Sophie, 16, wrote this speech for English. She read it at dinner tonight, wow!
Persuasive speech on asylum seekers in Australia
“I remember the noise of the gun shots shaking the floor, I remember having to leave everything I had behind, I remember the murder of my father right in front of me. I remember my mother telling me that we would be happier, safer where we were going, we got on a boat, along with hundreds of others, in the dead of the night. I remember what felt like months passing while we were bashed around at sea. It wasn’t any better when we finally got to land, in fact it was worse. I remember my disappointment when realising we wouldn’t be safer here. I was exposed to rape, suicide, murdet on the daily basis in this ‘prison’. I remember thinking I would never see my family again, I remember thinking that this must be hell, because nothing could be worse than this.
I remember vividly.”
To the press, media, Australian parliament
My name is Sophie Vawser and today I am here to tell you of the fatal, devastating results that your actions or decisions are causing.
The account that I just read, was from a young, 15-year-old teenage girl who was trying to seek asylum in Australia, away from ISIS terrorising her home country. This girl who remains nameless, was 15 years old when she witnessed her father be murdered at the hands of cowardly terrorists. 15 when she saw her own mother be raped, 15 being held in a detention centre, refused entry into Australia, and only 16 when she took her own life.
The term ‘asylum seeker’ is used to refer to someone- a person, a human, who has left their home country as a refugee and is seeking asylum or refuge in another. They have not done anything wrong, nor are they treated as if this statement is true.
The first article of the united nations universal declaration of human rights states that; “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” If this is true then why are hundreds of innocent people being stripped of their human rights every day?
The shocking fact is that Australia is the only country in the world with a policy of mandatory detention and offshore processing of asylum seekers who arrive without a valid visa. To hear this statistic, essentially, made me feel embarrassed. Embarrassment towards the idea that we deny these desperate people, basic help in their darkest times.
I’m sure some of you, if not a majority of you in this room have children of your own. Children that you would risk your life for, go to the sun and back for. Just to ensure that they would be happy and safe. Yes? Of course, because you love them, and you are human. Now imagine if the account I read was from one of your children. It is heartbreaking to know that this is many people’s reality and we aren’t doing nearly enough to help them.
As a nation, as a whole human race, we must come together.
Australia, we need to change our ways.