My friend Henry Palaszczuk is a first class example of a refugee who became an eminent Australian.

As a young boy, he fled with his family from a brutal Russian takeover of his homeland that had been ravaged by Hitler to make it to the land of opportunity that Australia is.

Through hard work and tenacity, he made it to the top becoming a long term Queensland MP and a Cabinet Minister, with his daughter Anastasia taking his place in Parliament and becoming Premier.

His story is one of which all Australians can be proud.

Had Australia’s current draconian rules for refugees been in place when Henry fled to our land, he would not have made it here.

He would have been treated in the same way as the refugees on Manus and Nauru.

Yet, all the historical records of Australia show that every time that Australia has received large numbers of refugees our nation has prospered.

This makes it difficult for me to work out why our land of wholehearted people has resorted to treating the refugees on Manus with such emotional brutality and given them no hope.

Some of them must have skills that we need but we are punishing them because they had the temerity to arrive here on a boat as they fed persecution back home.

I reckon that many of them will follow the example of Henry and become great Aussies.

Goondeen Everald Compton talks about refugees in Australia
by Goondeen Everald Compton

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