The Junction

Call for compassion threatens Dutton

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Peter Dutton’s Dickson seat hangs in the balance and his controversial opinions regarding Australia’s multicultural community may knock him off his 18-year perch.

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Queensland community organiser Kagi Kowa said public compassion for Australia’s foreign population was growing and she hoped the election would deliver “true leadership” in Dickson.

“We need leaders who show fairness and compassion in their leadership, and I truly hope that is what people think of when they are going to the ballot,” Ms Kowa said.

Ms Kowa said rather than suppressing those different to the typical Australian, all people should be supported within the community.

According to the Australian Parliamentary Library, there has been a steady increase in Australia’s foreign population, making it a hot political topic.

The Pine Rivers multicultural women’s morning tea, located in Dickson, is a place for immigrants, refugees and multicultural women to laugh, share stories and provide support to one another.

But the lack of education provided to them upon arriving in Australia was a common discussion point.

Sonia Cerruto, a regular morning tea attendee, was born and raised in Fiji, where she missed out on a formal education, entering the workforce instead.

“We didn’t have any money to go to school, even primary school, it was two dollars a term, but the two dollars was for the food not the education,” Ms Cerruto said.

However, after political uproar drove Ms Cerruto out of Fiji, she eventually found a home in Australia.

She was impressed with the high level of education provided and was overjoyed that her daughters would benefit.

“When my girls finished uni I got so excited because that’s what I wanted and that’s something I didn’t have and couldn’t have,” Ms Cerruto said.

Ms Cerruto would love the same opportunity to “be something” but said her lack of English and education limited her.

“I struggle [speaking English], my daughters still tell me ‘mum we can’t understand you’, so sometimes I just don’t want to say anything,” Ms Cerruto said.

Ms Kowa agrees there are “barriers to employment” in Australia impacting many people in similar circumstances.

“As time goes by and people feel more settled in, the support they need starts to change to more long-term supports such as access to education, employment and equal opportunities,” Ms Kowa said.

However, Ms Kowa said Mr Dutton was part of the problem as many of his policies tended to “alienate” groups of people.

Mr Dutton said on Sky News that many of the immigrant population would not be literate or numerate, they would take Australian jobs, “languish in unemployment queues”, and there would be a huge cost.

“There’s no sense in sugar-coating that, that’s the scenario,” he said on Sky News.

Despite Mr Dutton’s views, Ms Kowa said providing the multicultural community with education would provide numerous benefits.

“This [providing resources] will not only help them build a better life but will also make them feel like they belong to the community and are contributing to make it a better place,” Ms Kowa said.

“Unfortunately, it looks like Mr Dutton’s views have not changed.”

Mr Dutton, with his conservative policies, holds Dickson by a 1.7 per cent margin.

In just over a month, voters will decide if he keeps his position as Dickson’s MP.

About the Writer
USC, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

The University of the Sunshine Coast offers a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) degree. USC’s student publication is the Suncoast Times.

Navigate Left
  • Call for compassion threatens Dutton

    Dickson Stories

    Uni expansion hangs on party vows

  • Call for compassion threatens Dutton

    Dickson Stories

    Dutton and France clash over housing

  • Call for compassion threatens Dutton

    Dickson Stories

    Sausages, mosquitoes and door knocking

  • Call for compassion threatens Dutton

    Dickson Stories

    Hefty price tag for eye-catching campaign

  • Call for compassion threatens Dutton

    Dickson Stories

    Do the voters of Dickson know their candidates?

  • Call for compassion threatens Dutton

    Dickson

    18 things you don’t know – or have forgotten – about Peter Dutton

  • Call for compassion threatens Dutton

    Dickson Stories

    University students GetUp for Dickson change

  • Call for compassion threatens Dutton

    Dickson Stories

    Dickson a window into election fate

  • Call for compassion threatens Dutton

    Federal Election 2019 Candidates

    Dissecting party policies: An essential guide

  • Call for compassion threatens Dutton

    Politics

    Ambiguity in new live streaming laws

Navigate Right
University student journalism from Australia and the Pacific
Call for compassion threatens Dutton