“The ground-breaking and multi award-winning series returns to provoke national debate about how Australia responds to refugees and asylum seekers”
Australia’s SBS TV network have completed another season of the multi-award winning series, Go Back to Where You Came From. With a somewhat provocative title reminiscent of racial and discriminatory slurs, the show takes a group of Australians with differing views on immigration, refugees and asylum seekers and sends them on a journey into the realities of such people’s lives. The final episode is always climactic – some of the participants have changed their views to be more sympathetic while others are steadfast, but they all reach a climax in their journey, usually to a dangerous, war torn region in the world. This season, half the group were taken to Iraq and the other to Burma, and around 30-40 people gathered at Amnesty International in Sydney to watch the final episode together.
Organised by the Refugee Network, a group of grassroot activists who are deeply concerned by the plight of refugees and asylum seekers, the event wasn’t just a movie screening, but a panel discussion with experts in the field that was extremely inspiring. Xanthe Emery from the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre, and Claire Hammerton from ChilOut and Australian Lawyers for Human Rights spoke of how the show had its downfalls and often over simplified the issue, but it’s message was still poignant – that getting to know people personally is the best way of understanding and coming to terms with a difficult political issue. Which is exactly what I want to do here at Born Free!