Pondering Hierarchy of Oppressions in Australia: The Case of Refugees and Their Mode of Arrival

Article


Ramos, Fabiane. 2019. "Pondering Hierarchy of Oppressions in Australia: The Case of Refugees and Their Mode of Arrival." Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia. 10 (1), pp. 28-39.
Article Title

Pondering Hierarchy of Oppressions in Australia: The Case of Refugees and Their Mode of Arrival

ERA Journal ID213490
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorRamos, Fabiane
Journal TitleJournal of the European Association for Studies of Australia
Journal Citation10 (1), pp. 28-39
Number of Pages12
Year2019
PublisherUniversity of Barcelona
Place of PublicationSpain
ISSN2013-6897
Web Address (URL)http://www.australianstudies.eu/?p=1339
Abstract

This paper is inspired by a conversation about the differences in treatment of refugees in Australia depending on their mode of arrival. The circumstances for seeking asylum are similar—displacement, forced migration, fight/fleeing for survival, hope for a better future in Australia. Yet the mode of arrival is different: plane versus boat. The mode of ‘entry’ is different: officially invited to enter the nation with a visa versus no invitation granted. These differences in classification mean that support packages are offered to refugees who arrive in Australia under the Humanitarian Program while refugees who arrive by boat, including children, are automatically confined in detention centres for undetermined and often prolonged periods of time. This paper reflects on why there is such a distinction considering the rationale for seeking asylum is the same in both cases. It questions what logic underpins this distinction and what this means in terms of Australian nationhood. In addition, it seeks to open up conversations about these questions while drawing links between the oppressions endured by refugees, under the Humanitarian Program and boat arrivals, to those of Indigenous Australians. As these links are made, the paper draws on the concept of coloniality to argue that despite differences in conceptualization and treatment, the same colonial ‘gatekeeper of the nation’ logic applies to the three groups.

Keywordsrefugees; Indigenous Australians; coloniality; colonialism; hierarchy; mode of arrival
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470213. Postcolonial studies
470211. Migrant cultural studies
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Queensland
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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