That “Look” in Detention. Not the sexy one but the depressed & abandoned one.


Have you seen that ‘look’ of deep sadness & hopelessness? 
It can be seen in the eyes of people who have been in detention in Australia for a long time – People who are deeply worried about their families in Sri Lanka, Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran & Iraq. 
People who despair that life will never again be ‘normal’. 
People who don’t see their children grow up, who are not present when parents are taken ill & die. 
People whose personalities begin to change after being kept in detention for more than 3 months.
Last weekend I met some Tamil & Vietnamese friends in MITA & Maribynong detention centres (Melb). They have been in detention for 42 months, 50 months, 36 months – with no end in sight. 
They are skilled at hiding their desolation, they joke & tease each other, there is banter & laughter … “I’m ok, Auntie…

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