Wed 4th September meeting of the 17 Group

The next meeting of the 17 Group will take place on Wednesday the 4th of September at the slightly delayed time of 7.30 pm (note, not at the usual time of 7 pm) in unit 6 at 20 Drury St West End. You can learn more, a few days before voting, of why the policies of each of the major parties are a national disgrace, by listening to our expert speaker, former Immigration official from 1984 to 2001, and prominent refugee issue activist, Frederika Steen. Her topic is:


Here is a brief summary:
15-20 minutes, followed by robust discussion!

The Immigration framework’s incompatibility with managing asylum seekers.

What has gone so wrong, that Australia is in breach of its international obligations and domestic legislation.

The so called Humanitarian Program, a subset of the annual Migration Program.

On shore , Off shore.

Racism, xenophobia, politics of fear. The lexicon.

Policy of deterrence – obstructing asylum seekers, breaching human rights.
Ending the Pacific Solution 2008.

The dark place we are in.

Here are some biographical notes:
Frederika (Freddie) Steen is a retired Immigration officer (1984-2001) and former High school teacher in Tasmania and Canada. Human rights and migrant and refugee settlement is a lifelong passion fostered by Dutch family background.

Canberran of the year 1984, for community volunteer work in refugee settlement and multicultural education and broadcasting. First Migrant Women’s Coordinator in Immigration , Labor Government 1984 ; Director FOI section 1986-92. Came to Brisbane 1994 as Director of Settlement Branch in Immigration Department and served as Chief Migration officer in Australian Embassy, Bonn and Berlin, 1997-2000.

Volunteer with Romero Centre, now Dutton Park, since 2001 and on the Board of the Multicultural Development Association for 8 years, stepping down in 2012. Irrepressible writer of letters to newspaper editors as therapy. Facebook postings of current issues in the media, to inform a wide and growing network. Connected to most local and many national refugee activist groups, some ethnic communities, and Refugee Council of Australia.

Australian Democrats candidate for Moreton 2004, lapsed member of ALP.

With his own background as a political refugee Leon Davidovich, no excuses this time, was already on his way to Australia to attend this important meeting, but, with his well-known tendency to back the losing side, he chose to board the leaky vessel HMAS Honourable Australia. It was already sinking when boarded by troops from the HMAS New Guinea Solution under Admiral Krudd, but then both these vessels were destroyed totally and devastatingly sunk in the newly sensitive and trustful way by the HMAS Sovereign Borders under famous ‘boxing’ Vice Admiral Jabit.
When last seen the plucky Leon was the sole survivor, “sarcastically”, as one report had it, doing the Australian crawl in the waters north of this continent. These waters are known to constitute very porous borders, but, with the added disadvantage of a soaking wet and possibly now unreadable (or even nonexistent) passport, there is slight chance of his getting to the meeting on time. Don’t let that be said of you.

One thought on “Wed 4th September meeting of the 17 Group

  1. Hi to all thinking of coming to the Wed 4th Sept. meeting of the 17 Group. James Morris thought you might like to read the following before the meeting.
    You may be interested in syndicating the following before the meeting for attendees to read beforehand.

    In addition to below if you are interested in some sources for further information to help determine a more informed opinion google the following:
    Fact sheet 61 – seeking protection within australia (also has other hyperlinks)
    Convention relating to the status of refugees by Guy S. Goodwin-Gill
    Handbook on procedures and criteria for determining refugee status under the 1951 convention and the 1967 protocol relating to the status of refugees (is also a hyperlink to above article)
    Who said:
    “We are a humanitarian country. We don’t turn people back into the sea, we don’t turn unseaworthy boats which are likely to capsize and the people in them drown. We can’t behave in that manner.”

    Yes you are right if you said it was John Howard August 2001.
    In the period when boats were turned back one boat was fired on by the HMAS Adelaide with 3 cannon shots and 23 rounds of gun fire. 12 boats were intercepted by the end of December 2001 with 4 escorted back to Indonesia. 2 women drowned from one boat that sank and another 2 more boats sank.
    Of the asylum seekers sent to Nauru and Manus most of those found to be refugees ended up in Australia as only New Zealand was willing to take any of the others.
    Source:”Blind Conscience” by Margot O’Neill.pages8-9.

    Useful to know 161 refugee seekers came by boat in 2008 after the end of the Pacific Solution policy, 2726 in 2009, 5995 in 2010, 4565 in 2011, 17204 in 2012, and 7084 up to April this year. source The Australian. I think over 1000 are believed to have drowned and may be higher for boats not officially known of that have sunk.

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