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26.3.18

Freedom Stories : a great DVD available on loan

Freedom Stories : a great DVD available on loan

You may remember that we advertised this DVD, available on loan to RAR supporters, a couple of weeks ago. Freedom Stories is a documentary-based project that brings together a collection of personal stories from former asylum seekers who sought asylum in Australia at a time of great political turmoil circa 2001, but who have long since dropped out of the media spotlight. The people who participated in the project are all now Australian citizens. Given the ongoing controversies over  “boat people” it is timely that their stories be heard. To borrow the DVD, contact Mike at: mandm.griffin2@bigpond.com. The DVD is licenced for public viewing, so in addition to viewing it at home, you might like to consider organising a viewing for a local group, which could have a big impact for our cause.
Margaret Henley, who has recently watched the film, writes:
 I experienced a mixture of emotions as I watched this documentary:  elation at seeing these former refugees as productive Australian citizens, sadness at hearing of the traumas they suffered and anger at the heartlessness of the Australian government’s treatment of these asylum seekers.
 I admired Aoham, a teacher from Iraq who struggled with the difficulties of finding a teaching job at a school other than an Islamic one. Reyhana, after suffering depression for three years after leaving detention, now works at the Migrant Resource Centre in SA. She no longer wears a veil and emphasised that she now has the freedom to make that choice.
 What impressed me about the men who were interviewed was their determination to establish their own businesses, from tiling to painting to forming a company, which organises work for sub-contractors. They did not avoid talking about the pain of being separated from family, the depression many of them still suffer from and the memories of self-harm they witnessed in the detention camps.
 One of the more unexpected stories in the documentary showed Sherie, mother of three sons, one of whom has cerebral palsy. She was taking driving lessons in a truck, almost ready for her Heavy Rigid licence but aiming for the licence that will enable her to drive B-doubles. “I’ve always wanted to be a truck driver” she said.

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