmas Island series of stamps for the festive season picture a gift bound by flowers native to the Island and a Frigatebird all part of unique natural heritage in those tropical climes.
(See http://shop.auspost.com.au/collections/stamps-issues) The island once had its own postage stamps.
The island is a small territory of Australia, way off the coast, 2600 km NW of Perth WA, and 360 km south of Jakarta Indonesia, with 135 square kms of land and a few people.
It is a prison in the middle of nowhere, but close enough to S.E. Asia to promote illegal ill-fated sea voyages by refugees..
It is all part of the broader picture of mass-migration and deserves a global response.
In discontinuity, without a global perspective, our leaders have been very mean spirited and have fostered selfish possessive attitudes when communities are objecting to the prospect of building decent facility for immigrants anywhere near them.
These are not words from a 'bleeding heart'. Sure, uncontrolled migration is undesirable but still needs to be handled by humanitarians. And despite the fact that some people may leave for a journey to Australia just because they can.
The Howard government excised Christmas Island from the Australian Migration Zone meaning that refugees arriving there could not automatically apply for refugee status and a prison was set up there.
An undertaking we can be very proud of - not. Leadership and wisdom beyond compare. I was full of disbelief at the amazing solutions undertaken by our governments.