Tonight, as a direct result of the policies of our Federal Government which are overwhelmingly endorsed by the majority of the Australian community, a second asylum seeker has set themselves on fire on Nauru.
Last Friday, a 23-year old named Omid died after doing the same.
The sense of helplessness is overwhelming. The usual suspects will decry the loss of life, while holding steadfast to a policy built on human misery – all to stop the boats.
50 children still remain incarcerated in Nauru, and nearly 350 are in some form of detention on mainland Australia. What we have done to these children will haunt them for the remainder of their lives.
I am not one of those courageous few who devote their every day to changing those facts. People in organisations like Save the Children, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and others.
I work in early childhood, and I write. I’m incredibly privileged and fortunate in every area of my life. I have no idea if my writing can help, but I would like to make a small gesture – even if a gesture is all it will be.
Part of my good fortune is being asked to do the odd bit of writing on early childhood and being paid to do so. For the next two months, I commit to donating any fee I receive for a writing or speaking commission to ChilOut – the incredible organisation that advocates and works towards the freedom of children in immigration detention.
Until the end of June, anything I’m commissioned for will be going straight to them. I hope the nonsense I usually write can do a tiny bit of good.
So please, if you’re looking for a writer on early childhood in Australia, I’m available. You can obviously check out my writing on this blog, and I’d recommend looking at my Published Works page to get a better idea of my more professional writing.
Please share this with any networks you may have – I’d love to get bombarded with work! I’ll post the final amount at the end of June.
Please also consider donating yourself – to ChilOut or another fantastic advocacy organisation. The only thing that can cure helplessness is taking action – even if you feel it may not contribute.
Thanks – Liam.