Go Back to Where You Come From

While chilling up a bit, here’s from GetUp!

It’s 11 years this month since Tampa, and Australia’s refugee debate seems like a bad tape stuck on loop.  So what do you do when you have an issue that’s become this polarised and politicised?

The cast of Go Back to Where You Come From. (Photo: SBS)

You reach out to the other side.

We’re not going to achieve humane and common-sense refugee policy by preaching to the converted. But each of us can, through our own networks and actions, help open the minds of those we know who might not understand the big deal about offshore processing and indefinite detention.

This week, there are two great opportunities to do just that. Starting tonight is a show that every Australian should see. It’s the new series of the SBS documentary, ‘Go Back to Where you Came From’, which takes Australians with “outspoken views” and invites them to see the world through the eyes of a refugee – retracing real journeys all the way back to places like Somalia and Afghanistan.

Last season it not only achieved hit ratings, but it was a life-changing experience for those who took part. With politicians from both sides of the aisle hoping we’ll just accept soundbite solutions, a show like this that puts human stories and hearts in the spotlight and changes the minds of even the most ardent hardliners is more important than ever.

Tune in tonight, Wednesday and Thursday at 8.30pm on SBS. Invite your friends and family over to watch, and join the live chat with fellow GetUp members on our site by signing up here:   http://www.getup.org.au/gobacksbs

In the meantime, we’ve also developed an arresting new infographic that helps explains where ‘boat people’ really come from and why; and we need your help to share it far and wide.   Check it out, and share it all this week on Twitter and Facebook.

Dr. Martin Luther King once said that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” History shows us that policy and laws become more just when a tipping point of hearts and minds are opened, and the differences we’ve used to justify denying the humanity of another no longer seem that vast. That’s where sharing stories, culture and sharing are so important.

Don’t forget to tune in, the GetUp team

PS – This morning, the horrid news of 17 Afghans reportedly beheaded by the Taliban is an acrid reminder of the circumstances that drive so many desperate asylum seekers to our shores. We’ve produced a new infographic showing the conflicts and crisis that drive asylum seeker movement.

— We aren’t affiliated with SBS, but like Amnesty, the Refugee Council of Australia and a range of school and community groups we’ve chosen to promote this show because we think it’s courageous and important. We hope you’ll tune in and join the live GetUp chat on our website, starting tonight: click here to register —

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