Why do so many ‘relatively comfortable’ Australians, continue to regard refugees, even Australia’s own “First Nations” people, as lesser deserving than themselves?

Gerry Dubbin
11 min readJun 26, 2022

Like the man said….what have refugees ever done for us?

This is a question that, for too many years, kept nagging the deeper recesses of my mind. Even today I struggle to understand why we, the undisputed owners of this large sea-girt island continent, continue to question the basic human rights of other, often desperate human beings, as they try to escape danger, in order to settle here?

We need to remember that we are nearly all either immigrants, refugees — or the sons, daughters or grandchildren of immigrants and refugees. The only people who can, in truth, regard themselves as belonging to the land, are the descendants of those who successfully lived and prospered here for more than 60,000 years!

What gives us, Australians currently and comfortably ensconced on this bountiful continent, the ultimate authority to grant ourselves the right to declare— in the words of a recent Prime Minister “We will decide who comes to this country, and the circumstances in which they come”? A statement that he followed up by the use of then refugees, in order to “wedge” the Australian Labour Party (ALP) opposition in Canberra.

A rock on the shore of Westernport Bay

This morning, while comfortably ensconced on a comfortable rock on the shoreline of Hastings Bight, here on the Mornington Peninsula, I found myself, once again, wrapped in what these days has become regular mode, as I ruminate on the week’s main issues.

From this perch I am able to watch seagulls, pelicans and other local seabirds, soaring and dipping over the calm waters of Westernport Bay. They too similarly going about their own, daily processes. My solitude today though, prompted thinking along the lines: “How lucky am I, just to be able…

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Gerry Dubbin

I write mainly on subjects and issues relating to the ongoing governance, international posture and foreign policy implications facing my country — Australia.