Oliver Chan. Project worker and researcher in the not for profit sector and writer living in London. Contact: oliver.e.chan@gmail.com. Twitter: @finetoothcolumn




  1. suchled

    I liked your work too. But how the Hell are we ever going to get Tony Abbot and all the bastards to recognise the fact that we are a nation of refugees and who the hell turned the switch off and said, Time Gentlemen Please. I taught for ten yrs in Fitzroy and all the Vietnamese boat people changed me from being a narrow minded boy from the bush into amuch better person. I loved them all.

    • finetoothcolumn

      That’s a good question. Through most of last century or prior it was easier for people persecuted in homelands to migrate to the ‘New World’. In many ways I see it as a political convenience as well as an economic one. Part political response to backlash of loosening of racial criteria to migration laws and reflective of insecurity in employment and deregulated economic structures. As a politically complex issue, easier to reduce it to black and white and use language that harnesses our economic and cultural insecurites as the Aussie battlers versus those who are portrayed as greedy criminals. Ive also previously worked for an asylum seeker agency and having a looser connection through work now, like your teaching work you really see things stripped of politics and hear people’s stories as human. The danger of this politics is it hurts people to prolonge political careers. Im glad you enjoyed the piece!

  2. Jillian

    Thanks for your article in The NZ Herald today – Radio crosses the line with gay marriage just for LOLs. I found it very thought-provoking.

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