WE need to recognise those who arrive in Australia as refugees are not criminals or illegal.
"They are simply people running for their lives,” says artist and filmmaker Angus McDonald.
Mr McDonald is one of the panellists in next week's Thursday Night Live evenings at The Lismore Regional Gallery.
The evening, which provides a platform for "provocation, discussion and dialogue”, will begin with Mr McDonald's short documentary film screening of Manus.
The theme of the provocation this month is: Refugees Now and Then: Has Australia Lost Its Compassion?
"I've attempted to create a carefully crafted film about innocent people in a long, brutal predicament, told in their own words, intended to provide powerful insights into their situation and humanise their plight for the public.
"The objective of all the films I'm making is to contribute towards the public rediscovering their compassion and contributing to a change in our collective approach of how we deal with those fleeing war and persecution.”
MANUS is a 13-minute film, which deals specifically with the situation faced by hundreds of asylum seekers still held captive by the Government on Manus Island in PNG after almost six years. The film focuses entirely on the testimonials of the men, including award-
winning writer, and asylum seeker on Manus, Behrouz Boochani
"Like the quote on the poster from my short film says: 'Remember one thing, we are human beings'”.