Blog post 10: The ‘Task 3’ Journey

Based on my research journey I had a very distinct idea of the area of my topic I wished to explore further coming into task 3. My research had led me to question something that had appeared in my task from the very first blog post.

I wanted to explore this idea of language and how we selectively choose language, which more subversively shapes our views. Language is also extremely powerful in how it creates these verbal boundaries between people such as us, them or alien. This carefully curated language is what starts to dehumanize a group that is removed from us an unable to tell there own story.

It is almost as opinion leaders like the media and political leaders start to define boundaries through language that the general public becomes more complacent with such language adoption and therefore the subversive meanings of grouping and separating people. From reading the news articles, statements by politicians and discussing this topic with people from opposing sides of the arguments surrounding asylum seekers that you can start to differentiate the language that shape bigger ideas. This plays into ideas of how we associate of a human level to asylum seekers, there right to our land or the right to come to our land.

Originally with task 3 I wanted to attack the problem head on and this idea of the rumor mill where half-truths develop into truths. I wanted to address the misconceptions and half-truths that develop at their source. With this challenge my goal was to create a twitter bot that analyzed isolated language and replied to tweet correcting misused language such as illegal alien in an effort of help re-humanizing asylum seekers. After discussions with Tom left the conclusion that a twitter bot was to clinical and detached making my aim of humanization counteractive.

From here I went back to square 1. Really analyze what I was trying to express in language. This is what brought me back to the articles and an observation I had made about evocative and descriptive language.

Through sound data visualization I have chosen key stakeholders that have played a pivotal role in shaping the public opinion of asylum seekers. These people include Tony Abbot, Peter Dutton, The Australian and The Herald. Creating a database of all language and its frequency used by each individual stakeholder will be recorded. This will be the basis for a verbal iteration; in which the data will be read out. The words will be ranked in order to their isolative and both negative nature. Through a motion graphic using faces of asylum seekers each piece will be labelled by its maker, for example Tony Abbot. With each word that is spoken the face will be visually stroked out with a black line connoting the idea of redacted text which it about the censorship of language. The message of this piece is a representation of how the voice of the asylum seekers is not heard but their story and the media and politicians have shaped who they are which help shape these misconceptions.

In particular this project is about creating mindfulness through awareness of language and its subversive power in shaping opinion and therefore is aimed at being an accessible public piece.

Caitlin Kerr

Post 9: The brainstorming process

Caitlin Kerr
These are the original problem that our group discussed as the main areas we are focuses on within our issue of asylum seekers. As we have all been researching this task for a long time we all have specific directions we have focused in on. Although we where able to still inform each other as our research started broad and have a sound knowledge of the topic.
This was the original brainstorming page where we discussed the main directions that our task three could take. Within this brainstorming we focused on the problem areas we had highlighted in the first image as the areas we where most interested in pursuing. I feel with the use of more people or people not so closely linked to this topic could give us more perspective and unusual ideas to play with as we all where quit focused on specific sub-issues to do with the topic limiting ourselves. As it worked well everyone using there own knowledge to piggyback off each other with the use of more people I think our brainstorming could have been more diverse  with a few more different ideas.
This was the idea I was most interested in perusing for task three. I want to focus on creating a twitter bot that respond to misconceptions that feed the rumour mill. This brainstorming session was extremely successful as my group provided me with missing information. With my twitter bot idea Erland was able to guide me to research that has been conducted in the UK around misconception called “Don’t feed the rumour mill”. This research has been very insightful in filling gaps in my knowledge around misinformation that have led people to be misinformed.
I was able to play around with Jannie with brainstorming ways of using colour to explore mental health of asylum seekers.
Overall this task helped us to strengthen and develop our initial ideas. Figure potential problems we may not have considered and strength our ideas with sharing each others individual knowledge. We could also give critical feedback about what is and isn’t working with each idea.
Overall our group work very well together and each bring an extensive knowledge of the topic to the table in a way that can supplement each other through the brainstorming process. Our overall discussion our the brainstorming revealed great insight into our focuses and the pros and cons of our ideas, analysed in a critical manner.

Post 8: Brainstorming for task 3

Caitlin Kerr

Through the research I have conducted through this task I have become very interested in attitude and perceptions that develop from misconception. This idea of consistent exposure to half-truths is how misconception develop as they feed the rumour mill. Coming into this brainstorming exercise I was more focused on how I could possible break down stigmas or misconceptions that have developed into truths.


As a group these are the sub issues surrounding our issue of asylum seekers that we have chosen to focus on. In particular the first two points of attitudes towards asylum seekers and perception of attitudes to asylum seekers by decision makers, we discussed as a group how we think these ideas are linked informing misconceptions, racist views and ads to the dehumanization of asylum seekers.


From here we started to brainstorm and develop ideas related to our areas of focus. As we started to discuss our ideas it became apparent that we could interchange applications with ideas to create better executions. Such as how we can utilize twitter bots for different uses.

5 point summary:

  • Service Design: Creating a twitter bot that targets fallacies or misconception in tweets. This idea of not feeding the rumour, which create false truths. This isn’t necessarily targeting the person righting the post who are more likely to very set in there view but the people that may read this view that we can help challenge mistruths for them.
  • Generative design: This idea isn’t necessarily about the action happening but more about a notion of showing support and unity and creating social conversation for asylum seeker support of resettlement. People post a photo of a bed they are willing to give to an asylum seeker for settlement. This is about showing support and breaking down perceptions that Australians don’t want asylum seekers here part of this is to do with showing unity to politicians. This idea is similar to the ice bucket challenge and making your dp rainbow in support to equal marriage rights.
  • Generative design: Similar to the idea above about generating medium support. This idea came from an a proposition from Jim Macken a retired judge who proposed to do a body swap with an asylum seeker and like on Manus idea to allow an asylum seeker to live in Australia. As this would never happen this is about the gesture and support it shows. Setting up an app in which you nominate a body swap with an asylum seeker with about a gesture for showing united support in Australia for asylum seekers. This gesture is focused at politicians in displaying a difference in opinion to there use of detention centres.
  • Data Visualisation: Using symbols or colours to represent different emotion you could used either an app or twitter bot to gather data on the emotions of settle asylum seekers, and from here in display on a map all the people with the same emotion as you. This idea is to do with the high levels of depression particularly in the first years of being resettled. This simple data visualisation is about showing someone that they are not alone. This app could also extend further as a social network for settled asylum seekers as well.
  • Another idea discussed with Erland is the use of sharing asylum seeker stories as a means of humanising asylum seekers. Using the newspaper as a way of linking people to asylum seeker stories.


The first point discussed from my 5 point summary is the main direction I’m going to take for my task three. As I am most interested in this idea of breaking down misconceptions the use of twitter bot is a great way of trying to break down this misconception on a real and direct level.


Creating a twitter bot that responds to common misconception to do with asylum seekers, in a way that corrects the tweet with facts that counteract the misconception being mention. In order for this to work I will research the common misconceptions that I can target in people’s tweets. These may be to do with language choice such as ‘illegal alien’ or ideas such as the high influx of asylum seekers coming to Australia. More research into reading tweets and finding out what people are talking about over twitter will also help hone in on these misconceptions. In order to work I will need a set of tweets that focus on topics and can respond to a range of tweets.

Post 6: Web scrapping: a finesse art. *not yet mastered

Scraping Twitter as a means of understanding social perceptions or misconceptions

Caitlin Kerr

Twitter is a social sharing platform which people use to share small snippets of information. This information can sometimes seem frugal or random. Mainly people like to share their opinions, emotions, comment on an event or interesting facts. A particular feature is ‘following’ in which people tend to follow people or organisations they personally align with or find interesting. Within this function many followers like to retweet tweets as they feel a strong connection or agreeance with their messages and views.
The way twitter is establish in a conversational manner in which one is encourage to voice their opinion and discuss opinions gives great scope and insight into research surrounding views linked to specific issues. In relation to eat twitter or opinion posted comes a range of information such as date, time, location, bio, user name which you can then extrapolate or refine in order to gain further information from data sets made from twitter posts. This makes twitter a very interesting flexible tool for finding out common perceptions.
Geo tagging and user location is an interesting and unique feature that can be link to a posts or the persons account. This tool can be utilised to separate and compare the opinion of people from different countries or regions.
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This twitter post I stumbled upon in my trawling of data, expresses exactly what I wish to break through in research. This idea of how opinions snow ball into truths through the process of being told them so many time and by people of power and knowledge.
Understanding this idea of how people use twitter to express their ideas and opinions, I wanted to utilise my twitter bot to gauge an understanding of these perception surrounding asylum seekers. In particular regarding the main issues that come up such as ‘turn back the boats’. Through the bot I want to understand weather:
  • peoples views where positive or negative
  • in particular the common misconceptions that people base their ideas and views on
  • with a focus on Australia in particular
In the flow chat below you can see I brainstormed common phrases that could lead me to these misconceptions. These iphrases would become the bases for my searches in discovering the attitude behingd these key ideas below:
  • Take Australian Jobs
  • No refugee tow backs
  • #loveitorleaveit
  • turn back the boats
  • taking our jobs
  • illegal immigrants
  • security risk

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Much of these initial search using the twitter advanced search tool came up with no results. Particularly using the word Australia or http and hashtags #loveitorleaveit (above)
It was through including a combination of the common words used for asylum seekers as well as the phrases that I started my initial searches. With my initial searches I was faced with over 4000 results. This initial search is where I really started to sort through the problem I would have to overcome in order to get a more concise data set. My first hurdle is the repetition of tweets due to retweeting. In the data below you can see how in this on page alone popular tweet are retweet which clutters the data set (colours represent the same tweet being retweeted).
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The other problem I incurred was location as a majority of people do not list their location, or there location is a fictitious place “my own little world” or “under your bed” like Quinn Kirby below, didn’t exactly reflect if they where Australian or not. Through refining the search therefore to only Australia would mean I would miss data from users that had no location or made up locations and as most people do not list there location the selection excluded to much of the data.
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The only success I had with being able to adjust location was with the tag “turn back the boats” in which I filter; no location, Melbourne, Sydney and other. This was a small data set so it was possible to do by hand (below).
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This led furthermore to other problems of people from other countries clouding the data. Weather it was people talking from Italy or the UK talking about turning back boats or lots of Americans talking about illegal immigrants in reference to Mexicans and the Trump debate (below) was leading to the data set become littered with irrelevant information and  irrelevant to my initial search for Australian perception of asylum seekers.
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My other major problem I encountered was tweets that did not make sense. This in particular was a problem as there was no common theme between then make them hard to exclude from the data of a search refinement level. While with the image below if you read the text by itself gives one perception while couple with the photo tells a different story or humour instead. This is an example of how data itself can become misinforming and skewed.
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As I was unable to solve the refinement of location and reoccurance of tweets through retweeting this left the data very clouded with other information. As I started to filter my search to try solve such problems I did become cautious of a warning from Kate Sweetapple is that restricting your search the potential of what the data can tell you and the golden nuggets can be lost? Which through more reading of searches and refinement comparisons will hold the answer.
Some of the interesting finds from Sassy Little Hobbit originally from New Zealand showing one of the few examples of these misconception posted to twitter. As well as Sanjay Patel comment above commenting on the Kiwis press secretaries coffers to take more refugees, and clear disagreeance with this offer. this example shows the types of tweets I was seeking out. Overall though this number is few and much less than originally assumed.
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In this data set search illegal immigrants I used filters on the tweeters number of followers to above 10,000 and retweets above 300 as to start to understand what the main tweets that where gaining circulation where and if this was related to the tweeter follower base.


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The twitter search
Over my mastery of twitter bots has not yet been a success… As my main aim was about finding tweets which displayed incorrect statements around these issues I was unable to do so. Yes people would state weather they may agree or disagree with a point such as turning back boats or not allowing illegal immigrants but few took that step further say why they believed this or there fear behind this. Maybe my first mistake was too much assumption. I assumed to find answers along the lines of how boat people will take our jobs or threat to security. Weather my search outline or the fact that they are just not there is yet to be answer.
With this assumption falling short. I turn to the information I do have that could be utilised. Within this idea of language and the misuse of language. As people (within Australia) use language such as illegal immigrants mainly referring to asylum seekers. Could this bot be utilised to reply and correct these misconception which string from wrongly used language. Such as claiming asylum seekers are illegal immigrants is incorrect as asylum seekers fleeing in fear have the right to claim asylums and the right to do so by setting foot on Australian land, making these acts not illegal. It is although through such language posing them as illegal and therefore the action as wrong that such negative stigma is made towards these groups of people.
In response to this idea and the use of service design, utilising twitter bots applications to seek out these language misconception where the word illegal immigrants is used a twitter bot could be used to reply and correct such mistakes; Do you mean asylum seekers (user name)? People fleeing persecution are within there rights to seek asylum within Australia. Or another potential answer; Hey (username) did you know 9 out of 10 boat people are found to be genuine refugees and are therefore not illegal immigrants. The finesse of humour I do feel needs to be added to give more punch to the statement and gain more attention and reflection (but I was unable to channel my inner Robin Williams at the time of writing this).
In terms of visualising this data I think it would be interesting to visualize the flow of popular tweets focusing on specific topics of this issue. It would be interesting to map this flow from its source to retweeters and onto more retweets looking at the branches where the information spreads. By understanding the flow of information around the ‘twitter-sphere’ and the commonalities surrounding the original sources; weather these users always have more than 1000 followers or usually a news organisation, weather these help tweets gain a greater spread. This will help in understanding how and where information is bread. The aim behind this visualisation is trying to source who and how the rumour mill is fed.

Post 7: The beauty of collaboration

I was unable to attend the day this task was completed. Instead I have received the maps from my group and carefully read through these to gain a greater understanding and see where my group members where coming from in there discussion in the task as to extended off our discussions in week 2 and 3 and also online through our group. In weeks 3 and 5 we also participated in this collaborative method of working together to brainstorm and delve into ideas. The process is both rewarding when everyone gets involved in the experience. These collaborative experiences are perfect for bouncing off ideas, delving into issues, challenging perspectives, filling holes in your own knowledge base and most importantly an enlightened perspective.

As we’ve discussed our research has taken all of us down different routines of this issue. It is through our research and then collaboration that has led to shaping this path further as we find knew direction to research in order to inform us on our specific issue from this topic. Our discussions have helped to inform and create a more complex understanding as we see how each person specific research is intricately linked and feeds into each other.

Cassie and Erland had a extensive understanding of propaganda and attitudes while Jannie has an extensive knowledge of mental health. As I particularly was interested in resettlement these ideas around mental health in detention centers informed my views further of reasons for resettlement while ideas around government propaganda informed research and understanding of shaping attitudes and how this becomes a barrier for settlement. This is because residents could become resistant to asylum seekers resettling near them due to fears and stereotypes that have developed around job and economic security and fear or Islamaphobia. All this has informed me to spread my research into these areas in order to lead to a more comprehensive understanding. In particular as I am interested in resettlement and the real possibilities of how to make this happen the research into attitudes formation is a key area I was able to discuss with Erland and Cassie in greater detail and the barrier and obstacles it further creates.

Map 1: This map looks at the opposing groups of this issue and the emotions and motivations they hold


From reading and understanding the map 1 surrounding motivations and emotions its really interesting to look at what drives different people. This in particular is extremely important, as it is our emotions, which often drive peoples views, and therefore it is these emotions one must work at changing in order to create change.

For example when you look at Islamophobic sentiment the emotions that control this view is fear and desire for self-safety. As well as racism and economy security which when broken down reflect emotions of; fear, worry of change or misunderstanding. When you look at this break down there is no mention of the people as often this issue becomes dehumanised. If we can build a bridge between Muslims and their stories of emotion to help people to empathise this could help reverse fear and create empathy and compassion.

In a way it is through the above group refugee activists that we will be able to break down these stereotypes that have built up in society, which as listed, have come about from things like being uninformed or ignorant that have built up this hate. Furthermore looking above to the Australian Government and the work surrounding propaganda; control, perception, fear, votes, security, economic concern all reflect these ideas of Islamaphobia which have are fears of the government that have been expressed and then filter down through media and feed cultural views surrounding this issue.

I think an important point to note is that a lot of Australian’s see our government and its surrounding bodies as an informed legitimate source working in Australia’s best interest which can be seen in Map 2, below. These groups include the Labor, Liberal and other parties the government as a whole, border force, immigration minister, foreign government which have been highlight in blue. An extension of these is the news sources that inform us of the issues and also on what the government is saying surrounding these issues. Overall this is where misinformation can develop as people couple legitimacy with trust and then are less likely to question or source other information to substantiate claims. This is where stereotypes such as Islamaphobia can develop in the misinformed public, when they are fed a highly polarized message from legitimate sources.

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Map 2: Looking at the stakeholders involved in the issue and there specific role they play.



Post 5: Interaction with information

Task Description:

The aim of this task was to record down all interactions with the topic asylum seekers. Weather this was research, a conversation or on the news. Through the use off symbols the subject was to record weather these interaction through the week her negative or positively skewed in there point of view.

  • Positive = triangle
  • Negative = circle
  • Size = Impact on yourself
  • Smaller: less impact
  • Larger: more impact



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Successes and Failures:

The thing that is really working is the visual nature of the results that allow you to gather a very instant view and overall analysis. If this was done for a few people over a longer period of time you could start to compare it to major stories or event surrounding this issue and then see how this affects the individual opinion. Therefore doing this for a longer period of time would be an interesting study.

Something that would have extended this task further would have been a quick personal view before the task and a quick personal view after the task. To see if being more conscious of the issue will mean the positive or negative views that arise have any affect on the personal view of the participant. Furthermore an insight into what the major points that stayed with you would be an interesting further insight.


More consideration for the symbols chosen and how they could relate better to the idea of positive and negative. This would make the visual image more forthcoming instead of needing to read what they mean.

Although it is interesting looking at stories from an overall view the topic of the story within this issue can vary a lot and it would be interesting to know in particular what stories or issues are coming up.

Adding in times or the source (radio, tv, newspaper) could all add more depth to the data collated and more insight into personal view surrounding specific points of this issue and habits are source gathering.


The actual task outline needs a lot of work, in order to draw more informative information out. If I was to do this task again I think it would be interesting to get the person to draw what they where doing at the time of hearing the information. This would be a great way to visually see the situation and try to help decipher weather context changes how closed or open the person is to the information they are receiving. Weather this is from a reliable friend or your favourite TV presenter. 

Five point summary:

  1. There are less encounters on a Saturday weather this is due people usually using Saturday for down time and are less likely to seek out the news in contrast to weekdays.
  2. In reference to Sunday does the occurrence of multiply stories effect the level of positivity? As the triangle seem to build in their effect on the subject, is it through reinforcement of reoccurrence that they make more of an effect.
  3. The task needed much more refinement in order to get a greater insight, in particular more specific about which aspect of the issue or a further description from the subject. Weather this is the source being used, weather its how the days of the week affect the number of sources or weather they are usually negative or positive or if this information is actually changing the view of the person overall or just simply informing them.
  4. Did this person not watch the news or have a different routine on Tuesdays, which altered weather they received information from their regular source and therefore lowers the number of encounters they have with this topic.
  5. Due to the pre-existing views of the test subject the negative stories could be less impactful as the test subjects mind is already made up so in order to change there mind the information would have to have been much more persuasive.


*I was unable to complete this post on time as my partner was sick and therefore did not give me the information. I talked to Jacque about changing my submission time and can provide the email and also proof of when I received this information from my partner if need be.


Post 3: Images + Stakeholders


Image 1


annotation of 10 image.jpgThis image was posted to ‘Mums for refugees’ with the caption “choices”. The cartoon by political cartoonist Khalid Albiah highlights hard and desperate choices that refugees are being forced to make. Mums for refugees is an Australian  advocating for refugees help and support in Australia. This image posted on their Facebook page highlights them sharing their advocacy for refugees and a call for help for refugees.

The image presents a positive advocacy for helping refugees. This image is very differently to a photograph as it poses a question to the viewer. Weather posing this as a question is more effective at penetrating the viewer conscious and gaining more empathy? I do think Albiah does this successful.

The choice of specifically these 2 images both of children, from internationally recognized refugees stories affected by opposing plights of this war allows Albiah to make this argument more successful as it poses the harsh cruel reality of both situations. If it had been about a lesser-known story, no focused on children would this cartoon be as evocative and effective?

The simplicity of this cartoon is powerful. As it does not characterize but plays off two very real events that took place and poses it with a questions to the audience. The factual nature of the images present and the question being posed to the audience leaves it up to the viewer to make a judgment of the proposition put forward which in turn evokes a stronger sense empathy as you are forced to self analyze the question more than tacking say a more one side image on its face value.


Image 2:

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This image was also posted to Mums for Refugees as part of World Refugee Day 2016. Mums for refugees was part of the 100 day protest on Nauru posting photos of refugees mainly women and children holding signs in protest, asking for help and thanking M4R. This is just one of those images which was posted. The images are candid in nature, which speaks to the truth and messages of plea by the detained refugees. Their messages are also personally written emphasizing there own voice within the matter and giving validity to the message. This idea of seeing the message from the source plays into this idea of truth and a desire to believe the message more as it has not be altered either dramatized or ‘diluted; through the source stream.

Image 3:

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This is an interesting image mainly because of who it was release by; Australian Associated Press (AAP). This brings into the question the reasoning for this shot and this type of shot. It calls into questions the strategic release of this image to present boat asylum seekers coming to Australia in a particular light. Part of Operation Relex which goal is to restrictive circulation of imagery on this issue state; we wants to ensure no “sympathy or cause misgiving about aggressive new border protection regime would find its way into the public domain” and to not “Humanize the refugees” spoken by Defense minister Peter Reith. This highlights the government desire to essentially use propaganda towards the Australian public.

Presenting un-relatable images of the situation coupled with a removal of the handling practices around this images being presented in the Operation Relex pose worry for creating a polarized and negative view of asylum seekers and a lack of empathy for there experiences that they are being subjected to. This image plays into this idea, as we don’t see the human come through in the image, which we would otherwise connect to. Instead this image is more a display of a situation making it less emotive and therefore more removed from evoking empathy.

Image 4:

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This images play as a good contrast to the image above. This image was produced by project Safecom who are an advocate for refugee’s preventing discrimination and providing assistive services, while the image above was produced to the general public by the Australian Associate Press. Comparing these two images; in image 4 we are able to distinguish and relate to the people of the shot. In comparison image 3 in which you could not even distinguish gender or age. The close and candid nature of the shot creates a connection with the audience to the people. This connection that they are human doing normal human things like us “drinking milk” helps to create this level of empathy that they are just like us.

Image 5:

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Released by Australian Boarder Force in communication to offshore audiences, this image is in reference to the tough new boarder protection measures being implemented. This shot is part of the Australia’s anti-immigration ad mainly targeting boat immigrants and people smuggler, acting as a deterrent message. It’s a message to mainly asylum seekers and secondarily people smugglers who are considering the journey to Australia. Posed as a deterrent that you will no be settled in Australia is you attempt this journey. This message is coupled with a man in an army uniform using a stern voice to convey this message. Which ads to the formal and seriousness of the message being of valid authority from the Australian government.

Image 6:

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This is a panel from the department of immigration’s graphic novel (DIBP). This is a visual account of the DIBP of the journey of an asylum seeker by boat. It portrays the difficult and unsafe and overcrowded journey on boats. In this particular panel you can see the protagonist who used to be a mechanic is forced to hand over his phone on the boat and looks lonely and scared due to the overcrowded boat portrayed in the top panel.

In the images the only face that is highly visible and drawn in great detail is the protagonist. Weather this is to detract from the humanness of all asylum seekers or to bring focus to the protagonist would be a personal distinction.

Overall the story is one of warning about the different perils faced within this journey. Although released by the Department of Immigration and boarder Protection the images of this panel do seem to reflect numerous visual and documented accounts of boat asylum seeker journeys including the taking of phones, over crowding boats and the unwanted nature of the journey by asylum seekers; all depicted in this panel.

Image 7:

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Produced on The Global Mail the comic books introduction recalls the personal risk the former Serco employee takes by sharing his recounts after signing a confidentiality agreement reflects the validity of the claims due to the risk involved in what him speaking out. As a former Serco employee his ability to recount on these events would be highly knowledgeable and not diluted as it is a direct source.  These images are part of a personal recount narrative from an ex Serco employee “At work inside our detention centres” suggesting the truthful and factual nature of the story.

The imagery is highly metaphorical and contains many more layers of meaning past the initial words of the story. The two panels I chose to share both play into the mental health state of asylum seekers held in detention. It conveys a very dire situation of alluding to Australia’s hand in creating mental illness through the detaining asylum seekers (top image). While the bottom image express more the effects and handling (or poor handling) of mental illness in detention.

The images are confronting in there nature as they pull into question the handling of the situation of mental healthy and also the conditions in detention by the Australian government.

Image 8:

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I chose to include this artwork as the artist, Sina Pourhovaye, was a refugee who lived in the detention centers did it. This brings a sense of emotive realism to the image as you connect these emotions to the feelings experienced by the artist. The article about the art exhibition for asylum seekers states ‘this is a great way for the artists to speak through there artwork’, as without them there voice would not be heard.

Image 9:

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This for me was a very interesting cartoon because in all my other research I had not come across any negative comments of the UNHCR to date. Also as this cartoon is by Mahmoud Salameh a Syrian refugee who was detained by Australia I find there view point of UNHCR very interesting and unique. I do think the cartoon is unclear though weather the UNHCR in intentional or unintentional the lure for asylum seekers into detention. It would be interesting to know which interpretation the cartoonist means. Overall I do think Salameh paints an interesting picture of his perspective of UNHCR being not the same positive outcome for asylum seekers and perceive (in my opinion) by a majority of people.

This image is definitely powerful and unique as I haven’t seen this particular perspective before in my research. Is would be interesting to know who is controlling the rope tied to the stick as this is unknown to the viewer. This political cartoon does successfully question the effectiveness of the UNHCR in the eyes of asylum seekers being held in detention as well as portray the desperation of asylum seekers who struggle into a maybe an equally worse situation than there current situation. This is emphasized by the detention center and black houses and crows, which usually connote a meaning of death and foreshadowing the bad.

Image 10:

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I chose this image, as it was a really good example of a candid moment for asylum seekers fleeing by boat. It also evokes through the close and intimate nature of the shot with the subject’s faces and personal emotions a level of connection with the audience as you able to explore the little scenes within the shot and empathize their situation.

Antonio Masiello has done a great job at capturing very candid shots of the struggle and plight of the journey of asylum seekers. One that is real, raw and blunt. The moment captured in this particular shot although overall a sad one does show an interesting story of strength and care as everyone seems to be helping one another although in such a difficult situation themselves.

It shows people doing what they have to do to survive, which I think make this shot highly evocative, and relatable and also powerful shot for the audience to connect to. It is also very obvious Masiello who is a photojournalist is very focused on capturing the story of the people and a natural and unaltered images. This idea plays into the validity and also our ability to connect with the image much more.


The Stakeholders Process:

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AAP, (2016). Asylum seekers on board Tampa. [image] Available at: [Accessed 25 Aug. 2016].

Albiah, K. (2016). Choose. Sydney: Refugees for Mums.

Australian boarder force, (2016). No way will you call Australia home. Available at: [Accessed 25 Aug. 2016].

DIBP, (2016). A panel from the Department of Immigration’s graphic novel. [image] Available at: [Accessed 25 Aug. 2016].

Masiello, A. (2016). Arriving in Turkey. [image] Available at: [Accessed 25 Aug. 2016].

Purhovaye, S. (2016). Behind a wire fence. [Oil canvas] Melbourne: Richmonds Gallery.

Refugees for mums, (2016). Protest on Manus Island. [image].

Salameh, M. (2016). The refugee art project. [Cartoon] online:

Smith, J. (2016). Child drinking milk. [image] Available at: [Accessed 24 Aug. 2016].

wallman, S. (2016). A guards story. [cartoon] The Global Mail.

Post 4

New Roots app – Service Design

This app New Roots comes about from a rise in mental health issues in male refugees who are not likely to seek help or know where or how to ask for it. With currently 12,000 Syrian refugees and thousands more planned to be resettled here in the next few years New Roots accurately responds to a relevant problem and demand for this style of service. By also making it for Syrian Australian based refugees in Australia the content is highly location relevant to the user. This app successfully plays into service design as they have observed and addressed a current problem responding by producing a relevant application.

Service Design application helping Syrian refugees settle into Australian life and navigate the everyday quarrels of social customs, with a focus on mental health prevention.

New Roots is a smartphone app developed by Xenero a web and app design company. In collaboration with Settlement Services International and beyond blue, the expertise of these two companies helps to focus the app to make it most relevant for its target audience. The target audience is male refugees newly settled in Australia. The app targets new male refugees due to trends of male refugees being reluctant to seek help for mental health issues particularly in these mentally draining times. The app furthermore aims to orientate refugees in Australia, as it’s this simply issues that add to isolation and mental health issues as the struggle build up over time. 


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Click here to see demo video of New Roots explaining the app and its key features and services it will connect you to


The producers SSI and Beyond Blue make the app relevant by successfully considering many of the hurdles these refugees will face. The app comes in the local dialects of Syria as well as English. The information is trusted and reliable guide of advice to Australian life; helping find work, defines cultural roles like landlords, real estate agents, the condition report and how to find accommodation in general. This goal is highly comprehensive helping with the little things that an Australian would take for granted of knowing how to navigate the little intricate parts of Australian culture.


ABC, (2016). Sameh Dakhllah using the app New Roots. [image] Available at: [Accessed 18 Aug. 2016].
Kartstuen, M. (2016). New Roots app to help refugees adjust to Australia. [online] ABC News. Available at: [Accessed 18 Aug. 2016].
New Roots App for men settling in Australia. (2015). Australia, Settlement Services International, [Accessed 18 Aug. 2016].

Asylum Seekers at Sea

Scholar Article 1:

Missing the Boat: Australia and Asylum Seeker Deterrence Messaging

The further interpretation of the collated data in this scholar article is analytical and informative, bias or inflammatory language is not used but more a fair conclusion based off of primary and secondary research. This article was particularly insightful as it held direct focus group research with asylum seekers surrounding what dictates their journey. This I found particularly important, as it wasn’t skewed by bias for an outcome; in which the governments messages or media can fall into. Gathering raw data and insights actually showed valuable insights into dispelling many myths surrounding asylum seekers. Although should be noted the sample for these studies was small and a larger group from varying countries not just Afghanistan’s is needed to get a more complete picture.

Overall summarization shows that asylum seekers move purely on push factors of threat to self causing them to leave, this is in contrast to a more highlighted pull factors of Australia’s desirability which is portrayed a lot by the government and asylum seekers protestors. Furthermore it is discovered that many know limited information about Australia and a more worried about the policies of refugee acceptance and a safe place to accept them. This furthermore highlights ideas around the genuine nature of asylum seekers as they seek safety not lifestyle as more posed within some government and media or popular negative asylum seeker voiced views.

Written in 2016 for the International Organisation for Migration its shows specific and current snap of this sub-groups migration towards Australia showing relevance into my studies of the issue. The five authors come from a range of backgrounds; international relations, journalism, social work and human rights. This all rounded background of each individual has led to a holistic discussion of the push and pull factors of messaging towards asylum seekers directly.

Fleay, C., Cokley, J., Dodd, A., Briskman, L. and Schwartz, L. (2016), Missing the Boat: Australia and Asylum Seeker Deterrence Messaging. Int Migr, 54: 60–73. doi:10.1111/imig.12241


Scholar article 2:

Asylum seeker policy: Why Australia must end operation sovereign borders and build towards a durable regional cooperation framework

The author of this article has a clear point of bias that he is arguing; ‘Why Australia must end operation sovereign borders and build towards a disable regional cooperation framework’. Bui set up his point with relevant supporting evidence and weighs these against, the contrasting against argument, setting up a sound debate. The author Thao-Mi Bui piece won the John Button Prize for expressing ideas on Australian politicos and public policy. Although he is not an expert the prize won and its publishing in Ethos educational magazine for teachers as well as an extensive list of reputable and relevant sources and my personal evaluation of the piece based on my current knowledge of the topic suggests a credible and sound argument by Bui.

In particular Bui makes reference to Julian Burnside an Australian barrister, human rights and refugee advocate and author. Burnside’s proposals for short and long-term asylum seeker policies from this initial research seem like the more humanitarian option particularly as we consider the current objection but specific detention cases by the high court and the UNHCR and the UN finding Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers violates the convention against torture. Bui suggest a more viable economical option for Australian both for our international relations with PNG and Australia’s economy would long-term goal of resettlement. The statistics of how resettling refugees can actually add to the economy and also society instead of being solely a burden is supported by other respected experts as Professor Graeme Hugo, a demographer, academic, and geographer and Richard Parsons a business executive.

Bui make also an interesting point; faulting Australia’s current OSB plan ‘stopping the boats’ is a shifting the burden of the problem onto neighboring countries rather than helping solve this global crisis. This valid argument sets up a ripple of problems as we are starting to compromise relationship with countries such as PNG and also the economic relationships that come with this, which need more consideration (personally) from the government surrounding the current policies and its flaws.

This scholarly article is a great overview of this specific current and potential future of Australia’s asylum seeker policies and politics potential, weighing in experts to note realistic potential for how to handily the current asylum seeker policy issues.

Bui, Thao-Mi. Asylum seeker policy: Why Australia must end operation sovereign borders and build towards a durable regional cooperation framework [online]. Ethos, Vol. 23, No. 4, Dec 2015: 18-21. Availability:<;dn=756521396004248;res=IELHSS>ISSN: 1448-1324. [cited 14 Aug 16].
Featured image reference:
Ai Batoor, B. (2016). The first day at sea. [image] Available at: [Accessed 15 Aug. 2016].

Blog Post 1

Article 1

‘The economic cost of Australia’s asylum policies’

Asher Hirsch the writer is also a policy officer with the refugee council of Australia. His role suggests a level of expertise to comment on the subject of ‘The economic cost of Australia’s asylum policies’. The way he comments on certain economical circumstances are backed up with facts to substantiate the claims suggesting a sound argument and an in-depth knowledge as he draws off various sources and points. The types of opinionated language clearly highlight Hirsch personal positioning on the issue of policies surrounding keeping asylum seekers in detention including “wasteful policies” and “inhumane”. This does suggest a sense of not necessarily negative bias but a particular polarised view; arguing a sound point to resettle from detention centers into Australia. Hirsch explores the losses and potential economic gains by holding refugees in detention centers. He backs up with case studies of successful integrations, which have led to great economical and socio-economical benefits. After reading this article I agree with the points Hirsch has made surrounding the potential policy changes that he suggest need to be made. Personally I do feel this is a extremely valid reason to argue policy change from a viewpoint to the Australian government that could lead to real change, due to the economical benefit for the government.

This article is a combination of fact and opinion. This style seems consistent with Hirsch other articles. Hirsch has written a lot of different articles surrounding asylum seekers. In a sense all Hirsch articles work together bringing light the different facets of this problem including the economical costs, the settlement implications, current refugee environment and more.

Hirsch, A. (2015). The economic cost of Australia’s asylum policies – Right Now. [online] Right Now. Available at: [Accessed 6 Aug. 2016].


Article 2:

Accepting refugees makes the most economical sense

Tim Dunlop makes an interesting and unique argument of how Australia historically owes its success to post-war immigration. I think this works as a great Segway in creating a more open-minded reader. This is a great follow on from the previous article I read about the economical benefit of resettlement supplementing with a success story of real life resettlement in a rural town, in Australia. Supporting figures also emphasis those economical benefits highlighting a  “$41.5 million” economic value from “gross regional product” this is a great achievement from a town with a future of redundancy and a lack of labor to a thriving town. The key part of this article is its outlining of the crucial elements to successful integration; including strong leadership on both sides, pre community preparation, support and accommodation and situation management. I think this shows the success of the author to develop a balanced and strong argument that tackles different elements of the issue. Personally this is a great point about the cautions of how to do this successfully. Dunlop seems to develop a balanced argument as he teases out the counterpoint of Nhill being a small case study but successfully counters these with arguments of our old non-discriminatory immigration policy success and further suggests the problems for progression in a lack of economics and immigration data. Dunlop’s article “Accepting refugees makes the most economical sense” for the Abc shows a strong argument for successful resettlement. He’s written many publications for various media including The Drum, he’s a political writer and from the vast publication he’s written, Dunlop seems informed and sound in his knowledge with the argument he has presented in this well researched and factual news article.

Dunlop, T. (2015). Accepting refugees makes the most economic sense. [online] ABC News. Available at: [Accessed 8 Aug. 2016].

Article 3:

Worth a thousand words – how photos shape attitudes to refugees

As Lydon is the chair of Wesfarmers of Australian History and professor at the University of Western Australia with a recent book release  ‘photography and the emergence of human rights’, this article which is an analysis of the government control of photography of asylum seekers and there detention centers plays into Lydon field of expertise’s of photography analysis.

This is an informative piece for the general public about the government’s journey of hiding asylum seeker affairs from the public. This is an academic article as it uses informative, analysis of the facts rather than evocative directive language of an opinion piece.

This article for me has made me consider a perspective of control and monitoring that I had not considered of Australian government. As I progress further into research I will use this as a method of now questioning circulating imagery and public release by the government; why choose this type of image composition or subject matter, why release this image now, who has taken this image. I now see a greater importance for these questioning in understanding further the motives of stakeholders. This idea for me came from Lydon’s analysis of ‘boat people’ images which don’t ever show peoples facial features but more wide angles, generalized shots as Lydon suggests trying to dehumanize the refugee and as to not create a sympathetic Australia. The use on comparative analysis of different types of images and their effect upon the public has made for an interesting outlook for me into ulterior motives of stakeholders.

Lydon, J. (2016). Worth a thousand words – how photos shape attitudes to refugees. [online] The Conversation. Available at: [Accessed 10 Aug. 2016].

Article 4:

Refugees are selling organs to get to Australia as Islamic State gets involved

This article ‘Refugees are selling organs to get to Australia as Islamic State gets involved’ published in 2016 on the Herald Sun. For me this article brings up a lot of questions about the way Australia is approaching the crisis of asylum seekers. It makes me questions; Is it our fault that we have not created a direct safer passage to Australia for these genuine refugees, who now through desperation are offering up there organs? Could we be doing more as Australians in another way by promoting organ donation as to shut down the black market organs trade at the point of supply and demand due to Australia’s shortage of donors issue? The fact that this trade is now allegedly supporting ISIS terrorists who are involved in the trade/profits could this lead Australian government to change tactics around boat policies?  These question for me need more research but are a starting point as this article reflects holes in Australian policy with a serious issue on many fronts. Sue Dunlevy the writer has written for, The Australian, Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, she is a national health reporter in searching this issue the story comes up on many other reputable sites such as abc, sbs and sky news suggesting to the validity of the unfortunate claims.

Dunlevy, S. (2016). ISIS, refugees enter illegal organ trade. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Aug. 2016].

Article 5:

Tim Costello says indefinite detention of asylum seekers is ‘torture’

This article highlights politicians disagreement with the current asylum seeker policies. World Vision Australia chief and executive Tim Costello said the fact that a Somalia women set herself on fire on Nauru shows how desperate the federal governments refugee policy’s are making people” and that “indefinite detention of asylum seekers on Manu Island and Nauru is psychological torture” with further the UN ruling “Australia indefinite detention of refugees on secret security grounds as arbitrary and illegal”.

This article mentions a number of different government claims including the use of the controversial boat tow backs and finding the answer to stopping people smugglers while Labor also promises to giving money to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. I think this mixture of comments brings up an interesting point that Labor wants to only solve with money and is not willing to share Australia with asylum seekers but place the burden onto other countries. This is seen in “inflammatory remarks…that many refugees …would take Australian jobs” by government, I think remarks like this are used as fear tactics on the Australian people.

Written on The Guardian by Paul Karp is a reporter and journalist who has written for a number of medias, this article is very factual recount based insight into current views of key leaders. It an interesting and insightful compliment of the countering views.

Karp, P. (2016). Tim Costello says indefinite detention of asylum seekers is ‘torture’. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 11 Aug. 2016].


Identify at least 3 positions that you think are worth investigating further, Describe why?

In my research past the 5 articles it was interesting to note the support of Australians against the towing back policies and the use of dentition centers. From this stemmed a lot of people in support of taking refugees into there own homes with data recognizing Australia as cranked 5th in countries willing to take asylum seekers into there own homes. As well as the examples of successful integration in society and contributors to the Australian economy this for me establishes a very viable option for asylum seekers over detention center in which asylum seekers are being forced to stay in for unknown periods of time leading to psychologically issue’s.

Another area that is worth investigating personally is into the initial roots of asylum seekers issue. Accounts of the specific regions producing refugees, the reason for fleeing, how there journey ends up in Australia and why Australia over somewhere else?  This issue is not as prevalent in media articles and I know in terms of getting a full picture of the issue the extra background research is necessary. This level of empathy in understand the journey of an asylum seekers will help inform my personal opinion on this issue in which I have not in all areas feel I have the knowledge to understand fully.

Another area from here that I would like to investigate also linked to the idea of resettlement in Australia is research into other countries policies and strategies for dealing with the asylum seeker crisis. Countries like Canada would be an interesting place to start as they have started integrating refugees into community via volunteer and fundraising efforts. Research into this system and its viability and other countries would be interesting case study for Australia.

Featured image for blog post reference:
Safecom, (2001). Children drinking milk. [image] Available at: [Accessed 10 Aug. 2016].