Four and a half years is a long time.
I think about all the things that have happened in my life in four and a half years. I think about all of the things that have happened in the world in four and half years.
And then I think about the innocent men on Manus, and the children and the families on Nauru.
They have spent every minute. Of every hour. Of every one of those days. Trapped in limbo behind a fence.
Men have been shot and beaten. Women have been sexually assaulted and attacked. Children have been so traumatised that they’ve needed urgent psychiatric care.
Nine innocent people have needlessly died at our Government’s hands.
Please stand with us to demand a future for those still stranded on Nauru and Manus.
Over the last few years we have managed to achieve real impact in an incredibly difficult context.
I’ve travelled to Manus three times. Our advocacy has amplified the voices of the men trapped there, shining an international spotlight on both their torment and their humanity.
Our legal work - done in partnership with the best pro bono lawyers in the country – has prevented 400 people from being sent back to an offshore detention regime specifically designed to break them — people who are now in freedom and safety in our community instead of languishing in danger on a remote island.
We are proud of the impact we have achieved. But it’s not enough.
We must not stop — we will not stop — until every single man, woman and child on Nauru and Manus finally gets the freedom and the safety that they deserve.
This dark, painful chapter in our country’s history simply has to end. Whatever the question, deliberate cruelty to innocent people is never the answer.
So please support our work at this crucial time. The lives of 2000 men, women and children are on the line. So too is our character as a nation.
We must be on the right side of history.
Director of Legal Advocacy
Human Rights Law Centre
P.S. There is a rising tide of global condemnation being directed at our Government's cruelty. Last month we were awarded the inaugural Global Pluralism Award. The award recognises the impact we have achieved, but it also recognises the gravity of the injustice we continue to fight against.
The international community is watching. Last month, the global Centre for Global Pluralism acknowledged the injustices perpetrated by our government and recognised our work with the inaugural Global Pluralism Award.
The award recognises our impact of our work defending the rights of refugees, but it also recognises the gravity of the injustice we must continue to fight. I was in Ottawa, Canada to receive the award, you can watch my speech below.