The remote WA mining town of Leonora has hosted 150 asylum seekers for around 18 months now, in disused miners’ accommodation. Student numbers at the local district school have risen 25% with 53 refugee children.
Back in July 2010 one school mother commented that finally the school was receiving the resources they had been needing for a long time, including 7 more teachers.
“The school can (now) offer a broader curriculum with more educational opportunities”, says Larry Hamilton, from the WA Dept of Education.
NB Four other country town have asked the Leonora Shire President Jeff Carter about the process of entering into such an arrangement.
Jeff Carter believes the system of indefinite mandatory detention of asylum seekers..
The AMA has also stated that,
“detaining children and families for long periods was akin to child abuse.”
Jeff says the Leonora community will welcome the teenagers coming to them.
“The people I’ve spoken to feel sorry for these children…
If you’re 14 years of age and you’ve got no family and you’re in a place that you’ve never seen before, so it must be a bit frightening for them..
For the town itself, hosting an immigration detention facility has been positive..
It’s brought money into the town for businesses..
The refugees used the oval and some went to church..
The kids at school got to meet a wider variety of ethnic backgrounds, and maybe appreciate a bit more some of the trauma these people have been through to get to Australia.”
At the moment there are just over 4800 people in detention – 3445 men, 512 women and 848 children. It seems:
More than half of Sweden’s asylum applicants live in hosted homes with family, friends or approved carers while their claims are assessed.
Canada also has a system of foster care with access to health care and work rights immediately.
The Refugee and Immigration Legal Service and Catholic groups suggested in submissions to a 2009 inquiry by the joint standing committee on migration that home stays could be used more widely to help more people avoid psychologically damaging long stays in detention.
If the number of arrivals proves overwhelming, it appears the government may consider cheaper alternatives to community detention, such as asking Australian families to host asylum seekers.
Click here, then click ‘audio’ for an honest, human observation of the situation.
Will the politicking over human tragedy now end?