POST 10: Reflection and Proposition

by Jessica Avelina Horo


I didn’t even have any solid idea of the proposition during the last class’ meeting that in results making me anxious for days. I have these problem statements all over my head but I couldn’t specify them and focus on one thing. I tried to solve the big problem first and couldn’t give any design solution to it. So what I did was that I tried to talk over this issue to one of my colleague that is in pursue of her Ph.D in food science in UNSW. With her high level of education, I figured that it is easier to talk over this issue and discussed about it. It is a complicated issue with many causes and backgrounds so that not many people will get to understand this issue in a short time. While I explained the issue to her, I began to read all my maps and researches again then started to reflect on them. My friend helps me a lot in this process as she is quite used to make a report that needs critical thinking. I wrote again what I want to achieve in this proposition and it helps me identifying the issue. By clarifying my problem statement, I was able to gather all of my thoughts on the issue into a concise brief that I can address in the Task 3.

Design Proposition – Hello Neighbours 

This proposition is in result of my research about refugees’ experiences in the detention centre. Just like what I mentioned in my #8th blogpost, I want to see what I can do to prepare refugees and the community to live together harmoniously after such traumatic experiences.

The previous draft proposition is called “Emphathy”.  It was intended to show how sorry we are to the refugees, who have repeatedly received such traumatic experiences. The will be an annual event that will be held in parks and places like Darling Harbour as it is spaces that people from all age come together and enjoy the scenery. As we all know, there are a lot of rejection and negative attitude given to the refugees in result of misconceptions in the media. However, we want to bring the positive people out there with the refugees together in an cultural event. The event is called “Hello Neighbours”, referring the neighbours to the refugees that come from different countries in Middle East. By substituting the word ‘refugee’ in the name with ‘neighbours’, the event will raise awareness to not identify the refugees as ‘refugees’ or outsider anymore.

Celebrate our new neighbours by giving them a chance to show their art skills and blend together with the Australia’s community. It is not unfamiliar for the Aussies’ people to have street art and dance in the streets. In this event, we want to encourage the refugees to show their skills and culture by adopting Australian’s culture. There will also a traditional food market cooked by the refugees and showcase of refugees’ artworks. Most importantly, there will be a testimony too brought by refugees that has succeed in their new life so that they could inspire other refugees and show general people what they actually could do. Art is a universal language, it is unique in each culture and country yet I believe it could unite people. This concept could result with people embracing refugees and changed their perceptions about them. Refugees would also feel appreciated and welcomed by the events that celebrates their presence in the community.


I decided to change my design proposition to be in local context instead of such a big event held in public places. Based on the feedbacks that I received today, I made changes:

TITLE: Hello Neighbours

PRACTICE TYPE: Service Design

THE ISSUE: People should embrace refugees and changed their perceptions about them after such traumatic experience in the journey and in detention centre. Even after the resettlement, a lot of people still address the refugees as ‘refugees’ and in result they received harassment and bullying in the school or workplace. Even though a lot of people are blinded by the misconceptions but there are still a lot of people who wants to say sorry to refugees. For people who wants to give sympathy to the refugees, they could stay together in this event to contribute something positive to the refugees or the refugees themselves could show their true side directly to the Australians.

THE POSSIBLE CHANGE: The design would aim to get people identify refugees as the ‘new neighbours in town’ instead of as an outsider or refugees anymore. This also could results with people embracing refugees and changed their perceptions about them. Refugees would also feel appreciated and welcomed by the events that celebrates their presence in the community.

ACTION TO SUPPORT THE CHANGE: Create a campaign with voluntary based resources and have an event to spend a day or have lunch with refugees every 3 months. The event will be divided into each council so that each council would be aware of the arrival of new ‘neighbours’ in their areas. In the event, the refugees and the people who supports them could make an intimate conversation to share their values and stories. By doing so, refugees feel welcomed in the community and appreciated. General people in the range of 18-24 years old also have the experience to know the refugees directly and show their support for them. After the events, they could share the campaign and the events to social media using the hashtag #helloneigbours. Posting photo with the hashtag would also help for other people to see the other side of refugees. Thus, creating an awareness to accept refugees as part of the community and live together harmoniously.




POST 8: Brainstorming Possibilities for a Design Response

by Jessica Avelina Horo

Finally, on this week I’m starting to see how my research and brainstorming process could lead me to. In one of the brainstorming process about the problem in the refugee issues, I have some kind of interest towards the one about refugees experiencing trauma in detention centre. I posted the map visualisation in Post 9, but I also put the map that I’m talking about below.



Problem Statement:

Taking some words from an article by Amnesty International,

(Sydney, 3 August, 2016)—“About 1,200 men, women, and children who sought refuge in Australia and were forcibly transferred to the remote Pacific island nation of Nauru suffer severe abuse, inhumane treatment, and neglect, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. The Australian government’s failure to address serious abuses appears to be a deliberate policy to deter further asylum seekers from arriving in the country by boat”. (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

It is so tragic that from my researches, I found that refugees and asylum seekers on detention centre have been held there for like three years and then be neglected by the health workers and other service provided who have been hired by the Australian government. Not only that, local Nauruans also gave them unpunished assaults. I couldn’t imagine how traumatic these experiences would be for the refugees. They crossed the sea, not knowing how their life gonna be, risking their family, leaving all they have behind and hoping for better future but all they received is these treatments. As we can see from the map that I drew in the class, I tried to break down how the experience would be for refugees and all the related stakeholders. This has to change now. Life is already really hard for refugees in detention centre,  and it is even harder after they got released to the community. People are having these strong attitudes to reject refugees coming to the community, it exist because of a lack of cultural understanding between both groups. If mutual acceptance and respect was found and maintained, perhaps there would be less conflicting perspectives.

From here, I want to see what I can do to prepare refugees and the community to live together harmoniously after such traumatic experiences. By clarifying my problem statement, I was able to gather all of my thoughts on the issue into a concise brief that I can address in the Task 3. All the refugees’ needs is a new LIFE, which I will break down to 4 design possibilities; Love, Impart, Fellowship and Empower and for the last one is about empathy.

5 Possibilities

1 Love

Amnesty International tried to break down people’s misconception about refugees:

  • Asylum seekers are not ‘illegal’ – it is a human right to seek asylum by boat in Australia (UN Refugee Convention and Australian Migration Act 1958)
  • The majority of asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat are found to be genuine refugees fleeing persecution, torture and violence.

(Our campaign for refugees and asylum seekers, 2016)


One of the problem that I found from this issue is because of a lack of cultural understanding between both groups. Both of them are lack of mutual acceptance and respect. There are enough border control to stop refugees coming into countries but is this the right way? People are having this misconceptions about refugees, Islamophobia, an exaggerated hostility toward Muslims and Islam, appear to be on the rise in both Europe and the United States. This too will happened to Australia if we don’t spread the love from now. Educate people how we can embrace multiculturalism without fighting each other. Hostile and politicised rhetoric only adds fuel to the fire of Islamophobia, we don’t need to add more. The world is too full of negativity already. It is written by law, as mentioned by Amnesty above, that asylum seekers are not ‘illegal’, they are genuinely come fleeing persecution and war.

One mother said: “When they go to school, the Nauruan children call our children ‘refugee,’ not by name. People have names. They say, ‘Why are you here? This is our country. You should leave. We don’t like you staying here.” (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

Have we lose our humanity that we refuse to help people in need? They are facing rejection everywhere they go. This is the time to embrace them, spread the love and accept them by who they are.

2  Impart 

Give them opportunity to show their contribution to the Australian’s society and this could also give them an opportunity to start a career in a foreign career, where nobody knows them, and where they have to start from scratch.

3 Fellowship

Too many misunderstandings from what have been reported from the news, articles, photos but never from the person him/herself. So it would be great if we can have a chance to build a deeper relationship, to get to know refugee not from external sources but first-hand experience.  The result of this experience would be to break the myth that people have without checking the facts, clear the misunderstanding, embrace multiculturalism and know the refugees’ rights.

4 Empower

“…..almost 7,000 people drowned in the Mediterranean alone in the two years since the first big shipwreck in October 2013” (8 ways to solve the world refugee crisis, 2015)

“Nearly all interviewees reported mental health issues of some kind—high levels of anxiety, trouble sleeping, mood swings, and feelings of listlessness and despondency were most commonly mentioned—that they said began when they were transferred to Nauru”. (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

“People here don’t have a real life. We are just surviving. We are dead souls in living bodies. We are just husks. We don’t have any hope or motivation” (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

Refugees experience a lot of  trauma caused by the boat’s journey, uncertainty and mistreat in the detention centre and stress after they got released. Refugees also receive bullying in their school or workplace. In result they have identity issues, even after they are released into the community, people don’t see them as an individual, they see them as refugees. The refugees need some sort of empowerment; a centre that could empower them in terms of language, general knowledge about Australia, skills and psychology trauma.

5 Empathy

An asylum seeker described conditions while his wife was in labour:

“I saw my wife lying under the bed. The bed didn’t have a mattress. . . . I saw the nurse, an Australian nurse, playing on her tablet. My wife was crying. I said, ‘Please do something for my wife. This is like a jail, not a delivery room.’ The bathroom didn’t have tissue or hand washing liquid. I went out to buy hand washing liquid and rolls of tissue.” (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

“Australia’s policy of exiling asylum seekers who arrive by boat is cruel in the extreme,” said Anna Neistat, Senior Director for Research at Amnesty International, who conducted the investigation on the island for the organisation. (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

The Australian government may have failed to address serious abuses appears to be a deliberate polity to deter further asylum seekers from arriving the country by boat. As mentioned by one of the refugees in the detention centre, they have been neglected by the health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government. Not only that, they also receive frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. Self-harm and suicide attempts are common in the detention centre, all these actions are in result of their uncertainty about their future, which Australian government has failed to manage. Apart from the negative news that have been spread around about refugees, there are still some Australians that are in the refugees’ side but they cannot express their empathy. We need an event or a platform to show our empathy to the refugees and by doing so also to raise awareness for general people. However, it would be hard to get people to participate as a lot of them have a negative attitude to this issue.


My proposal is in respond to my last possibility listed above, which aims to get people and refugees in an big annual event. The concept is to have the event probably in places like Darling Harbour and it will be held annually because this issue have been there for years and the impact to the refugees’ emotion won’t be quick to heal. As we all know that refugees issue is a complicated case happened in many countries without having the real solution that could solve the issue. However, even though a lot of people are blinded by the misconceptions but there are still a lot of people who wants to say sorry to refugees. For people who wants to give sympathy to the refugees, they could stay together in this event to contribute something positive to the refugees or the refugees themselves could show their true side directly to the Australians.

This concept could result with people embracing refugees and changed their perceptions about them. Refugees also would feel appreciated and welcomed by the events that celebrates their presence in the community.



Reference List

8 ways to solve the world refugee crisis 2015, viewed 19 September 2016, <;.

Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru 2016, Amnestymedia. viewed 19 September 2016, <;.

Our campaign for refugees and asylum seekers 2016, Amnesty Australia. viewed 19 September 2016, <;.

POST 9: Strengths & Weaknesses of Collaborative Brainstorming

by Jessica Avelina Horo

Throughout the last few weeks, we have been engaged with a lot of different mind-mapping exercises in order to engage and see our topics in a collaborative way. In this week, we were still in the combined class which is much larger and less intimate. However, I sat down with my initial groups and we started the lesson by writing problem statement that we could create after every exercises and researches that we’ve done. We wrote down as many statements as we could, discussed them to other members and gave each other feedbacks. This exercise was really helpful to really broke down such a broad issue; as we are forced to wrote down what,when, where,why and how it affects others. Some of us ended up having similar statements as our concerns, which is also good because we can strengthen our statement in the mind mapping process. It wasn’t long until we decided which statement we will take a chance to explore further. The problem statements we chose are about attitudes toward refugees and about refugees experiencing trauma in detention centre. We wrote everything we could think of, for example its stakeholders, emotions, any words that relates to the issue.



The strength of this exercise is probably because we were dealing with a more specific topic as opposed to the larger maps. Everyone looked confident to contribute their own words to fill out the gaps in the map. I gained a lot of different perspective from this exercise only as I saw how everyone’s putting their own perspective on the same issue. We really enjoyed this process and really amazed by the amount of words we could wrote on this statements in the end of exercises. We also linked words that could be associated with other keywords so that we were able to see the relationships between each words.

In terms of weakness in this process is probably I still don’t know how to approach this issue in a different way and then came up with a design response. The refugees issue is such a complex and broad issue that it takes time to really broke down the issue. Probably the reason why we took so many weeks to brainstorm and do mind-maps of the issue is because of the complexity of the issue. I felt a little overwhelmed as I feel from the start of this project, we talked about serious topic such as refugees without much individual discussion with the tutors. I felt independent by doing all these stages alone and sometimes with my groups but I don’t know where to start my responding stage. It is really hard to choose part of the issue that could be responded with a design response.

POST 7: Issue Mapping

by Jessica Avelina Horo

MAP 01: Stakeholder of the Issue


In this week, we were asked to look back at our initial stakeholders map form Week 2 and see the relations between the stakeholders. However, I worked with different partner from my previous group that made this map together. At first, it was a bit hard to combine all our information and datas but this experience has allowed me to see this issue in different perspective. After all, she also chose refugee and asylum seekers as her main topic so that it is just a matter of time until we can work together as a team to collaborate.

In the second map is what we came out together by combining all our information. We categorise them much more specific and refining the terms even more.

MAP 02: The Polemics and Their Emotions 

fullsizerenderThe second map discussed about the polemics of the issue and the emotion attached to them. Upon looking at the map for the second time, I realised that there were so many negative emotions written on the paper. All of them are what might the refugees or other stakeholders felt about the controversy. As listed in the map above, the polemics that attract both of us the most are:

  1. Legitimate Refugee VS Illegal Refugee
  2. Detention Centre VS Funding
  3. Boat People VS Security Threat

The other polemics are quite broad, which is why it was hard to describe the emotions in result of the polemics. It was quite hard for me to think of any other polemics out there, as it requires a high level of understanding of the issue and massive researches. However, by doing this in a group of two, I feel more confident with what I understand, confirmed them to my partner, and made these collaborative maps.

MAP 03: Mapping the Stakeholders in the Polemics


It was quite confusing to write specific stakeholders and made a map where the actors intersect or diverge. We kept looking back at our main stakeholders map and then see if we can include related stakeholders to this polemics. As stated above, we started first with the Legitimate Refugees VS Illegal Refugees because we felt like that’s one of the biggest aspect in this issue.


POST 6: Twitter Data Scraping

by Jessica Avelina Horo

I have decided to use Twitter as my chosen social media platform to do the data scraping relating in the refugees issue. Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Refugees could be a quite sensitive topic so that maybe some people have more courage to speak in Twitter. In these 140-character messages, I feel challenged to see a variation of people’s opinions and how they speak out their mind out loud to the whole world. I also want to see how social media affecting the issue in any other aspect of it. During the past decade, Twitter rendered the “pound sign” obsolete and made the “hashtag” part of our vernacular. The hashtag’s uses range from sarcasm and trolling to awareness of social causes. I’m also using Twitter Archiver, a neat Google Sheets app that imports tweets with a particular search term or hashtag. I am also able to get each tweet’s date and time, retweets, favourites, the user who tweeted it, the number of people they follow, and their total followers.



(Screenshots from Twitter Archiver)

I started the research first by typing general keyword such as ‘refugee’ and ‘Australia’ and then try other keywords that resonates refugee in my opinion. From my researches, I feel like most people tend to focus on one side of the issue and ignoring equally important concerns. I like how people can use social media like Twitter to show their support to an issue. However, there are too many information in Twitter that could lead people supporting the wrong side. There are a lot of trending hashtag about refugees such as;






While #RefugeesWelcome continues to trend on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites, it has not changed the view of all countries’ political leaders. #RefugeesWelcome is being used to share photos of migrants crossing the border. While there are millions in support, there are still some who believe it is not their problem. The crisis has also split governments and led to country leaders arguing among themselves. There are various petitions for people to share #RefugeesWelcome, but it is unclear whether it will change the views of political leaders.
However, the use of hashtags on social media has gotten a bit of a other bad reputation, since it’s often just a show of support and not an action. This is “slacktivism”,  the self-deluded idea that by liking, sharing, or retweeting something you are helping out.” – It soon became clear though, that a lot of people were using Twitter to actually get involved. Using hashtags, they turned social media into an excellent organisational tool. It also helps social organisations keeping everyone up to date with the whole refugees situation. The real example could be seen from a NGO called Train of Hope.

“Thanks to Facebook and Twitter it took us only two weeks to establish a community of people, who come by and help out, but also use their own existing networks and communities to help us solve the problems we’re facing every day. Without these tools we could never have built a microcosm so complex and effective.” – Train of Hope social media team.

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 11.27.47 pm.png

(Train of Hope’s main website – Train of Hope 2016)

Summary Points:

  • Most people who have tweeted on the subject of asylum seekers are fairly well educated and/or are advocates for social justice.
  • Twitter hashtags could changed the way we talk about social issues. As people tend to retweet what people mostly tweet about, so it is easier for true/false information got into people’s opinion.
  • Social media like Twitter is a great tool for communication, keeping everyone up to date with the real situation.
  • Supports in Twitter could be an act of “slacktivism”, unless people show their support by doing actions too.
  • Most of the tweets about refugees issues in Australia are mostly from well educated people from law background, such as advocates for social justice.


Train of Hope 2016, viewed 28 August 2016, <;.

POST 5: Interview and design probe task

by Jessica Avelina Horo

In this blogpost, I will talk about the tasks I developed about what is happening to refugees/asylum seekers in Australia and some parts of the world.

As a international student,

I have no idea how the political situation or what’s happening here.

So I aim to get as much information from different resources and understand the different perspective of the issue. From my research through news and scholarly resources, which are more unbiased and trustworthy, I developed my knowledge of this issue. It was not easy to grasps how the real situation is as I am afraid the media could make biased report and probably the government is not transparent enough about this issue. This week, I interview someone from my class, aged between 18-24 and make a list of probe questions. This task helped me to know what people knows about refugees and asylum seeker in Australia. It was an informal interview with a semi structured questions.

The interview

  1. Are you fully aware of the whole refugee/ asylum seekers’ situation in Australia? What do you know about it?
  2. How do you know about the issue? Do you read it somewhere and what do you think of how the media reporting the issue right now?
  3. What’s your position, do you agree with the “Stop the Boat” policy or you want to let them stay in Australia? Why?
  4. What are the advantages that you know from refugees that could benefit Australia in your opinion?
  5. What are the disadvantages that you know from refugees that affect Australia in your opinion?

While doing the interview, I found that it was really interesting to know what other people know and what their opinions are in this issue. She told me that refugees are not the type of information that she really interested in and that’s why she never really do a proper research of how the current situation is. However, as an Australian, she did have general awareness of Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers, moreover after the election. She gets most of her information in social medias and never really read the news about the issue and agree that this issue is quite a sensitive and dark in terms of how she reads it in social medias. Also, she doesn’t really know what’s happening in the detention centre too. She also told me that she is quite concerned of how refugees could contribute to Australia as they come with no language skills and of course it will be hard for them to find jobs. She also stands neutral, without taking any sides because she feels that she doesn’t really know about the issue.

As the interview went on, I started to think how this interview has gave me a new understanding. I may go quite biased when I tried to read the news, for example I read how the condition in the detention centre is not suitable at all for living and how sad it is for the refugees to be forced to leave their home-country and belongings because of political reasons. However, the interviewee reminded me that government probably have their own judgement and political reasons by doing so. They are quite concerned of how this large amount of refugees entering Australia without any visa or plan. Still, the detention centre and keeping them away is not the solution. I just hope that this situation will get better as government is trying to find solution to and people just come together to raise awareness about refugees and asylum seekers in Australia without any biased information.

Design probe task

Ask your friend or someone you know, what do they think at first when they heard the word ‘refugees’ or ‘asylum seekers’? What are their position on this issue too?

From this task, I gained an understanding of how people think and perceive asylum seekers based on their opinion and from what they read online. One of her friend even said that he strongly rejects refugees to come over to Australia without visa, as each country have their own rule and policy. The rules also need to be applied to everyone without looking at their condition or cause. Though, he never really do a research specifically about this issue in news and trustworthy sites.

Take away points from the interview and design probe task

  1. The interviewee, have a general awareness of the refugees and asylum seekers’ issue in Australia but she never really have a proper research so that she missed some important information.
  2. The interviewee gives a different perspective of how to see the issue.
  3. The interview and the design probe task helped me to see the issue in someone’s eyes and be more objective, rather than doing the research and making opinion alone.
  4. The design probe task is too sudden so that the questions are quite general. If I have more time, I would like to dig deeper question related to this issue. 
  5. Medias is a powerful communication tool. It could affect how people have an opinion about an issue.

POST 3: Mapping the Complexity of the Issue and Collecting Visual Perspectives

by Jessica Avelina Horo

Mapping the Participants



Mapping human and non-human stakeholders (Horo & Tseu-Tjoa 2016)

In this stage, our class have divided into small groups of our chosen issue to make a stakeholders’ map. It is a map of all the participants and organisation involved in the issue. First, we make a map of human and non-human stakeholders. We basically just write any stakeholders that came to our mind as much as we can. There is no clear links what the relationship between them though.

Jessica Map.jpg

Then we worked on the more refined map, I started to understand the complexity of this refugee/asylum seekers issue in Australia. It becomes clear in the map, which part interconnected to each other and who affects whom.


Image Archive

The following 10 photos have been collected over the past couple of weeks to show different findings and perspective that I found of the issue asylum seekers and refugee in Australia and around the world. Sometimes, a photo itself worths thousand words. It could convey its meaning or essence more effectively than words do. So let’s take a closer look at each photos:


Syrian refugees crossing (Teofilovski, O. 2015)


This is a photo of Syrians crossed under a fence into Hungary at the border with Serbia, near Roszke, Aug. 27, 2015. I see a metal barbed wire, where my parents usually told me to avoid it. They are not something that I should be close by with and played with. However, this little family was forced to cross under the wired fence to cross the country. This is 2016, yet people still fighting for peace and they are forced to encounter such dangerous situation to have a better home.


Four-year-old Rashida from Kobani, Syria, sleeps as they wait at the border of Macedonia and Greece to enter into Macedonia (Teofilovski, O. 2015)


This photo is on an articled called, These Are The Most Powerful Photographs Of The Syrian Refugee Crisis In 2015, picked by Lynzy Billing. It represent what is happening in Syria, where more than 4 million people have fled and with the conflict showing no sign of ending, let’s look back on the risky journeys men and women fleeing the country have taken. When I see this photo, my first reaction is “That’s not how a child sleeps”.  The conflict and the crisis can be difficult for people to understand, but there is nothing hard to understand about how children need a safe place to sleep. That is easy to understand. Children at those ages are supposed to having fun and learn a lot of new things in this phase of life. Instead of that, their hope has been taken by the crisis.


A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of a child (Teofilovski, O. 2015)


A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi, 3, after a number of refugees died or were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized near the Turkish resort of Bodrum, Sept. 2, 2015. Aylan’s family embarked on the perilous boat journey only after their bid to move to Canada was rejected. The tides also washed up the bodies of Aylan’s mother, Rehan, and his 5-year-old brother, Galip. Only Aylan’s father, Abdullah, survived the tragedy.


Operation Sovereign Borders in Australia (“No Way. You will not make Australia home.” n.d)


This is a screenshot of the Operation Sovereign Borders in Australia. After the election of the Abbott government in 2013, Operation Sovereign Borders was mounted. The ad campaigns have been splashed across all media with a particular emphasis on television and on-line platforms. They have been produced in several different languages with the most widely played being ‘By boat, no visa’ and ‘No way. You will not make Australia home’. The latter also has been played in languages like Urdu and Albanian and is fronted by Lieutenant General Angus Campbell.

What shocked me the most is the tone and the language used in this video, Lieutenant Campbell mentioned, “This criminal will steal your money and put your life & family at risks”. It was super confronting and negative to the refugees. From this, we know how hateful Australia’s government was to refugees back in Abbott government. The message in this video is simple, everyone who come to Australia without visa or by boat will have no way to make Australia’s their home. There’s no exception, children, orphanages, adults, skilled workers or anyone without visa were not allowed to enter Australia.


A message at a rally against refugee policy on June 19, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Thousands Rally To Support Refugees And Asylum Seekers At Star…)

Photo: Brook Mitchell


A message at a rally against refugee policy on June 19, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. The rally was organised as a show of public support for the closure the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, and the safe resettlement of detained refugees in Australia. Refugee Week runs from 19 to 25 June 2016. This is such a provoking photo. I knew from my researches before, that there are a lot of organisations that holds art events to show refugees’ hidden talent. However, in the photo above, they put a note saying that the artist couldn’t join the exhibition because he/she are kept as political prisoner in an offshore detention centre. This notes could provoke sympathy from the visitors as they will feel bad knowing that such a talent are kept in the detention centre.


A mounted police officer leads a group of refugees near Dobova (Zivulovic, S. 2015)


This is a photo of a mounted police officer leads a group of refugees near Dobova, Slovenia, Oct. 20, 2015. I always see photos of refugees trying to run away from cops and agents but this photo is different. They looked different in this photo though. They were just diligently following the police officer in front of them. I can sense the feeling hopeless in this photo. This photo helped me to see a different point of view of refugees and the government.


Refugees sleep near the main bus station in Istanbul, Turkey (Aldermi, H. 2015)


This is a photo of how refugees sleep near the main bus station in Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 15, 2015. Refugees sleep near the main bus station in Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 15, 2015. See what’s behind them? A landscape of city with lights and different people sleep in their own comfortable bed in a safe home. The refugees were basically sleep under the stars with no mattress and just blanket. What kind of day they should face tomorrow? What could be worse?


Rita Ora as a Refugee Survivor – Global Minorities Alliance, 2015


The world can be a dark place for people seeking safety at the moment, full of war and danger and discrimination. The news gets worse and worse; but that doesn’t stop refugees from finding safety, and succeeding against the odds. So this year, for Refugee Week, they released photos of successful refugees to celebrate the contributions refugees have made – and think about the contributions refugees will continue to make to our country.

This is an photo I saw in the internet, Rita Ora, one of my favourite British singers. She is multi talented, as written in the photo, her singles have topped the UK charts and she is also a judge on X Factor and The Voice. That means she is no ordinary person, in her young age, she successfully topped her career to be the best. However, what we don’t know is that she is a refugee herself with her parents coming to UK in 1990s. I guess this photo shows that refugee are the same with everyone, they have talents and they have rights to pursue their dream even though they lost their home.


Asylum seekers look at the media from behind a fence at the Manus Island detention centre, Papua New Guinea (Reuters, T. 2016)


Under Australian law, anyone intercepted trying to reach the country by boat is sent for processing to camps on the tiny Pacific island of Nauru or to Manus Island off Papua New Guinea (PNG). They are never eligible to be resettled in Australia.

Some asylum seekers have spent years in the camps, which have been criticized by the United Nations and human rights groups, with numerous reports of abuse and self-harm amongst detainees, including children. It was a weird situation portrayed in the photo. I saw children behind the wired bars and they are doing nothing wrong. They didn’t choose to be born in a conflicted country yet the government treated them like terrorist and prisoners.


A dinghy of Syrian refugees drifts in the Aegean sea (Berakis,  Y. 2015)


A photo of a dinghy of Syrian refugees drifts in the Aegean sea between Turkey and Greece after its motor broke down off Kos, Aug. 11, 2015.  This may look simple but when I took a closer look of the photo, it just affect my emotions so much. It is a dinghy of Syrian refugees drifts in the Aegean sea between Turkey and Greece after its motor broke down off Kos, Aug. 11, 2015. I see a landscape of sea with no edge, sun/moon as red as blood and a boat full of people who just lost everything. When you really see the real situation in the photo, you can feel that they just people who don’t have much choices and decided to leave their home for a better future. With boats that could lost to the sea, dangerous trips, weeks of trips and no fixed plan for their future, what are we supposed to do to help them?



Image References:

Aldermi, H. 2015, Refugees sleep near the main bus station in Istanbul, viewed 19 August 2016, <;.

Berakis,  Y. 2015, A dinghy of Syrian refugees drifts in the Aegean sea, viewed 19 August 2016, <;.

Global Minorities Alliance, 2015, Refugee Week 2015: celebrate!, viewed 20 August 2016, <;

“No Way. You will not make Australia home.” n.d., viewed 23 August 2016, <;.

Reuters, T. 2016, Asylum seekers look at the media from behind a fence, viewed 22 August 2016, <;.

Teofilovski, O. 2015, Four-year-old Rashida, viewed 19 August 2016, <;.

Teofilovski, O. 2015, A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body, viewed 19 August 2016, <;.

Teofilovski, O. 2015, Syrian refugees crossing, viewed 19 August 2016, <;.

Thousands Rally To Support Refugees And Asylum Seekers At Star…, viewed 20 August 2016, <;.

Zivulovic, S. 2015, A mounted police officer leads a group of refugees near Dobova, viewed 19 August 2016, <;.

POST 4: Identifying and collecting a design example

by Jessica Avelina Horo

The crisis is real.

More than 900,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year (Al Jazeera, 2015)

There are 60 million displaced persons in the world, another stateless child is born every 10 minutes, and three million people have no access to water, food, housing, work, education, and are caught in legal limbo.  The crisis has inspired many designers to design solutions for refugees and the issue itself. I am a design student myself, and I am  really impressed by how designers around the world are gathering their ideas and skills to help both refugees and people. The refugee crisis has become an increasingly important topic for architects and designers as the situation has worsened over the past few years.

When I was trying to find any designers or design studio who work in an emergent practice context related to the issue of refugees, I found that there are so many innovative and creative designs that could improve refugee’s life condition, for example through service, data visualisation design and informative app.  Browsing through all the designs, there is a project that really leaves a mark in my heart. A project by a woman who fled war-torn Syria  that has released an unofficial flag design for the very first team of ten refugees competing in the Rio Olympics, called The Refugee Nation. The 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad and commonly known as Rio 2016, was a major international multi-sport event held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 August to 21 August 2016. I didn’t really know how important a flag was until I watched the video when the athletes saw the flags for the first time. The refugees athlete couldn’t hold their feelings as they are touched by the flag. Athletes in Olympic are proud competing against athletes from other countries by bringing their countries’ names, they bring big responsibilities. However, refugees don’t have the opportunities to have a place to call home. “By giving these athletes a sense of national team, a flag and an anthem to call their own, we’re sending a powerful message to all the refugees in the world,” said a spokesperson from Amnesty International. “We’re saying that every human being has the right to have a place to call home.”


The Refugee Nation’s flag designed by Yara Said (dezeen magazine, 2016)
(dezeen magazine, 2016)

The flags itself really reminds me the spirit of refugees as it used black and orange to represent the colour of life jackets worn by refugees when making dangerous sea crossings. “Black and orange is a symbol of solidarity for all those who crossed the sea in search of a new country,” said Yara Said. “I myself wore one, which is why I so identify with these colours and these people”. The flag design is accompanied by a proposed anthem for the team, composed by Istanbul-based Syrian refugee and composer Moutaz Arian. Both were released with the intention of raising awareness about the rights of refugees. The collective has since launched a petition asking the International Olympic Committee to allow refugee Olympians to carry the flag while attending Olympic events. Although the refugee team will continue to compete under the Olympic flag during Rio, Refugee Nation hopes the flag will become part of the team’s identity for future games. I am impressed by how a single fabric for the flag could help the crisis. A single idea from Yara Said may not solve the whole issue, but it is indeed improve the quality of refugees’ life. It doesn’t use any complex technologies or researches, but the flag has given the refugees an identity, which they don’t have.


Image Reference

Al Jazeera, 2015, More than 900,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year, viewed 20 August 2016, <;.

dezeen magazine, 2016, The Refugee Nation’s flag designed by Yara Said, viewed 21 August 2016, <;.


Syrian refugee artist designs lifejacket-inspired flag for refugee Olympians – Olympics 2016, 9 News, viewed 20 August 2016, <;.

POST 2: Building your expertise using scholarly secondary sources

by Jessica Avelina Horo

Assessing the economic contribution of refugees in Australia

Parsons, R. 2013, Assessing the economic contribution of refugees in Australia, Australian Policy Online. viewed 8 August 2016, <;.

Dr. Richard Parsons is an independent social research consultant based in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, also a senior associate in Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responbility. He has worked with government, business, universities, and not-for-profit organisations. Dr. Parsons studied for his PhD in Organisational Communication jointly through the University of Queensland’s Business School and Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining. He hasn’t write any related article about refugee before but he is an expert in conducting a research using qualitative method.

The purpose of this report, is to explore existing research on the economic contributions of refugees, particularly in Australia but also elsewhere. In his report he talks about if evidence suggesting that whether refugees make a substantial economic contribution or impose a net cost to Australia, what further research needs to be done to change people’s perception or to identify the barriers to refugees making a greater economic contribution.

Currently, in Australia people and medias are making assumptions if refugees are an economic burden on society, taking other Australian’s work opportunities. However, Parsons’ reasoning towards this problem is that usually the contribution that the refugees has made in Australia is usually described as intangible such as enhancing multiculturalism and cultural diversity but it makes it harder to see the value of this contribution. Dr. Richard Parsons’ reasoning in this report is very factual and well researched as he quoted a lot of datas from reliable sources to support the report. I enjoyed reading this report because rather than listening to media if refugees has done nothing good or the opposite to Australia, it is better to find a well-researched report like this to see the evidences and listed down the explanations to that issue.

Detention of Asylum Seekrs – A Questionable Policy

Reilly, A. 1995, Detention Of Asylum Seekers  A Questionable Policy, Australian Institute of Criminology. viewed 8 August 2016, <;.

Anthony J. Reilly is a solicitor based in South Brisbane, he works at South Brisbane Immigration and Community Legal Service. This paper addresses the arguments for and against detention of asylum seekers and concludes with recommendations as to how the policy may be made more humane without compromising Australia’s interests.

He first started his writings by reminding us that asylum seeker is not criminals, however the Australian government wants to do the policy of detention to those who don’t have proper documentation. The government mentioned that the policy is needed to control Australia national borders and to act as a deterrent to future undocumented arrivals. After examining the condition of the detention centre, which not much differ with prisons, Anthony took a published report from the Australian Council of Churches on the Port Hedland Centre in 1992. As such, some of the writings in this journal are a bit biased and they used outdated research from 1992. I’m afraid this paper wouldn’t be reliable and relatable to current condition enough or even too different from the current condition. By the end of this paper, Anthony concludes that detention centre should only be used under special defined circumstances such as to establish the identity of the claimant or if the claimant is found by a magistrate to be a risk to the community, the condition of detention should meet certain standards and others.

As a reader, I began to agree if detention centre wouldn’t be much needed if the refugee/asylum seeker didn’t do any wrongdoings and giving terrible condition on the detention centre would make people who already traumatised with their experience worst. Refugees has basic rights to seek protection and have freedom just like each of us. With Anthony’s background in Immigration, I believe his basis and reasoning behind the journal are good enough to see experts’ views in this field.

POST 1: Creating a data set using secondary sources

by Jessica Avelina Horo

ARTICLE 1 | Asylum seekers and refugees: what are the facts? – Parliament of Australia

The author for “Asylum seekers and refugees: what are the facts?” is Jane Phillips from Social Policy Section. I believe she’s writing for Parliament of Australia to inform and explain about misconceptions about refugees in Australia. The article was written in 2014 but edited again on 2 March 2015. The author’s position in this journal is very neutral, without taking any sides. It is an official journal for government, published for people to read freely. I figured that is why this report has to be as neutral as possible. Phillips talked about how Australian should look and acknowledge refugee and asylum seekers as. For example, she bring the topic about whether the boat arrival is going to be a threat to the national security. Unauthorised boat arrivals have always undergone comprehensive security and health checks. In the datas provided by annual publication from DIBP, we can see the top 5 countries that grants visa for final protection for the refugees. The top 5 countries are Afghanistan, Iran, Srilanka and Iraq.

Upon examining this article and dissecting them carefully, I began to understand what’s with the refugee issues in Australia and how the government explained the situations. The information  and reasoning behind this article is quite reliable – as researchers and experts within their fields have presented relatable datas from official sources.

ARTICLE 2 | Mythbusters Archives – Refugee Council of Australia

This articles were sourced from Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA); a non-profit, non-government organisation, the national umbrella body for refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them. RCOA’s own work is centred around five key areas: policy, support for refugees, support for its members, community education and administration (2013). They provided their own annual report for the organisation, explaining what are they doing, and fix a lot of misguided myth with facts. On the page that explain facts about refugees and asylum seeker, they didn’t provide the author’s name, even though they put the date and year to make it seems up to date. They do belong to a professional body though, as RCOA is a really big organisation trying to raise awareness and support refugees. However, not knowing the author’s name is a bit problematic. If the facts there are not professionally written, it could misguided a lot of readers. I do appreciate they quote some information from scholarly articles so that they are more creditable and trustworthy. I probably classified this article as quite biased, because they are an organisation supporting refugees, they won’t giving you information about what the disadvantages of having refugees. They will only provide trustworthy information from one side. I do agree with how the authors informs us about the whole situation about refugee in Australia and how they support them, however I recommend to read more scholarly resources to get a broader understanding of this issue.

ARTICLE 3 | Australia increasingly out of step on refugees. Is it time to change? – Anthony Sharwood

The writer of this article is a Walkley-award winner and author, Anthony Sharwood, who has worked in magazines, papers and digital. He wrote this for, Australia’s number one site which already reaches over 5.5m Australians delivering extensive breaking news and national interest stories. I think Anthony wrote this article in response to give a different view to the readers to refugee issues in Australia. He started first by comparing Australia to Germany in response to the refugee issues, how did Australia became totally hostile, and examining our assumptions about the issue. I found that this article gives Anthony’s view to the world, not to keep looking refugees badly, but he also based them with researches. I agree with the author as there’s no criminal wants to cross the border by using leaking boats that usually end up nowhere. Anthony’s point of view is not common in Australia, as people still blinded by the media that trying to give a bad image to refugees. In the end of the article, Anthony tried to convince us if we still reject those who seeks help from Australia is the wrong thing. These words in the article are supported by factual opinion by important people in Australia, they make the readers to reconsider their opinions again towards this issue.

ARTICLE 4 | Self-immolation: desperate protests against Australia’s detention regime – Ben Doherty

Ben Doherty, the writer of this article, shows us factual news about Australia’s detention centre in Nauru. It is in a terrible condition and the massive camps are sealed off from external scrutiny. The entire nation of Nauru is essentially off-limits to foreign journalists. But information has leaked out, detailing a litany of abuses, sexual assaults and deprivations in Australia’s island camps. The writer writes this post on 3rd of May, 2016 which means it is not long ago these accidents happened. Ben Doherty is journalist/foreign correspondent on The Guardian in Australia. He showed us what happened in those detention centre, facts that people not knowing about and the government tried to hide. This is a factual news right from Nauru’s detention centre, where self harms and suicide attempts happened daily there. I don’t think there’s a particular bias in the articles, as they only tried to provide us facts from reliable sources. They also provide images to give a bit of image what’s happening now, whom is he talking about and how’s the response from the protester’s side. This article is great as it is not just showing general facts and other people’s opinion about the issue, but it was also providing stories from the refugees itself right from Nauru’s detention centre. So that we can see clearly the brutal reality of Australia’s offshore detention regime.

ARTICLE 5 | A life in limbo: the refugees who fled torture only to end up trapped indefinitely on Manus – Ben Doherty

Another article written by Ben Doherty on 5th September, 2015 about refugee’s life in Manus Detention Centre, Papua New Guinea. Ben Doherty is a reporter for Guardian Australia. He is a former foreign correspondent for the Guardian, covering south-east Asia, and for the Sydney Morning Herald, reporting across south Asia. He is twice a Walkley award winner for his foreign reporting. Not only just factual research and opinions from the writer himself, but the article also provides Manus Island refugees telling their stories in a video. The author has written about this issue before for a couple of times, focusing on refugees condition in detention centre. I believe I can classify this article as a well-written article based on primary research. They mentioned that over a week on Manus island, Guardian Australia meets nearly a dozen refugees. Some come confidently: anxious to speak publicly about their lives, in particular, about the Groundhog Day of their detention in the “transit centre” from where there is no transit. So that these stories are based on real stories directly from the victim in this issue. The author clearly disagree with how the government treat the refugees, by putting them in detention centre until no time limit and they are just wandering and caged in an island. I also agree with how the author describing this tragedy.


Reference List:

Asylum seekers and refugees: what are the facts?, Parliament of Australia. viewed 5 August 2016, <;.

Doherty, B. 2015, A life in limbo: the refugees who fled torture only to end up trapped indefinitely on Manus, the Guardian. viewed 4 August 2016, <;.

Doherty, B. 2016, Self-immolation: desperate protests against Australia’s detention regime, the Guardian. viewed 5 August 2016, <;.

Mythbusters Archives – Refugee Council of Australia n.d., Refugee Council of Australia. viewed 5 August 2016, <;.

Sharwood, A. 2015, Is it time for Australia to change its hard-line stance on asylum seekers?, NewsComAu. viewed 3 August 2016, .