Inspiration for this post came from the numerous threads, on Twitter by Dr Louise Hansen. The threads are a deep dedication to two Australian-born children, Tharnicaa and Kopika who have been held in Australian refugee detention for more than three years.
Read more on Tharnicaa and Kopika‘s family in the media
Dr. Hansen’s very informative threads feel like they are also a dedication to all of us. Especially in regard to the 5 historical traumas below:
- Slavery – ancestors, children, young and adults abducted and sold off or given off to strangers
- Colonialism and the unending struggle for independence
- Post-Slavery and Post-Colonialism where the minimization, denial, destruction, and burial of our experiences continues to perplex the collective psyche
- Neocolonialism that keeps us shackled to bad loans, corrupt politicians backed by puppet master and cultural revolutions without context or respect
- Racism, Tribalism, Nepotism, Clan-ism and other -isms that make us question where we belong every election year and there between
It is gutting that government officials are not trauma aware. As a result, they’re oblivious to how detaining children for 3years fundamentally changes those children’s view of the world. Or are they?
The children will lose trust in authority and the legal systems of the country. I wonder if anyone expects these children to respect authority and legal systems as adults. Pose that these children cannot trust the Australian legal system, its application of humanitarian laws or human rights laws. If they are sent back to the parents’ country of origin, will they trust the legal systems there?
Governments know very well how adults who don’t respect authority or the law act in society.
You would expect the Australian government to be more trauma aware after their history with the aboriginal people. A history that brought us to the near-extinction of the indigenous people. This near-extinction was achieved by:
- unlawful detention
- criminalizing their culture and language
- systematically and systemically excluding them from community
- development programs that blindly stare at westernization
Development programs that stare blindly at westernization often neglect taking the time, empathy, respect and resources it takes to transform people and their culture. If Restoring Relationships and Community is central to Restoring Well-being, Australia doesn’t seem to be working that hard at restoring Relationships and Community.
Please read Dr. Hansen’s thread and let me know what you learned from it or what resonated for you