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Listed under:  Science  >  Environmental management  >  Populations (Society)  >  Migration  >  Refugees

Asylum seekers in the 1990s and 2000s

This collection of 13 digital curriculum resources focuses on the arrival of asylum seekers in Australia in the 1990s and early 2000s. It is organised into six categories - reasons for seeking asylum; reaching Australia; Australian reactions; detention centres; assessing refugee status; and living and working in the community. ...


Seeking Asylum, 2002: Asylum seekers at work

This clip shows footage of asylum seekers working on a farm in Loxton, Victoria. The images are intercut by interviews with a local business manager, a fruit grower and then Immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock, who all discuss their views on immigrant labour and asylum seekers.


'UnAustralia' cartoon by Fiona Katauskas, 2001

This colour cartoon by Fiona Katauskas is a reaction to an incident in August 2001 in which Afghan asylum seekers rescued at sea by the MV Tampa were denied entry to Australia. The cartoon shows a dilapidated ship crowded with asylum seekers approaching a pier where an elderly woman stands with outstretched arms, saying: ...


Anthem - An Act of Sedition, 2004: MV Tampa and September 11

This clip presents an interpretation of the Howard government's response to the arrival of refugees in Australian waters on the MV Tampa in August 2001. The narration states that John Howard had often used scare tactics for his political advantage and that the refugees were now to be used in a 'race election'. Views defending ...


Seeking Asylum, 2002: Escaping from the Taliban

This clip shows interviews with three Afghan people living in Australia after escaping from Afghanistan when the country was ruled by the Taliban. The first interviewee, Sayed Jawad, expresses a sense of hopelessness, while the other two interviewees, Marzia and Rajab Ali, recount their experience of living under the Taliban, ...

Moving Image

Indonesia's president visits Australia

What happens when the president of Indonesia visits Australia for the first time in 2010? In this clip, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono becomes the first Indonesian president to address the Australian Parliament. His visit is particularly important because he vows to make people smuggling illegal. However, it is almost overshadowed ...

Interactive resource

The journey of the Hong Hai: design a museum exhibition

Retrace the journey of 38 refugees who escaped from Vietnam on a fishing boat in 1978. They were the first in a wave of 'boat people' to reach Australia's shores. Find out about the hardships and key events of the 51-day voyage. Collect historic objects from the trip such as a watch, guitar and binoculars. Use these objects ...

Interactive resource

The journey of the Hong Hai

Retrace the journey of 38 refugees who escaped from Vietnam on a fishing boat in 1978. They were the first in a wave of 'boat people' to reach Australia's shores. Find out about the hardships and key events of the 51-day voyage. Explore historic objects from the trip such as a watch, guitar and binoculars. Learn about the ...


The Isabellas, the Long March, 1995: 'No clouds in the sky'

This clip shows scenes illustrating the environment of Port Hedland in Western Australia, where Chen Xing Liang was kept in a detention centre. Footage of a goods train, the desert landscape, mining operations and women playing bowls are shown and the local radio station announces the arrival of 56 Chinese boat people at ...


Letters to Ali, 2004: The first long march

This clip shows the Kirby family recalling their first visit to see 'Ali', a young refugee in detention in Port Hedland, Western Australia. It opens with images of printed text from 'Walking in their shoes', Trish Kirby's published account of the family's first visit to see Ali. Kirby reads from the article in voice-over. ...


Lucky Miles, 2007: The wrong place

This clip depicts the predicament of refugees from Cambodia and Iraq who have landed on the Western Australian coast from an Indonesian fishing boat in 1990. On climbing to the top of a sand dune, expecting to find a bus stop, they see only more sand dunes. Indonesian crew members on the boat joke about their predicament. ...


Molly and Mobarak, 2003: Mobarak becomes Australian

This clip briefly shows TAFE teacher Ann Bell with a group of male Afghan students, talking to an interviewer about their needs beyond those of language and literacy. She then meets John Walker, the Mayor of Young (a rural town in New South Wales). She explains to him the strategy for attaining permanent refugee status ...


East Timorese refugees arrive in Darwin, 1975

This is a black-and-white photograph of the deck of a ship carrying East Timorese refugees. The photograph, taken by the Australian Information Service, is captioned on the reverse: 'The scene on deck as 272 East Timor refugees (mainly Portuguese) arrive in Darwin aboard the ship MACDILI, NT 1975'. The image shows approximately ...


The Isabellas, the Long March, 1995: Escape to Australia

This clip shows Chen Xing Liang cleaning cars in a car yard. In voice-over he is heard speaking in Chinese, with subtitles given in English, describing aspects of his life in China and his parents' deaths during the Cultural Revolution. Black-and-white archival footage from the period shows primary school children with ...


'When I think of Australia' by Amelia Walker

'When I think of Australia' is a narrative poem in which Melbourne poet Amelia Walker explores the idea that Australia is becoming less tolerant of migrants and asylum seekers. The narrator's memories of a happy childhood are contrasted with images she sees on television of refugee children in detention camps. The poem ...

Teacher resource

Refugees and migration: seeking refuge - the journey

This is an interactive resource about refugees and asylum seekers. It contain sections about the journey refugees take including the reasons for leaving their home, their physical journey and the process of seeking refuge and resettlement. The resource is presented as a unit of work with activities aimed at developing the ...


'D'ya'avagoodweekend?' cartoon by Bill Leak, 2002

This is a colour cartoon by Bill Leak commenting on the treatment of illegal immigrants in detention centres across Australia and on surrounding islands. It shows a young girl with her lips sewn together, holding a sign through a detention centre fence that says, 'D'ya'avagoodweekend?' Further information is available for ...


Playing cards from the 'Hong Hai', 1978

This is an image of a deck of homemade playing cards used on the 'Hong Hai', a fishing boat which carried Vietnamese 'boat people' (refugees) to Australia in 1978.


Marine compass used on the 'Hong Hai', 1978

This is the marine compass used on the 'Hong Hai', a fishing boat which carried Vietnamese 'boat people' (refugees) to Australia in 1978. The rugged black plastic exterior both encloses and protects the floating compass face.

Teacher resource


This is a compilation of five teaching sequences about refugees. It includes sections on factors leading to people being forced to leave and seek safety; refugees and asylum seekers; life in a refugee camp; statistics about refugees worldwide; Myanmar refugees; and how a number of international support programs are empowering ...