Ian Chappell, Ita Buttrose join campaign to remove children from detention centres

November 19, 2014 | smh

High profile Australian sports stars, actors and media personalities have come together in a slick television and online campaign with a simple message to the Australian government: remove children from immigration detention.

The movement “We’re better than this” includes former Wallabies captain George Gregan, former Australian cricket captain Ian Chappell, journalist Ita Buttrose and businesswoman Janet Homes a Court criticising the incarceration of asylum seeker children, particularly in the offshore processing centre in Nauru and the detention centre on Christmas Island.

Actress Deborah Mailman, author Tom Keneally, film critic Margaret Pomeranz, Australian Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs and activist Gail Mabo also feature in the short one minute advertisements, while Bernard Fanning from Powderfinger has lent his musical skills to the production.

Ita Buttrose is one high-profile figure involved in the campaign. Ita Buttrose is one high-profile figure involved in the campaign. Photo: James Brickwood

“I believe every child deserves a safe place to play,” Ian Chappell says in the video. “I mean Christmas Island, it’s a phosphate mine; it’s dangerous and it’s dirty and it’s got to affect the health of children. We’re better than this.”

Rosie Scott, an author and the founder of the movement, said she wanted to attract the attention of mainstream Australia through a campaign that could shine a light on the “horrors of children in detention”.

“I felt a different kind of approach could be to contact people whose expertise lies in communicating with the Australian public,” she said. Every participant gave their time and services for free, she said.

"I believe every child deserves a safe place to play.": Ian Chappell“I believe every child deserves a safe place to play.”: Ian Chappell

“This is just the beginning.”

Booker-prize winning novelist Mr Keneally said he wanted to take a stand against children being innocent objects of the current government’s “cruel policy”.

“I have never agreed that you can produce a policy outcome by being cruel to people,” he said. “It’s an insult to our ethos where we try to be as mentally cruel as tyrants are, to keep other people out. We’re better than this, most Australians are better than this.”

Children kept in immigration detention are shown to suffer from high rates of depression and mental health problems.

In July the government’s medical health group the International Health and Medical Service told an Australian Human Rights Commission inquiry into children in detention that the Immigration Department requested they withdraw alarming mental health figures of children in their report.

There are currently 603 children being held in Immigration detention, including on Christmas Island, and 186 children being held in Nauru, according to the Department of Immigration. The average length of detention is currently 413 days.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/ian-chappell-ita-buttrose-join-campaign-to-remove-children-from-detention-centres-20141118-11p57b.html

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1 Comment

Filed under Detention Centers, Public Reaction/Perception Towards Asylum Seekers

One response to “Ian Chappell, Ita Buttrose join campaign to remove children from detention centres

  1. Warren & Beverly Harries

    I have felt this for a long time, but felt hopeless to express my feelings against the governments decision – I am glad that high profile Australians have brought this to everyone’s attention – and I now hope the government will realise that we the average person in Australia are not the rednecks they think we are and we do not agree with their policy in regard to children in detention – I do not even feel adults should be there but if they can at least release the children it is a start. It has always been a political football by both parties trying to appease the rednecks in this country – neither one were concerned about the drownings of boat people – it is always about refugees coming into the country, which I am sorry to say I have had acquaintances (not friends) say they do not want them here.

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