"Australia’s detention system has not always been this way. As recently as the
mid-2010s, communal celebrations were a regular occurrence in detention.
Visitors were permitted to bring fresh food to their visits and would often
prepare special meals to mark important occasions.
Moina*, one of my interviewees in Melbourne, for example, would bake Women’s
Weekly-style cakes for detained children’s birthdays and make homemade meals
from the detainees’ countries of origin.
During visits, detainees and visitors would share food and laughter. Detainees
were free to move between tables, making their “guests” feel welcome and
offering tea and coffee."
"Decades of research attests that immigration detention causes profound harm.
Limiting access to culture and community only compounds people’s anguish.
Stories like Moina’s show immigration detention does not have to be as harsh as
it has become. Turning these centres into quasi-prisons has been a choice: one
that could and should be unmade."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics