About Alex Bhathal

Social worker; refugee advocate; environmental activist; mum of two; five time Greens candidate for federal seat of Batman

VAHPA Close the Camps t-shirt campaign

I’m pretty happy that my union, the Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association, is organising its own t-shirt campaign in support of the asylum seekers held in indefinite detention by the Australian government.  Buy yours here – wear it to work and everywhere else from 1st – 5th May and make sure you join everyone at the May 2nd rally/vigil at the State Library, 5:30pm.  See you there! (I’ll be wearing my t-shirt).

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‘Aussie values’

This article, by Fotis Kapetopoulos, who happens to be a Dad from our local soccer club in Darebin, captures something that most concerns me about Malcolm Turnbull’s recent announcements of changes to Australia’s citizenship laws.  And that is the dilution of our universal citizenship rights.

I believe this has been the key to our multicultural success since the lifting of White Australia in the late 60s and early 1970s. Alex at Darebin City Council's international student reception

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Forum on Iraqi refugees

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Tonight I’m speaking at this Refugee Action Collective forum on the plight of Iraqi refugees seeking asylum in Australia.

The government and coalition have passed motions calling for an end to the genocide of minorities in Iraq and yet they are refusing to back Greens’ attempts to introduce a moratorium on deportations of asylum seekers and to restore Australia’s humanitarian intake to 20,000.

Iraqi forum

NT elections could be the focus of the nation

The NT elections are coming up on August 25th.  The Age political editor Misha Schubert has identified the desert seat of Stuart as the potential site for a defacto poll on the NT Intervention in this insightful piece.Image  The field of likely candidates for Stuart, which covers many of the NT’s remote Aboriginal communities, includes the Greens’ Barb Shaw and the Country Liberal Party’s Bess Price, who are diametrically opposed on the NT intervention.  Will be a fascinating contest.

Great article on the new Nuclear Waste Management Act

Senator Scott Ludlam joins the action to stop the NT nuclear dump

Last Wednesday, Minister for Energy and Resources Martin Ferguson’s legislation to create a new nuclear waste facility, on Aboriginal lands in the NT, passed through the Senate and became law. (Ferguson’s chosen site, Muckaty Station, outside Tennant Creek, is in an earthquake zone and being in central Australia, lies on top of the artesian basin as well).

This New Matilda article by campaigner Natalie Wasley explains the legislation and what’s wrong with it. Definitely worth a read.

Anniversary of the Apology needs more than just lip service

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the Apology.

It comes as the Gillard government introduces its new Stronger Futures legislation, which would extend the NT intervention measures.

And it also comes alongside new evidence of a large increase in suicides amongst young Aboriginal girls in the Northern Territory after the implementation of the Intervention.

There’s other evidence as well, which shows that over years since the Apology, things have gotten appreciably worse for Aboriginal young people.  Last week, the Productivity Commission’s report on Government services released figures showing that juvenile detention rates for Indigenous people between 10 and 17 years jumped by more than 20 per cent in 2009-10 from the previous year.  Continue reading