Post 10: Concept on Concept


Since presenting my draft proposal and my other ideas last week to both the tutors and my colleagues, it was great to get feedback and be able to be steered into a clearer position for my proposition.


Initially, I had a handful of ideas and not much to go on from there. From speaking to my colleagues and showing them my key points, they preferred the ‘Borders’ idea in testing 18-24 year old’s knowledge of where key locations regarding refugees were. Example questions would include: Please point to where you believe Manus Island is/Nauru/etc., and see how educated our youth are by going past the surface of the issue. I recorded their feedback in dot points:

  • Further draw on the ‘Border’ idea on what is open, and what is not
  • Look up the Passport Index for design example where it shows you what countries you can visit and receive a visa, from high to low. Syria, Iran and Afghanistan have the fewest opportunities to travel.
  • Research on who is permitted through the borders of Australia
  • Manus Island and Nauru plot example
  • Point out how little we understand on this topic
  • See how terminology usage has changed and developed over time. E.g. ‘migrants’, ‘asylum seekers’ and ‘refugees’

Their feedback was great and although I loved their preference to the Borders concept, I felt like it could be pushed further also. I also took the chance to go back and read through all my blog posts, pick out key points and reoccurring themes to reflect on what I gravitated to with the issue of Refugees and Asylum Seekers. This included themes associated with education, children and stereotyping. From there I did another brainstorm, this time keeping the 18-24 audience in mind, to see if I could create anything further along with the ‘Borders’ idea.


I came up with a new concept that I will propose in class this week. It relates quite well with my previous blog posts and draws on my perspectives and passions for this issue. I’ve named it ‘Cut & Paste’ which will look into Service Design Practice, and focus on informing  the youth and reminding them to choose their news sources wisely as their education is a choice from the age of 18 – whether or not they decide to enrol in tertiary study. The strong bias held within news media in Australia and social media news sites can seem to steer from the real truth of refugees and Australia. From this project, the ideal outcome would be to highlight how news media sites have control over perceptions of a range of topics – along with refugees. There seems to be some sort of gap between the public’s perception of refugees; with both political parties, and the Australian public, polarising the issue.

Design action would start by surveying the 18-24 audience and asking what their main source of everyday news is, from a range of newspapers to social media sources. From there, I will analyse the most frequently visited websites and analyse their perceptions of refugees from previous articles, as well as pull keywords and recurring themes from the stories to construct a refugee persona.

I’m not too sure if this idea is too complicated as the ‘Borders’ idea sounds a lot more simpler and easier to survey, but I will present both to the class and see what they think. Reflecting from this and my previous posts, it has been really insightful being able to research this topic for a full semester and drawing your own perspectives and interests into this project.


POST 9: Visual documentation of the brainstorming session



The group session in Week 6 was very helpful in being able to fine tune and further narrow down such a large global issue. Each of us took turns in proposing our draft ideas and we all gave each other feedback and critique, as well as keywords which could possibly break down the topics even further. Our strengths included the abilities in dissecting a global issue and picking out important key issues, as well as since we have been exposed to this topic and avidly researching this semester so far – we are able to deduce the mass amounts of information available and hone in on ones that more suitable and important.

In terms of weaknesses, as the issue of Refugees and Asylum Seekers is of a global scale, it is difficult to cover all points both on a national and international degree as they do contrast and conflict each other at times. Also, during our exercise, there were many keywords and points associated with each proposition. However, these in context appeared very broad (e.g. Human Rights, Corporations, Refugees, etc.), and needed further iterations in order to be able to breakdown the point more specifically. Further weakness’ included difficulty in order to approach the issue in a different perspective as it has such a chronological history and is still being recorded today in our society. Also, we found that as university students at UTS, there was some bias in having more of a left-wing approach due to our exposure and environment.

POST 8: Brainstorming possibilities for a design response


During our tutorials in Week 6, we worked together as a group to dissect topics of interest within the Refugee & Asylum Seeker issue in order to further narrow down our design response possibilities.


The brainstorm in class was a good start, and it allowed me to dissect this huge global issue that has many facets to consider. My five findings, which are possibilities to further explore in Task 3, include the following:


  • The overburdening effect of Refugees and Asylum Seekers on developing countries. This particular topic resonated with me as Australia’s push towards countries such as Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Indonesia ignores the more ethical decision, which is to allow them to assimilate into countries such as New Zealand, where the country itself has adequate grounds and means for refugees to rebuild their lives with a positive outcome. Due to previous and current examples of Australia’s treatment of Refugees and Asylum Seekers on Nauru, Manus Island and Papua New Guinea, it is clear that their current actions aren’t humane, as various media sources have revealed the mistreatment and abuse given to the refugees.
  • Borders. This was a further iteration from dissecting the first point which focuses on the borders between citizens and asylum seekers. Asking where they are, what does the borders look like, how these fences create a divide both physically and emotionally. Gemma helped me pull this keyword and highlight the potential of this word, as well as ‘gap’.
  • Refugee and Asylum Seeker Terminology. Since this issue has been covered highly in the media and been a topic of interest recently – it would be really insightful to see how terminology regarding refugees and asylum seekers have changed in regards to frequency of use, negative or positive stigma and how the media utilises keywords to project their opinions to it’s readers.
  • Perception of ‘Us versus Them’. From my research so far in this subject, there has been a prominent reoccurrence with divided teams on the subject. Refugees versus Citizens, Media versus Residents, Politics versus Refugees. There is a possibility to create a probe and ask the audience what their perceptions and views are on Refugees and Asylum Seekers in contrast to what the media has dictated so far.
  • What constitutes one to become an activist? This last topic is a little vague, but could be a survey on analysing what it takes for people to stand up and push for their views. I could analyse what people are passionate about, what they hate, don’t care for or just are amicable with. This could further understand why people select issues and support them in comparison to others – no matter what the issue is and it’s urgency.

My draft proposal would be to analyse 18-24 year olds in Sydney and test their knowledge on locating where the refugee borders are on a map, including Australia’s policy as well as that of Europe and the rest of the world. It could be really interesting to be able to see how educated we as first world citizens are, as well as draw attention to the global crisis and display the significant gap between refugees in need of help versus people who are comfortable in their lifestyle.

Post 7: Image Mapping


I found this task of collaborative issue mapping exercise very clear and informative. Being able to discuss and brainstorm elements such as stakeholders, polemics and emotions led me to able to breakdown the overwhelming list of factors that affect the global issue of Refugee and Asylum Seekers since it has become such a heavy issue in today’s society.

This exercise informed my approach to issues regarding to Refugees and Asylum seekers by being able to map out a range of perspectives and also understand the emotive aspect behind their judgements. It also allowed us to explore the extremes of each argument and further analyse this in the polemic exercise and see how one would view, react to, and approach the emerging issue.



In regards to possible actions designed to create change nationally, I personally think that there should be some sort of exposure to a range of perspectives within mainstream media. I believe we should be able to inform the Australian public, using facts and opinions from both sides and allowing them to decide, in contrast to the major bias apparent in media sources, politics and education. Education has become a key recurring factor in regards the public forming opinions in regards to refugees. Another possible action would be to break down borders in all terminologies, both physical and mental, as this has had such an obvious effect on the refugee crisis – spanning from emotional distress at the detention camps to political outrage on debate shows such as ABC’s Q&A. In order to be able to resolve this ever growing issue, we the people, need to be able to stay informed, challenge the dominant ideas and provide support to those in need.

Post 6: Analysing opinions on Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Scraping the web for data allows one to gain an insight into what a broad, but generalised swathe of what the online community thinks. This was particularly relevant in my interest with Refugee and Asylum Seeker issues as I find the differing perspectives and opinions very insightful.


With the Advanced Search on Twitter, I started quite broadly. I used simple hashtags and key terms such as ‘refugee’, ‘asylum’ and ‘migrant’ to try and gauge the general, majority opinion that Twitter users were broadcasting, both in Australia and overseas. Along with this, by doing the Twitter scrape via Google documents, I was able to further filter these keywords and build upon my initial findings.


The majority of tweets which were picked up revolved around Australia’s treatment of refugees since the issue of detention centres and border control systems are so highly criticised in recent times, as well as these issues being prominent in the media. In addition to this, Australia was contrasted with other countries in regard to discussing how these countries approach the issue of refugees, with users highlighting the differences in policy between these nations.


The five key points that I took from this exercise were:


  1. Most tweets from within Australia seemed quite left-wing and supportive of refuges, with more popular tweets being created by the news media and NGO’s such as the Refugee Council of Australia and the ABC. There was a lot of critique about the mistreatment of asylum seekers and support in closing down the detention centres.
  2. Children have become the unofficial face of the issues. Tweets which linked to articles about specific events, rather than general trends, usually contained imagery of children. These tweets linked the effect the current treatment of refugees and asylum seekers to the innocence of youth.
  3. No single hashtag was predominant. In my previous research so far, the only major hashtag that could be relevant to refugees would be the negative #stoptheboats or also general tweets in regards to #humanrights, #manus and #nauru, as well as #qanda which continuously resurfaces the debate with refugees consistently.
  4. There was much more news media coverage as compared to individual tweets, though this is most likely a result of the algorithm favouring tweets which received a high number of likes or retweets, both of which a media page is more likely to receive.
  5. Contrast between our society versus the refugee.


Below are a few screenshots of my process:


Post 5: Approaches to Design for Change

In our tutorials, we were given the chance to interview people working on contrasting subjects to our own, which in turn, allowed us to receive greater insight into an outsider’s opinion of our emerging issue. For my research in particular, I’m leaning towards focusing on the varying perspectives and perceptions of Refugees & Asylum seekers from a variety of people. As well as how a myriad of factors such as education, location, political stance can influence their opinion – whether informed or not.

This exercise particularly linked in my scholarly article for Post 2 – ‘It Would be Okay If They Came through the Proper Channels’: Community Perceptions and Attitudes toward Asylum Seekers in Australia’. With my questions, I tried to keep them quite open and unbiased by simply asking Annabel what she knew about the issues regarding Asylum Seekers and Refugees as a whole.



Q: Are you aware of Asylum Seeker or Refugee issues at all? What do you know so far?

A: I’m definitely aware of it, I think it’s pretty hard to escape it since it’s so prominent in the media at the moment. I don’t know that much about the specifics like policies that are in place…Other than that Australia doesn’t take on nearly as many asylum seekers and refugees as it should, considering how affluent our future is. I just know we’re not doing enough, or that much.

From her answer, I could deduce the great amount of exposure she’s received on this issue, as it is so ubiquitous on both print and online media. But it was interesting to see how, with only a broad and general overview of the topic, she has already formed a definitive opinion on the issue. This could suggest that her opinions are based more on personal feelings than facts, which is a common occurrence in relation to this issue, on both sides of the argument.



Q: You touched on the Australian side of the issue, do you know about what’s happening overseas as well?

A: Yeah, I’ve kind of gotten into podcasts called ‘This American Life’ and I recently listened to a couple of last week from early this week about a couple of refugee camps in Greece and it was Iranian and Syrian refugees. So that was very specific to what the camps were like there and it was I assume, a general overview of the lack of information they have access to and the little bits of hope they grab onto and think they might be able to leave sooner. But as a whole, it’s a very intense subject matter and I personally feel like I can’t quite keep up with it all.

The issue of Refugee and Asylum Seekers extends beyond just the current crisis we have in Australia, indeed it is a global issue. It seems like one has to be able to actively look and dig deep in order to know the specifics about the issue. Popular media, such as Podcasts, have such a huge reach in being able to educate and inform their audiences. Without this, she wouldn’t have known about the Refugee crisis in Italy or be informed into what was going on. Also, since this issue has become so widespread, it is definitely not surprising that Annabel finds it overwhelming as there are so many aspects to consider.



Q: Do you have any influences on where you get your information from about Refugees and Asylum seekers? Do you think your background, upbringing or maybe particular media sources you watch affect your opinion?

A: I think our generation, or at least my group of friends, are pretty motivated to be morally correct. So I feel very passionate that we should be letting more asylum seekers and refugees into Australia, but I guess that is totally influenced by the media and politics. It’s what we should be doing, but I wouldn’t say my upbringing other than school or education…I wouldn’t say my family has particularly influenced that way of thinking.

Annabel acknowledges that the media and politics do have a say in her current stance, but also points out that she has a group of friends where they share the same aspirations regarding Refugees and Asylum Seeker.



Q: Do your friends side with the point that they (Refugees & Asylum Seekers) should be welcomed?

A: Definitely. I feel like UTS being an inner city university kind of changes our perspective on it, and we’re engaging in media more regularly than someone from a rural area.

Annabel makes a very insightful response to how locality does have an effect on your opinion due to resources, culture, positioning and lifestyle from the city to more rural areas.



Q: How do you think we can change the issue? Do you think it could build from a smaller scale for example, or should it be tackled as a global issue?

A: If I was told ‘How should we solve this?’, on a local and community level, I wouldn’t know other than suggesting more educational tools – so that there is a greater awareness of the situation both globally and nationally. But then again, I feel like the issue is so big at the moment that perhaps a global strategy is more necessary. I feel like there should be one governing body that is allowed to make decisions on behalf of some countries, like ‘you have to take X amount of people, asylum seekers & refugees, to your country’

I asked her this question, where in hindsight I should have been more specific in a way, as it is such a loaded question. But she has a very interesting answer for responding to the issue at hand. Education and awareness is one key element in allowing people to truly understand what is going on throughout all the filters, events and influences one can find in varying sources.


Reflecting back on the interview, it was great to be able to chart a university student’s opinions on the Refugee and Asylum Seeker issue. I would like to be able to do some further interviews with people of varying backgrounds, careers and ages to be able to chart their differences and understandings of Refugees and Asylum Seekers. It would also be a great opportunity to be able to see the issue from the perspectives of current Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Australia, and how this is compared to the other interviewees. Bias is also a key factor that I would like to further work on, as my left-wing perspective is quite evident and may skew some results. However, this task enabled me to further engage and explore what I would like to focus on in regarding the treatment of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.


For the probe, I asked her to save the sources she came across whenever it was linked to the issue of Refugees and Asylum and analyse the tone and information being communicated. By being aware in collecting her information, she was able to delve further into the issue and educate herself in varying media sources. The most useful platform in coming across issues regarding Refugees and Asylum Seekers was her Facebook. Some friends in her circle were actively invested in sharing information related to Refugees. Another way she was informed was by various forms of media she came across during her week such as her Facebook newsfeed in the morning or the radio in the drive home.

After this exercise she felt much more informed and more comfortable in discussing with others the range of positions and perspectives that are currently being debated in Australia. The feeling of being more educated in the subject allows her to present her own opinions and be more interactive with the matter itself. It also allowed her to be more aware and analytical with the information she came across, in terms of source, political stance and opinions.


  1. List one source you came across
  2. Where did you find them from?
  3. What was the overall tone/influence from the media source?
  4. How do you feel after reading it?



Monday / 22 August 2016

  1. Q&A on ABC
  2. Friend recommended me to watch it. Also they were planning to discuss about Nauru on the show.
  3. Defensive answers from the panellists, some acts of blame, circling around opinions and what they should do as political leaders
  4. Disappointed, confused and not feeling fully informed in the situation with such different opinions.


Tuesday / 23 August 2016


Wednesday / 24 August 2016

  1. Opinion piece by Simon Longstaff on ABC News
  2. Front page of ABC news website
  3. Ethical, unbiased opinion piece
  4. Informed and had a well understanding of his points. He was able to communicate really effectively to both sides of the discussion around Refugees.

Thursday / 25 August 2016

  1. Hack on Triple J radio
  2. Came on in the car driving home from uni
  3. Factual with pause for opinions, more left-wing
  4. Supportive. I feel like my left-wing stance has heightened after doing this probe.

Friday / 26 August 2016

  1. ‘Hungary to build a bigger fence’ article on Daily Mail
  2. Scrolling through news sites for more information on Refugees
  3. Informative and also slightly left-wing stance
  4. I feel like the action is unnecessary, but also a good insight into how other countries are facing the refugee crisis.

Week 3: Mindmap & Image Archive

3A: Mindmapping


With the current issue regarding Refugees and Asylum Seekers being so large, our group created mindmaps which broke down the hierarchy and highlighted the links between individuals and stakeholders. First focusing on the issue in a nationalistic perspectives such as government, border control and detention centres, we gradually escalated to more global aspects including embassies, terrorism and politics.


3B: Image Archive

Refugees arriving at Lesbos (Masiello 2015)

Image 1: This image depicts refugees arriving at the Greek island of Lesbos, therefore it shows the end of a long journey for these people. It is interesting that the image is proportioned almost identically to Michelangelo’s depiction of God in The Creation of Adam. It is unknown whether the people helping them are Greek, but there is a clear prioritisation of the children. It is also interesting that safety gear is not ubiquitous, and that overcrowding is commonplace in these circumstances; these factors along with the fact they are not docked at a port all suggest desperation.


1.Angelos Tzortzinis
Refugees checking their phones at Kos (Tzortzinis 2015)

Image 2: This image shows refugees landing at the island of Kos in Greece. It depicts refugees checking their mobile phones soon after arriving. This image shows refugees on their mobile phones soon after landing at the island of Kos in Greece. It is an interesting juxtaposition, as refugees are usually depicted as being low tech, or economically disadvantaged. It is interesting that using their phones is their first thought after arriving is to use their phones, though we do not know if they are contacting other family members or doing something else.


2. Christopher Furlong.jpg
A Hungarian police officer blocking refugees (Furlong 2015)

Image 3: This image depicts a Hungarian police officer blocking refugees as they are attempting to board an already full bus. This image captures the desperation on both both sides of this issue, with the refugees desperate to board, and the police officer struggling to control the crowd. It highlights the stresses on both sides, and is especially powerful because we do not see the faces of the refugees left behind.


A migrant carrying a child falls after tripping on TV camerawoman Laszlo while trying to escape from a collection point in Roszke village, Hungary
A refugee with his child falls after being tripped by camerawoman Petra Laszlo (Djurica 2015)

Image 4: This image shows the aftermath of a refugee being kicked by a Hungarian camerawoman while attempting attempting to evade custody in Hungary. It is a highly symbolic image in a multitude of ways. It shows the local resident, the camerawoman, as the object of power, standing over the man as he attempts to protect his child from the fall. It is also highly reminiscent of how the media has a lot of power over the depiction and general perception of these refugees. We do not know what happened to the man or his child in the aftermath of this image.


4. Jean-pierre Amet
Refugees huddle in silver thermal blankets on the seawall in Ventimiglia, Italy (Gaillard 2015)

Image 5: This image depicts refugees wrapped in silver thermal blankets on the seawall in the town of Ventimiglia in Italy as they have been refused entry into France. It is quite captivating image, with the harsh contrast of the silver blankets along rocky terrain. In a way, the blankets distort the human image of the refugees, similar to how some media and politicians create an impression of ‘us and them’.


5. sub-buzz-14130-1470509879-7
The Refugee Olympic Team enters the stadium at the Rio Olympic Games Opening Ceremony (Neal 2016)

Image 6: This image was taken at the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games. The procession of the refugee team is the first to ever occur in history, which reinforces how large the issue is in today’s society. This sheds a positive light on the refugees due to the support of the other athletes and the crowd. Their choice to use the Olympic flag as their own is highly symbolic of their desire to be accepted in society.


6. sub-buzz-10294-1466559628-13.jpg
The ‘I Came by Boat’ campaign challenges the misperceptions of refugees in Australia (Dundas 2015)

Image 7: This image is part of a campaign by the ‘I am a Boat Person’ charity. The aim of this campaign is to challenge the mainstream perceptions of refugees and to demonstrate their capabilities which are unfortunately often overlooked. That she is wearing a hijab also further confronts the misguided perceptions that many Australians have, especially in post 9/11 era. By showing that she is a high achieving individual she disproves many of the myths associated with refugees such as the myth of high unemployment and welfare dependency.


7. canada-refugees-facebookJumbo-v2.jpg
Justin Trudeau welcoming Syrian refugees into Canada (Reuters 2015)

Image 8: This image shows the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau welcoming the first Syrian refugees arriving by plane into the country. This image contrasts greatly with the depiction of the Hungarian police officer in the third image, and highlights Canada’s unique approach. This image is an example of what countries could do if our perceptions were changed.


8. Guardian.jpg
Children stand up for their rights at the Nauru detention centre (The Guardian 2016)

Image 9: This image displays child protest at Nauru detention centre. It is quite a strong image, and the fact that the children are not facing the camera is highly symbolic of the fact that they don’t have a voice in the massive debate raging in Australian society revolving around them. It is a statement asking for empathy on refugees in shining a spotlight on the children stuck in this highly contested issue. This image, alongside the release of the Nauru files expose the mistreatment of refugees and how the Australian system has failed them.


10. Th20-City_Syria-Ch_2979003f
Controversial cartoon presenting the lack of positive outcomes for Syrian children (Albaih 2016)

Image 10: This final image is an illustration done by Sudanese artist Khalid Albaih, who controversially outline the two options Syrian children have in the current crisis. Omran Daqneesh and Alan Kurdi have become well-known faces of the refugee issue because the different ways they have responded to the current crisis. It tackles the refugee issue as a whole and identifies what little choice refugees have in either staying in a war torn country or attempting to flee for a better life.




Albaih, K. 2016, ‘’Choices of Syrian children’ cartoon: Khalid Albaih’s illustration shows heartbreaking reality of Syrian crisis’, Sydney Morning Herald, viewed 19 August 2016, <>


Djurica, M. 2015, ‘Photographers reveal the stories behind 2015’s most powerful pictures’, Business Insider, viewed 18 August 2016, <>


Dundas, B. 2015, ‘I Came by Boat Campaign Launched in Australia’, Daily Mail Australia, viewed 18 August 2016, <>

Furlong, C. 2015, ‘World Refugee Day 2016: 60 Powerful photos of desperate families trying to reach safety’, International Business Times, viewed 18 August 2016, <>

Gaillard, E. 2015, ‘Mediterranean migrants: Refugees sleep rough on Italian Riviera after being refused entry into France’, International Business Times, viewed 18 August 2016, <>

Masiello, A. 2015,  ‘Europe’s migration crisis in 25 photos’, CNN, viewed 18 August 2016, <>


Neal, L. 2016, ‘A Syrian Refugee Who Swam For Her Life Just Won Her Olympics Heat’, Buzzfeed, viewed 18 August 2016, <>


Reuters 2015, ‘Justin Trudeau wins hearts (again) by welcoming Syrian Refugees at the airport’, Dawn, viewed 18 August 2016, <‘>


The Guardian 2016, ‘UN, human rights groups and refugee groups demand solutions following Nauru data leak – as it happened’, The Guardian, viewed 18 August 2016, <>


Tzortzinis, A. 2015, ‘Chaos in Kos: Greek Isle Overwhelmed by Migrant Influx’, NBC News, viewed 18 August 2016, <>


Post 4: Dein Deustchland

The issue regarding the treatment of Refugees and Asylum Seekers is one of huge importance in today’s society. It has grown into one of today’s leading global issues due to numerous factors of misperceptions, terrorism and border reinforcements – leading many into displacement. In Australia, our strategies include turning the boats around, keeping people in badly maintained detention centres offshore and sharing the ideals where refugees will corrupt the ‘Australian way of life’. This issue is not affecting Australia alone, Europe has had it’s own crisis alongside many other countries. “In 2015, the UNHCR revealed that the number of global forced displaced people topped nearly 60 million for the first time since World War II. Tens of thousands of newly arrived  refugees wandering across Europe, moving from one border opening to the next, triggered numerous volunteer efforts and citizen initiatives aimed at providing immediate relief.” (What Design Can Do 2016)


What Design Can Do is a global platform intended to showcase design with its primary goal being to challenge designers to contribute to their societal issues affecting the world today. Initiated in 2011, they hold conferences around the world, addressing a range of emerging issues that affect us as a global society and provoking solution to change. “To demonstrate the power of design; to show that it can do more than make things pretty. To…take responsibility and consider the beneficial contribution that designers can make to society.” (What Design Can Do 2016) In addition to this meeting, they create publications, manage a large social media and online presence and also hold an annual competition worldwide for designers called the ‘What Design Can Do Challenge’.


Dein Deutschland gives both a voice and perspective into both the lives of Refugees and residents (What Design Can Do 2016)

For this year’s challenge, the UNHCR and Ikea Foundation came together to challenge the emerging issues regarding refugees, deeming it “too big for governments and NGO’s alone” (What Design Can Do 2016). 631 entries were submitted from all around the world, with just 25 shortlisted. One of the entries was Designing Exit’s ‘Dein Deutschland’, a mobile app created by the German agency which aims to bridge the social gap between communities and refugees in a way that encourages both sides to look at the issue in a fresh perspective, and with the broad goal of bringing these two communities together. The app allows the German people and refugees to put down their opinions on a range of emerging issues. The app then tells the person how their issue relates to the other side, i.e. if a refugee puts an opinion down it tells them what Germans think of the issue and vice versa.

The app will help break down prejudices and allow both teams to be informed and less fearful of the unknown (What Design Can Do 2016)

This is an interesting idea for a number of reasons. Firstly, it allows refugees, who may have difficulty with language, to understand the general opinions of the German public, how they feel about certain issues, and what is important to them. The much more interesting side of the equation however, is that it lets the German people to see exactly what kind of issues are affecting the refugees. This is important because the refugees are being sold as a single narrative in the media, i.e. they are shown as a single ‘unit’, devoid of differences in opinion. This app will be able to show the German people that the opinions and goals of refugees are just as different as any other segment of the population, and will allow the German people to humanise them, and not see them as a single ‘unit’.

Easy to use interface and simple graphics allow information to be understood straight away (What Design Can Do 2016)

The app itself is designed in a very efficient and simple to use manner, utilises a multitude of languages and is an easily accessible answer to the social issue since mobile phones are integral to both refugees and today’s society. With an easy interface, users can input their opinions and see first hand what the general consensus is. This allows a direct source of communication to each other, breaking down barriers that are enforced by the media, politics and society. By collecting data with these answers, this could lead to a further understanding of what refugees and residents perspectives are and could help in resolving the global issue at hand with the many millions who are displaced outside of Germany. Dein Deutschland aims to be able to help refugees assisting them on the road to integration or citizenship. “Opportunities include official citizenship test preparation materials, video interviews by and with refugees, location-based services and help offerings etc.” (Beuchert 2016)

The app will be able to develop useful data on the opinions of both refugees and residents, allowing to accomodate them further in this global crisis (What Design Can Do 2016)

By utilising an environment where refugees and residents live together, this has great potential for integration into Australian society to allow people’s perspectives to not be influenced by outside forces. “The more we learn about each other, the less prejudice we have” (Designing Exits 2016)



Beuchert, J. 2016, Refugee Challenge: Dein Deustchland, What Design Can Do, viewed 21 August 2016, <;


Designing Exits 2016, #RefugeeChallenge – Dein Deutschland, videorecording, Youtube, viewed 20 August 2016, <;


What Design Can Do 2016, About, viewed 21 August 2016, <>


What Design Can Do 2016, Challenge Background, viewed 21 August 2016 <>


What Design Can Do 2016, Shared Views Spur Integration – Dein Deutschland, What Design Can Do, viewed 21 August 2016, <>


Post 2: Scholarly Secondary Sources

Dealing with asylum seekers has been a long and challenging process in Australia’s history. In both scholarly articles, the authors confirm the idea that perceptions of refugees and asylum seekers have been constructed artificially by the media in Australia, as a response to perceived threats as well as by politicians who use such threats for their own political advantage.


In the editorial, ‘Australia and Asylum Seekers’, Jane McAdams, Scientia Professor at UNSW attempts to raise awareness to Australia’s history of bad treatment and perspective of refugees and asylum seekers. As an expert in this field, McAdams has written extensively on the issue of immigration policy and how asylum seekers have become a political pawn for the major parties. In contrast, the article ‘It Would be Okay If They Came through the Proper Channels’: Community Perceptions and Attitudes toward Asylum Seekers in Australia’, focuses on a national survey conducted by Monash University, which highlights the differing opinions of the Australian individual as well as how communities differ by a range of factors including state, age and education.


Both articles encourage the need for change in Australia’s perception of refugees. In particular McAdams argues the ongoing disadvantages and discrimination both potential and current refugees will face in aspects such as government support, psychological impacts and community perceptions. Monash University’s study upholds this view, where the Australian people presented opinions of about refugees/asylum seekers that were misinformed by the media or simply misconstrued by the political parties.


In my opinion, I believe that McAdams and Monash University hold strong beliefs. I believe that the misdirected fear and hate for asylum seekers and refugees has mostly derived from the media and major political parties who place bias and fear into the community. I think change needs to happen, where a more welcoming Australian community needs to be built upon further as a multicultural society and allow the refugees the opportunity to reclaim their lives.


McAdam, J. 2013, ‘Australia and Asylum Seekers**’, International Journal Of Refugee Law, 25, 3, pp. 435-448, Political Science Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 2nd August 2016.

McKay, F., Thomas, S., & Kneebone, S. 2012, ”It Would be Okay If They Came through the Proper Channels’: Community Perceptions and Attitudes toward Asylum Seekers in Australia’, Journal Of Refugee Studies, 25, 1, pp. 113-133, SocINDEX with Full Text, EBSCOhost, viewed 2nd August 2016.

Post 1: Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Article 1: ‘What’s next for asylum seekers under a re-elected Turnbull government?’

This article was written by Maria O’Sullivan, who is the senior lecturer for the Faculty of Law at Monash University. She depicts the possibilities that can occur based on the Turnbull government’s actions in her article which was published in The Conversation.

The Conversation, as a media platform, prides itself on academic referencing, which can be seen throughout the article, as all factual claims by the author are referenced, and as such, their accuracy cannot be disputed. However, the article remains an opinion piece, with the author using well-researched facts in an attempt to suggest views that she is in line with. This can be seen due to her research and publication history, where she has published four articles slamming Australia’s treatment of refugees in the last three years, though this is common in academic circles.

This is further evident when you consider that the author is part of the Castan Centre for Human Rights, a research body of Monash University which publishes many pieces similar to this. On the bright side, her qualifications and immersion with these ideas make her highly qualified to write about these issues and, as stated above, while her articles all lean in the same direction, their factuality is beyond dispute. Personally, I agree with O’Sullivan’s views in addressing the global refugee situation as well as resolving the issue with sustainable solutions such as Canada’s response in private sponsorship.

Article 2: ‘Meet the asylum seekers who fled a bloody conflict and started a whole new life in Australia’

This article is written by International Affairs Reporter Allan Clarke, an Aboriginal Australian, who specialises in Indigenous Issues for Buzzfeed News Australia. In this editorial, he showcases the stories of multiple refugees who have assimilated into Australian society.

Buzzfeed is generally considered to be a click-bait website however this article is one of substance. This can be seen because it is unusually long and text-based for a Buzzfeed article, as well as the fact that he has interviewed many different refugees, along with taking a photographer. This process is lengthy and the time spent on it is evident in the article.

Clarke has written extensively about these issues previously, as it is part of his domain as Indigenous Affairs Reporter. His previous roles were at SBS Current Affairs and ABC News. He is active on social media, as well as his regular contributions to Buzzfeed. However, the article in question is not cited, though not many factual claims are made, so it may not be necessary in this case. It is hard to determine whether the article itself is incorrect, because it is mostly a account in the first person, so there is nothing to verify it with. I personally agree with Clarke’s article, which advocates for allowing assimilated refugees a platform to change the negative perceptions of asylum seekers, as well as showcasing the possibilities inherent in welcoming them into Australian society.

Article 3: ‘Manus Island detention: Asylum seekers offered ‘huge amounts of money’ to go home, activist says’

This article was written by journalist Matt Watson for ABC News. His article reports claims made by the Refugee Action Coalition Committee where the federal government is coercing refugees on Manus Island to return back to their home country.

ABC News is generally considered to be a neutral news source, and in this investigative article, it is apparent that there is some truth to this piece where Watson considers both sides of the issue by questioning spokespersons from both the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the RAC Committee. He is able to give both sides an opportunity to state their opinions and allow the reader to form their own opinion.

Whilst Watson has over ten years experience working for ABC News, he doesn’t have a specialisation in Refugees and Asylum Seeker issues, and rather covers a range of topics from Environmental Issues to Sports. However, it is evident that he is linking previous ABC content as he includes references to it in the article. In my opinion, I think the government’s offer is a waste of time and does not resolve the issue at hand on Manus Island. Instead, I think the government should re-evaluate their procedures with asylum seekers and seek to find a more long-term and humane resolution.

Article 4: You are terrorists, you make bombs’: racist taunts help keep Nauru refugee kids out of school’

This article is written by Nicole Hasham, who is the Federal Politics reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. In this piece, Hasham reports the bullying and harassment of refugee children by locals on Nauru island as a result of a schooling program by Save the Children Australia being shut down by the federal government.

The Sydney Morning Herald is generally considered to be a left-wing publication, and this can be seen by the article’s focus on the abuse that the detainees received. Hasham has a wide range of experience in the journalism industry, as she has written extensively for both News Limited and Fairfax Media. Her articles mainly focus on federal government issues due to her current position at Fairfax Media, so she doesn’t specialise in this issue.

However, because of her experience in the industry, it can be relied on that she is reporting accurately. I believe she effectively communicates the refugee crisis and the reported discrimination against refugees by local children. This also highlights how out of hand the refugee issue has gotten, to the extent where children begin to discriminate against each other.

Article 5: Meeting the people from around the world protesting our treatment of refugees’

This article is written by Shami Sivasubramanian, who is the Social News Reporter at SBS Australia. This article highlights the work of the International Alliance Against Mandatory Detention, a network of activists around the world protesting against Australia’s current system of detention. She can be considered trustworthy because of the reputation of SBS and the fact that she is the Social News Reporter.

Sivasubramanian has had a vast array of experience inside, and without, the journalism industry, including having worked in India and at the Buzzfeed News offices. She probably wrote this article in line with SBS’s view that global news is just as important as local. SBS’s has a reputation of trying to keep multiple viewpoints in their articles, where in contrast this article is one-sided in favour for compassion of refugees. Whilst factually accurate, Sivasubramanian tends to sway to a more left-wing approach and this is evident also in her previous works for Vertigo magazine and The Gruen Transfer – where she focuses on the issue of refugees.

In my opinion, the International Alliance Against Mandatory Detention is a great initiative to highlight how the current refugee system falls short of it’s goals.

After undertaking this secondary research, three possibilities that I may undertake further investigations include the differing perceptions between refugees and the local community, national refugee policies and effective particular countries are in in comparison to others as well as further research into how current refugees are received whilst integrating into Australian society.


Clarke, A. 2015, ‘Meet the asylum seekers who fled a bloody conflict and started a whole new life in Australia’, Buzzfeed, 24 November, viewed 28th July 2016, <;

Hasham, N. 2016, ‘You are terrorists, you make bombs’: racist taunts help keep Nauru refugee kids out of school’, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 July, viewed 1st August 2016, <;

O’Sullivan, M. 2016, ‘What’s next for asylum seekers under a re-elected Turnbull government?’, The Conversation, 18 July, viewed 28th July 2016, <;

Sivasubramanian, S. 2016, ‘Meeting the people from around the world protesting our treatment of refugees’, SBS, 27 June, viewed 28th July 2016, <;

Watson, M. 2016, ‘Manus Island detention: Asylum seekers offered ‘huge amounts of money’ to go home, activist says’, ABC News, 30 July, viewed 1st August 2016, <;