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A post-climate change cartoon of The Cappucino Strip in Fremantle
The Cappuccino Strip, or South Terrace, in Fremantle is the centre of the terrific harbour town of Western Australia - "even when it's flooded in 2020 and once again we need to look after boat people". From a cartoon by Award-winning Fremantle Herald cartoonist Jason Chatfield (click image to open large version)

World Refugee Day 2007:
"Why The Boats Must Come..."

An exquisite, feature-packed event at the Navy Club

Project SafeCom's 2007 World Refugee Day Event features Labor's retiring Member of Parliament for Fremantle Dr Carmen Lawrence, UN Lawyer and the ALP Candidate for Fremantle Melissa Parke, Jessie Taylor from The Justice Project, the Green's Senate Candidate for 2007 Scott Ludlam, and one terrific movie.

This is the page for the event.

What's on this page

Event details

Event title: Why The Boats Must Come
Date: Friday June 22, 2007
Time: 7:45pm for 8:00pm start
Accessibility for wheelchairsVenue: The NAVY Club (click for map)
This event is fully accessible for people with a disability
Location: 2nd Floor, 64 High Street (cnr Pakenham Str)
Cost: "By generous donation"

Movie clip of the event

Perth Community TV created a 15-minute documentary of Project SafeCom's 2007 World Refugee Day event, which went to air on Foxtel Pay-TV on Tuesday June 26 2007. Here's the movie clip we made for our website.

Perth Community TV created a 15-minute documentary of Project SafeCom's 2007 World Refugee Day event, which went to air on Foxtel Pay-TV on Tuesday June 26 2007. Here's the movie clip we made for our website.


Project SafeCom's 2007 World Refugee Day event17 July 2007: Project SafeCom's 2007 World Refugee Day readings - This week's Fremantle Herald, a major Project SafeCom sponsor, features major coverage of Project SafeCom's World Refugee Day event as part of its wraparound for World Refugee Day. This page reproduces the entire section, including articles by our speakers for the event who came from The Greens, the ALP, and from Melbourne. Perth Community Television (CTV) filmed the event, and the 15-minute documentary is included on this page.

Movie event poster

Why the Boats Must Come

During our 2007 World Refugee Day event, we will propose that The Boats Must Come. There's good reason to maintain such a confident and expressive theme. Both the Howard government and "sections of" the ALP (less overt, but vocally enough for us to notice!) have adopted a policy of "Stopping the Boats" - and we don't particularly like this control and negative positioning. We don't like it, for three reasons:

  1. The boats must come because of what we have done during the Howard years, and especially since Tampa in 2001. For this reason we'll feature the movie documentary about Baxter and mandatory detention We Will Be Remembered For This. And, in the context of this movie, our special guest from Melbourne, Dublin and Aix-en-Provence Jessie Taylor, who's been one of the enthusiastic drivers in this project, will talk about the making of this movie;

  2. The boats must come because of the United Nations Convention for the Status of Refugees. Under that Convention, Australia has committed itself to keep its borders open for also "unannounced" refugees who use boats to come to our country. The speaker about the UN Convention is United Nations lawyer and Labor candidate for the Seat of Fremantle Melissa Parke, who is set to replace our longstanding advocate for just human rights policies, the Fremantle MP who had the courage to resign from the front bench over the ALP's refugee policy, Dr Carmen Lawrence.

    1 January 2007: The Gifts of Carmen Lawrence - The number of contributions from Carmen to the national debate, also but not only about Australia's treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, has kept growing, also on our website - this was the reason we constructed this page to bring all pages, all gifts from Dr Carmen Lawrence together.

  3. The boats must come because we've almost started on the three, four, or five decades, where according to the United Nations Institute for the Environment and Human Security and other organisations, as many as 150 million people will be forced to leave their sinking or otherwise environmentally challenged countries or continents, and they will be on the move to find a country that's safe to keep living and existing; worse still, the Christian Aid Service, in May 2007, mentions one billion displaced people in their report! This will be argued by Scott Ludlam, the Green's Number One Senate candidate for Western Australia for the 2007 Federal election.

    16 May 2007: Human tide: the real migration crisis: a Christian Aid report - "Christian Aid predicts that, on current trends, a further 1 billion people will be forced from their homes between now and 2050. We believe forced migration is the most urgent threat facing poor people in developing countries. The time for action is now."

We Will Be Remembered For This

A Film About Australia

Glow Worm Productions

"Honestly I have no idea what these people's reaction is going to be to us. To them we're just a bunch of nine strangers that are coming in ... who knows how they'll react to that? Because at the end, we get to leave..."

Guido - visitor


Title We Will Be Remembered for This
Directed by David Schmidt
Written & Produced by Jessie Taylor
Cinematography by Adam Arkapaw
Edited by David Schmidt
Production Glow Worm Productions
Supported by Donkey Wheel Fund and the Victoria Law Foundation
Featuring (1) Julian Burnside QC, Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser, Psychiatrist Dr Patrick McGorrie
Featuring (2) Refugees, Detention Centre staff
Featuring (3) Baxter visitors: Amat Amiri, Guido Cadenazzi, Cristina Churruca, Will Evans, Rebecca Rowe, Joel Siegersma, Stephanie Taylor, Jessie Taylor

In 2006, a group of young people of different nationalities, backgrounds, attitudes and political views took a trip to the Baxter Detention Centre. The stories of the people they met behind the razor wire surprised, moved and challenged them.

We Will Be Remembered For This documents their journey. It is a film for everyone. It is a clear, rational and nonpoliticised look at the human issues of Australia's mandatory immigration detention policy. This film poses the essential questions surrounding Australia's refugee policy. Who are the people behind the fences? How did they come to be there? What are the psychological and legal battles they now face? How much do average Australians know about this policy, and if they knew the truth, would they want it to change?

Preview clip (6 min 58 sec)

Click on this image to open the You Tube movie window

To create this film, the filmmakers drew together a diverse group of people. A teacher, a nurse, a handful of uni students, travelers and an academic. Some who had never visited detention, others who had done so for years, and one who had experienced it for himself. Those opposed to the policy, those in support, and those as yet undecided. Some who had never really thought about it, another who thought about it for a living, and others in between.

The film-makers' objective was almost experimental: to rise above social, cultural and political differences, to draw out common threads upon which all could agree. In other words, this film strips back politics and encourages viewers to see the issue for what it really is: profoundly human.

The film includes:

"a lot of time i want to talk. i want someone hearing me. i am in pain, and i just want to talk to someone..."

Rahmat - visitor, former detainee

This film was produced against a volatile political background, in full awareness that most people feel ill prepared or unwilling to get involved in the asylum seeker issue. We Will Be Remembered is a tool by which people can become more aware and informed, using this awareness and information to formulate the opinion of their choosing. This film has been made for you, your grandparents, your teachers, your students and your friends. It's for politicians, prisoners, and school kids.

This film has been made accessible for everyone, because the film-makers believe that everyone should see it. Its message is that regardless of politics and policy and international pressure, the people behind the fences are worthy of attention, even just for the hour it takes to watch this film. In the words of one of the visitors,

"when I visit detention and hear people's stories, politics is the furthest thing from my mind. When a baby has been killed in cold blood, or a family has disappeared, and when a young man's face still bears the scars of torture, the fuss bother and noisy rhetoric of the Canberra machine could not be less important".

The characters of We Will Be Remembered For This have undertaken a journey. There were some laughs, some let downs, a few epiphanies, a lot of driving, discussions, debates and questions raised. The film-makers' goal was reached - to unite this group of people, to rise above the things that divided them, and to identify and illuminate the things they shared in common, with each other and with the people behind the fences.

Share their journey!


Event Sponsors:

Kulcha Multicultural Arts WA
Kulcha Multicultural Arts of WA


The Fremantle Herald


The Justice Project

About Jessie Taylor

Jessie Taylor

Jessie Taylor BA (Hons), LLB (Hons) completed her studies at Monash University at the end of 2006. She is currently completing a Masters in International Humanitarian Assistance MSc (HA), which she has studied through the University of Uppsala (Sweden), University College Dublin (Ireland) and UniversitÚ Paul CÚzanne Aix Marseille III (France).

Jessie comes from a background of activism and advocacy, particularly on behalf of refugees in the community and in detention, and she has published a number of articles on her experiences with refugees, their stories, and her observations following visits to the Baxter, Maribyrnong and Villawood Immigration Detention Centres over the past 5 years. As well as weekly visits to Maribyrnong, Jessie has taken around 150 visitors through the gates of the centres and into face-to-face contact with the realities of detention. It is from these experiences that the inspiration for 'We Will Be Remembered For This' has sprung.

Jessie is a regular speaker to school, church, community and academic groups, on various topics relating to human rights and refugee policy. She has made TV and radio appearances discussing issues of refugee law reform and broader human rights, including appearances on Triple J's 'Sunday Night Safran'. She has co-ordinated public awareness events and letter-writing campaigns (both to politicians and detainees), and delights in raising awareness about the situation of human rights in this country, and the avenues for action available to every Australian.

In 2004 Jessie completed her Arts degree with Honours in Jewish Civilisation. She was awarded a High Distinction for her thesis entitled 'Theresienstadt: Deception, and the Inadequacy of the Traditional Holocaust Discourse'.

In 2006 Jessie was the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law Global Intern to the Australian Delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Geneva. This experience formed the basis of her Honours thesis in Law, 'Exceptionalism & Disengagement: Australia and the United Nations Human Rights System', which won the Monash Law School Prize for Best Honours Thesis for 2006.

Jessie has sat on the board of The Justice Project since 2004. She was the first director of the Oaktree Foundation's Local Response team, and enjoyed an internship in the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre's Human Rights Law programme in 2006. In 2007, Jessie looks forward to increasing her involvement with the Victorian Council of Civil Liberties (Liberty Victoria), with a view to increasing scope for young people to become involved in human rights activism. She will complete her Masters thesis, entitled 'Anywhere But Here: Boat people, and the implied illegitimacy of the 'right to seek asylum' in Australia'.

In 2008 Jessie will commence an Articled Clerkship at Melbourne firm Dibbs Abbott Stillman.

About Carmen Lawrence

Dr Carmen Lawrence's photo for the 2004 election campaign

[From Dr Lawrence's website] Dr Carmen Lawrence's parliamentary career began in State politics in 1986 when she won for the Australian Labor Party the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Subiaco, held by the Liberal Party for the previous 27 years.

She was promoted to the State Government Ministry in 1988, as Minister for Education. She was re-elected to Parliament in 1989, representing the seat of Glendalough. Following the State Labor government's re-election her responsibilities were increased with the addition of the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio. In a leadership change on 12 February 1990, Dr Lawrence made history by becoming Premier of Western Australia and Australia's first woman Premier.

Following Labor's narrow defeat at the 6 February 1993 State election, Dr Lawrence became Western Australia's first woman Opposition Leader. She also held the positions of Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Employment and Federal Affairs.

Dr Lawrence entered Federal politics by winning the Federal seat of Fremantle in a by-election on 12 March 1994. She was appointed Minister for Human Services and Health and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women on Friday 25 March 1994. Following the defeat of the Keating Government in the March 1996 general election, Dr Lawrence was appointed Shadow Minister for the Environment; the Arts; and Assistant to the Leader of the Opposition on the Status of Women, posts she held until April 1997.

In September 2000 Dr Lawrence was appointed as the Shadow Minister for Industry, Innovation and Technology, and Shadow Minister for the Status of Women. Dr Lawrence also held the Reconciliation, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Affairs; the Arts, and Status of Women Portfolios until December 2002.

Since her return to the backbench, Dr Lawrence has been an active and vocal peace campaigner, speaking at rallies and forums around the country. On November 14, 2003, Dr Lawrence was elected by the first popular ballot of ALP members as President of the Australian Labor Party. Dr Lawrence's one year term began on January 29, 2004.

Dr Lawrence also speaks and writes regularly about refugee policy and democratic reform. Many of her articles are regularly published on the Sydney Morning Herald Web-Diary, and she continues to speak out in Parliament on these and other important issues.

About Melissa Parke

Melissa Parke, Fremantle, for the Federal Seat for the ALP

[From Wikipedia] Melissa Parke (b. 1966) has worked for the United Nations since 1999, most recently as a senior lawyer in the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Management in the UN headquarters, New York. In this role Parke is responsible for aspects of management reform and for the provision of advice and oversight in respect of the UN system of justice administration.

Parke began her employment with the UN in the Office of Legal Affairs, Pristina, Kosovo, and subsequently also worked in Gaza and Beirut. In January 2006, Parke was seconded from the Department of Management to establish the new UN Ethics Office, laying the foundations for a permanent unit within the UN that would eventually serve 29,000 personnel worldwide.

In the second half of 2006, Parke worked as the Deputy Chief of Staff in the UN Commission, Beirut, Lebanon, investigating the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and 15 other terrorist attacks in Lebanon.

Prior to joining the UN, Parke was a lecturer in the law school at Murdoch University, Western Australia. She also worked as the solicitor-in-charge of the Bunbury Community Legal Centre. Parke's community engagement and contributions have included being a Western Australian representative on the national council of the Australian Conservation Foundation, a spokesperson for the Communities for Coastal Conservation, and the President of Labor Lawyers (WA).

In 1996, Parke contested the Western Australian rural seat of Mitchell for the Australian Labor Party, and in May 2007, Melissa Parke was pre-selected as the ALP's candidate for the federal seat of Fremantle.

Parke grew up in the south-west of Western Australia on her parents' apple farm in Donnybrook. She attended Bunbury Senior High School and later graduated with a Bachelor of Business from Curtin University of Technology. She completed a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at the University of New South Wales and a Master of Laws (LLM) in Public International Law at Murdoch University.

About Scott Ludlam

Scott Ludlam, Greens Candidate for the 2007 Federal election

Scott Ludlam came to campaigning nearly ten years ago by way of the movement for a nuclear free Australia. His work has spanned issues as diverse as preventing uranium mining at Jabiluka and Western Australia, Aboriginal land rights, peace, military bases, climate change, trade, globalisation, and energy market reform.

Educated in graphic arts and sustainability policy, Scott spent four years working for Greens MLC Robin Chapple as a researcher and fellow campaigner across the vast state seat of Mining and Pastoral. During this time he was engaged in the campaign to close the Port Hedland Detention Centre and visited detainees in the centre several times. Since 2005 he has worked as the communications and campaigns officer for Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

He has used his combination of policy and production skills to help drive projects including anti-nuclear street theatre, a handbook on the impact of military bases on Western Australia, and most recently a 30 minute documentary on climate and energy issues titled 'Climate of Hope.'

In 2006 Scott was preselected as the lead Senate Candidate for the Australian Greens in Western Australia. His campaign focus in 2007 will draw on the many positive undercurrents and sustainability initiatives already gathering pace in Australia and elsewhere. His key aim is to help articulate the environmental, cultural and economic opportunities inherent in moving to a post fossil-fuelled society.