On Sunday 11 October 2015, over 3,000 Canberra residents gathered in the city to protest against the mistreatment of refugees by the Australian Government.
Tobias Dunn, a whistle-blower, worked at the Nauru detention camp. He explained the physical and emotional abuse he witnessed to the crowd; he saw children beaten by the guards.
“A place where every month two children are sexually abused, every week two children lose hope and self-harm, a place where every second day a child is assaulted… A place where almost half of the physical and sexual abuse is at the hands of commonwealth employees.”
Diana Abdul-Rahman, the ACTs Australian Muslim Voice president, spoke about her traumatic experience she witnessed first-hand whilst living in Lebanon with her daughter.
“I covered my daughter, who was only two years old at the time, with my body, just in case something happened,” she said.
John Minns, Unions ACT president, gave a powerful speech, which resulted in a loud applause from the Canberra crowd.
Among the crowd was Isabel Brown, an 18-year-old student who organised an alpine walk in order to bring awareness to the refugee situation. It was her way to get her voice heard by the public. The walk goes from Canberra to Victoria and lasts about two months.
“Because I’m just a small, 18-year-old girl, I don’t have that much of an effect on people. So I wanted to do something big and dramatic and difficult that would last a few months that would hopefully get people to listen. Maybe if they hear that ‘this girl is doing a massive walk across Australia, she must be so passionate about it. Maybe we’re doing something wrong, ’” she said
Follow Isabel’s journey by liking her Facebook page – The Australian Alpine Refugee Walk https://www.facebook.com/Awareness.Refugee.Walk
And visit her website – http://www.isabelbrown.com.au