This time, six prominent Australians risk their lives to experience the reality of refugee life, as they embark on an extraordinary and confronting three week journey. They bring a wealth of experience to the table, but nothing can prepare them for the twists and turns in store.
The Australians face mortal danger in the world’s deadliest cities – from the sweltering, war torn capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, to the riotous streets of Kabul, freezing amidst the mountains of Afghanistan. They join the greatest human exodus of modern times in the Ethiopian desert, live amid the squalor of one of the world’s biggest refugee camps, bunk down with families in Jakarta waiting to board a people smuggler’s boat, meet with some of the young men involved in people smuggling operations, and then set sail for Christmas Island themselves – heading directly into the eye of a storm. The journey reaches its emotionally charged conclusion with unprecedented access within the walls of Christmas Island Detention Centre. It is intense, shocking, and one of the most challenging experiences of their lives.
Once again guided by author and refugee expert, Dr. David Corlett, the six participants set out on their journey with varied and blunt opinions:
“I don’t accept the boat people at all. Send them home.” – Angry Anderson, Australian rock music legend, conservative political activist and aspiring National Party candidate.
“There’s a lot of politicians that use these people’s suffering for votes, but what’s the price of somebody’s life to win a vote?” – Imogen Bailey, model, actress, and animal rights activist.
“Whatever you might think of the Howard Government, no one can dispute the reality that we did stop the boats.” – Peter Reith, former Howard Government senior cabinet minister, including Minister for Defence from 2000-2001.
“We are a signatory of the United Nations Refugee Convention, no one is illegal.” – Catherine Deveny, writer, comedian and social commentator.
“I see a highly prejudicial and polarised attitude towards people who are fleeing persecution to come to Australia, looking for safety and a new life.” – Allan Asher, former Commonwealth Ombudsman, outspoken consumer advocate.
“Absolutely, unquestionably, we treat people who lob by boat here far too well.” – Michael Smith, former radio shock jock with 2UE and 4BC.
It will air on three consecutive nights on Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 August, at 8.30pm on SBS ONE.
An Insight special follows on Friday 31 August, hosted by Jenny Brockie.