Karen is truly passionate about refugees. She’s so passionate that she shared her story with us. Karen hopes that by sharing her story we can see asylum seekers and refugees in a different light – we hope so too.
“My family's story is a refugee story. My parents packed up the little they had and with my sisters, fled from unjust persecution and genocide and dared to hope for a new life and a better future. They were given a chance at this in Australia and have since flourished. They contribute to society as everybody else does. They pay taxes. They vote. They came from nothing and now have 3 daughters who are university graduates. We are a refugee success story as a result of compassion and acceptance.
"Punitive treatment of asylum seekers will not make injustice, third world conditions and crimes against humanity go away. It is not a crime to be born into these conditions nor is it a crime to flee from them. The only difference between prisons, concentration camps and detention centres is language.
I fear that Rudd's "plan" will result in another case of history repeating - where future generations of politicians will have to apologise on behalf of our current ones who were too obsessed with polls and winning to do what was right. My family's story is not an uncommon one and I hope that sharing stories like it will help to remind our "leaders" that onboard every boat that approaches is hope humanity in its purest forms because that is all they have left. They are citizens of nowhere and reaching our shores is the fork in the road of their stories - the difference between truly living and just surviving.”
Thank you Karen for sharing your story.