‘There has to be a better solution’ for Manus and Nauru

An open letter to our political leaders on hope and change for people seeking asylum and refugees who have been living on Manus and Nauru for the last six years by Paige Van Every.

Our four children are fortunate enough to be born here in Australia and they, of course, don’t realize how lucky they are.  That’s until my husband and I talk to them of what has happened to the children on Manus and Nauru and the uncertain future they still face here in Australia.  I appeal to all of you to think about yourselves or your own children, nieces, or nephews at this age.  They are enjoying simple pleasures that we want them to take for granted – freedom, safety, love and kindness.

It scares me to think of the mental, physical, and emotional damage we inflicted on the children in Manus and Nauru and the longer-term effects that we will all have to live with for the rest of our lives.  My thoughts are with the remaining eight hundred or so men and women still in limbo. There has to be a better solution. Is it really that hard to find a more humane and caring approach to all this?

As awful as it is to think about, if my children were to find themselves in this situation, I’d like to think that the government would take a very different approach.  I don’t think this is too much to ask of you and feel it’s time you step up and show real leadership.  Otherwise, there will come a point where this time will be looked at with embarrassment and regret.

It has been six years too long of this cruelty. Let’s turn this around.

A message of hope from