My name is Christine Cummins I am the convenor of the Bendigo Rural Australians for Refugees and a very passionate advocate. I spent five years working on Christmas Island as a torture & trauma counsellor and after I returned to Victoria I soon joined RAR and found myself giving public talks on my experience, writing the book became a logical progression. DIGNITY IN A TEACUP: true stories of courage and sacrifice from Christmas Island was released in February by Australian Scholarly Publishing www.scholarly.info and has received wonderful feedback so far.
Dignity in a teacup is a reporting of five years on the island where I was granted privileged access to the workings of the immigration detention centre and the people detained. I share many stories, including Jamila the 75-year-old grandmother tormented by nightmares and flashbacks of the torture she had endured on more occasions then she could recall. The Kumar family, forced to leave the bodies of their two children to be buried in a mass grave on a battlefield in Sri Lanka. And 14-year-old Aktar, who fled the Taliban in Afghanistan, after a dangerous friendship with a girl resulted in his father’s beheading. The stories are heartbreaking and real, they come from Tamils fleeing Sri Lanka after the civil war; Afghans escaping the Taliban; Iraqis, stateless Kurds, Iranian Arabs, Kuwaitis, Syrians, Sudanese and Burmese Rohingya and unaccompanied children from Somalia. Dignity in a teacup follows the changes in government and policies leading to riots, the reintroduction of the regional processing centres and the forced indefinite detainment on Nauru and Manus Island. My motivation for writing and sharing is to educate and raise awareness of the issues relating to the treatment of people seeking asylum, I hope to connect the reader to the individual pursuing protection and aim to humanise tragedy.
I have recently decided to take my advocacy to Canberra and started a GoFundMe campaign to raise awareness of the divisive language used by our political leaders and to insist on a language of respect, dignity and compassion. I will be driving from Bendigo, Victoria to Canberra to present 226 copies of my book to each member of the Upper & Lower Houses of parliament on Wednesday 17th April.
Could you please share this campaign and help make positive change happen. I am confident this will make a difference and I have the support of Jon Stanhope (Ex-ACT Chief Minister & Ex Administrator Christmas Island) who will be by my side requesting accountability in the language our political leaders use.
Could you please SUPPORT and SHARE this campaign in an effort to make politicians accountable for the divisive language used and striving for compassion, dignity and respect.
With kind regards,