Where can I find out more information about the refugee issue?

No matter where you live in Australia, you should have an organisation or agency nearby who will happily give you any further information you need.  We’ve also put together a whole bunch of links to organisations and websites where there is a lot of information and helpful people waiting to assist you.  You can find them running down the right hand side of this website.  We really hope that ‘WWBR’ will stimulate a lot of conversations and questions, and please, if you have trouble finding answers to the questions you have, do get in touch!  Please feel free to email us at wewillberemembered@gmail.com – we’ll do our best to answer any questions you might have, and also to put you in touch with an organisation or agency near you, if you’re interested in getting involved.

Why doesn’t the film include any interviews or viewpoints from Liberals, or people who actively support the current policy?

Well, not for our lack of trying!  We tried a number of different approaches because we really, really wanted the film to be as balanced and unbiased as possible.  We approached members of the Young Liberals to come on the trip, and when that was unsuccessful, we tried to get an interview with various people.  We promised people that we would not edit their interviews, or demonise their viewpoints, or try to twist what they said. We even offered them final right of veto on the interview footage! But we found a great deal of difficulty in finding someone who was supportive of the current government policy, and willing to talk about it on the record.  Which we really thought was a huge pity. As it ended up, the person who was most ’supportive’ of the policy at the outset was Joel, who, although having a few very vague doubts about the policy, was pretty much convinced that it was necessary.  You will see in the film the way his viewpoint subtley but significantly evolved when he was personally faced with the people who were living the policy.

Why didn’t you interview the detainees, or take footage of the inside the detention centre?

It is absolutely forbidden to film in or around Commonwealth Detention Facilities. So we couldn’t film inside.  And before you ask why we didn’t sneak in a hidden camera, we should probably let you know that the security screening procedures at Baxter rival those at Heathrow Airport! So it was simply impossible.
We would have loved to conduct interviews with the detainees, but could not guarantee that doing so would not adversely affect their cases or their lives in detention.  So we thought it was best not to risk it.  The man whose voice you hear through the three ‘visits’ sections fought a very long and difficult battle with the Immigration department for his own freedom, and that of his younger brother.  He has recently been awarded his Australian Citizenship, so he is more or less safe from any potential adverse affects of telling his story.
It is a source of great frustration to us that we are unable to tell the real stories of the real people behind the razor wire, for fear that it might harm them.

Your film seems to raise a lot of questions, but doesn’t give many answers. Why didn’t you provide some kind of ‘policy alternative’ as part of the film?

This is something that the film makers really struggled with.  Eventually, we decided not to try to include a comprehensive policy alternative suggestion, for a few reasons.  As is mentioned in the film, this is just a moment frozen in time. This issue (and its legal and political framework) changes so much and so often that suggesting a policy alternative would quite easily mean that it would just go out of date very quickly.  Instead, we tried to promote the concepts, ideas and values that we believe should underpin the construction and operation of Australia’s refugee policy, regardless of what the details look like, or who’s in charge.

The other reason is that this issue really direly needs community involvement.  We really hope that WWBR – and the questions it raises – will encourage you to get in touch with your local asylum seeker agency, get more informed, and get involved.  Whether that be tutoring English to a Sudanese family, or fundraising for people on Bridging Visa E, or writing letters to someone in detention… we hope that this film will encourage you to take action. Again, if you have questions about how to do this, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Is this film just anti-Howard and anti-Government?  Is there any political affiliation?

‘We Will Be Remembered For This’ is strictly not politically affiliated.  And we have done our very best not to make the film an exercise in ‘Howard-bashing’.  Although under the circumstances this has been somewhat difficult, as the policies that we are looking at (although mandatory detention was introduced by the Labor Government in 1992) are inherently harmful, and have been largely constructed by John Howard’s government.  So, in a way, criticism of the policy itself is – unavoidably – criticism of the Government.  However, we very much hope that you will be able to glean from the tone and approach of the film that ‘Howard-bashing’ is certainly not the aim.
We firmly believe that the principles and values promoted in the film are applicable to and ought to be required of any Government which is in power in Australia, regardless of their political affiliation.


One response

21 05 2011

Hi Jessie, watching your documentary has motivated me to get involved. I would like to do some tutoring or something to assist refugees. Could you let me know how I can do this? Thanks M.

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