June 2013

Refugees: the people behind the label

We at The Good Oil are proud to be publishing our first podcast to coincide with World Refugee Day (June 20). You’re encouraged to take a closer look at the issue of refugees – to see the people behind the label.


June 20 is World Refugee Day. In Australia, the Saturday to Sunday inclusive of this date is designated as Refugee Week. It’s an opportunity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.

The issue of refugees is a divisive one in Australia. Debate is fierce. Opinions are loud. Policies change quickly. Pretty soon you can feel adrift in a sea of soundbites.

And what of the refugees themselves?

We’re a nation talking about refugees – not with them. Where are they in all this?

The Sisters of the Good Samaritan invite you to take a closer look at the issue of refugees – to see the people behind the label. They commissioned Evan Ellis, a freelance journalist, to produce a podcast (an audio feature) to help you take that closer look.

LISTEN to the podcast online here.


DOWNLOAD the podcast to your computer or MP3 player so you can listen at a time that suits you. You can do this by right-clicking on ‘download the podcast’ and then clicking ‘save target as’.

We’d love your feedback. Why not leave a comment below?

Want further information?

Acknowledgements (in order of appearance): Christine D’Rozario, Colleen Leonard SGS, Jonathan (Johnson) Ngor, Mariam Veiszadeh, Nada Rajah, Sarah Puls SGS, Vinotham Sarachandran.

Special thanks to: The Justice and Peace Office, Sydney Archdiocese, Rev John Jegasothy, Uniting Church Australia, Justin Ellis, Patty Fawkner SGS, Sarah Puls SGS.

Political sound bites: John Howard (2001); Julia Gillard (2011); Kevin Rudd (2009); Tony Abbott (2012).

Photo credit: Refugee Council of Australia

Evan Ellis

Evan Ellis is a freelance writer currently on contract in the public sector.

If you would like to republish this article, please contact the editor.