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Asylum Seekers protest against indefinite detention on Nauru

Earlier in the year, I prepared a timeline covering the events for the period between 2001 and 2007 during which the Australian coalition government locked-up people seeking asylum on the tiny Pacific nation of Nauru, 4000 kilometres away from Australia. I prepared the timeline because I was upset by the way the Australian media failed to inform the public about the history of detention on Nauru at the time when the Gillard Labor government decided to restart the so-called Pacific Solution by opening detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island in PNG.  After all, people who are eighteen now were still in junior high school when the earlier events occurred. This lack of backgrounding by the media makes it easier for politicians to mislead the public. By presenting the news in a very narrow frame, significant issues are made invisible. 

Breaking through Nauru amnesia

In June, the Australian parliament debated refugee policy proposal put forward in a private member's bill by Independent member Rob Oakshott which if passed would have meant asylum seekers arriving by boat would be sent to  Malaysia or to the tiny Pacific nation of Nauru, which had played  a key role in the notorious Howard government's  Pacific Solution.

Our Nauru Amnesia

Nauru is back on the agenda. Have we already forgotten the Howard years? Wendy Bacon has delved into the archive to recover a blighted history. Part one of NM's Pacific Solution timeline today.