Check out these featured Letters to the Editor by Frederika Steen.
Frederika Steen is an eloquent defender of facts, decency and compassion when it comes to refugee and asylum seeker issues.
Not always published by the Newspapers they are submitted to, sometimes edited before publication, Ms Steen's letters always tell it like it is and cut straight to the core cruelties of Australia's offshore detention and immigration policies.
The Courier Mail Editor
2 June 2016
We vote as responsible citizens for whom we want to represent us (“Hanson’s democratic right to run for office”, 2 June), hopefully with the best interest of the nation in mind. We are a privileged people with diverse histories and cultures who have lived in relative harmony, even with the displaced First Nation people. But we are not the “ Christian nation” Hanson believes should repel followers of Islam, when only 61% claimed Christianity as their religion in the 2011 Census, and there is no official national faith. The policies of hate and division which Ms Hanson has promoted since 1996, when the Liberal party unendorsed her, have found continuous favour among an Australian community which has not been educated to understand that seeking protection from persecution is a human right, that cultural and language and faith diversity is a fact of life in modern Australia and is our great asset in the modern interdependent world.
The people of Australia need to hear it now, from the ALP and Coalition and not just the Greens, that policy and practices protecting everyone’s human rights requires strong infrastructure in any Government which must communicate and model Australian good values, with total respect for human lives. Then Ms Hanson would represent the views of fewer citizens of this blessed country.
Frederika E Steen AM
Christian nation? Please explain!
31 May 2016 Courier Mail
Please explain, Pauline Hanson what you think makes us a “Christian nation" and justifies your anti Islam, anti Muslim political policy?
Australia has no national religion, and only about 60% of Australians said they were Christian in the 2011 Census.
Christian church attendances across the nation are falling.
Most Christian leaders have a very inclusive attitude to other faiths, welcome strangers, and help the vulnerable, including people seeking protection from persecution.
Many of these are peace loving Muslims fleeing religious extremism and genocide.
Frederika E Steen AM
Submitted to the Sydney Morning Herald Letters to the Editor section
24 May 2016
It is called the Humanitarian Program for a reason.
It gives a new life to suffering human beings who need permanent protection from persecution. Humanitarian refugee settlers, not immigrants, selected “in the national economic interest".
Sadly, in Australia today you have to be a "good refugee", chosen from a UNHCR pool of refugees waiting patiently “over there” for resettlement, and only in the small number allocated annually by Cabinet, as part of the Migration Program of around 200 000 people pa.
How politically inconvenient therefore, that "bad refugees", who come direct, self funded and by boat, turn out to be mostly “genuine” refugees who did flee persecution and cannot – in international law - be sent home. It is legal to seek asylum. As a deterrent to others, Australia puts boat arriving refugees in “harm’s way”, simply because officials did not select them. In our name they are tortured with indefinite detention, indefinite separation from loved ones. It is as if many Australians fail to comprehend what persecution actually means and are indifferent to human suffering.
A truly humanitarian policy would welcome and care for the desperate yet enterprising, men women and children who make their own way here. Their claims of persecution would be processed as quickly as possible. Causes behind the perilous refugee journeys would be tackled. International cooperation would fund and deliver peace and reconstruction programs and enable people to stay home.
For those who prove to be refugees, or have compassionate and compelling humanitarian circumstances, there is place for you in this diverse society which has personal links to just about every other nation on earth.
You will help to make this nation even greater.
Frederika E Steen AM
About Frederika Steen (from her Facebook page)
- Trained teacher, Tasmania, Canada
- Retired Immigration Officer (1984-2001)
- Volunteer, Romero Centre, Brisbane 2001-2009
- Director on Board of the Multicultural Development Association 2004- 2012
- Honoured on Australia Day 2014 with the AM in the Order of Australia
- Bitterly ashamed of our bipartisan policy of locking up men women and children who have committed no crime by seeking protection here and deserve justice in this life, in "fair" Australia
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