keywords: Shira Sebban

  • AUSTRALIA

    Stateless refugee facing indefinite detention

    • Shira Sebban
    • 22 February 2019
    5 Comments

    A Faili Kurd, who fled Iran by boat aged 16 with his mother, Shalikhan has been detained since arriving on Christmas Island in August 2013. Suffering from a developmental disorder and mental health issues exacerbated by his father's death in Iran, he has in the past attempted suicide and displayed volatile behaviour.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seeker's long wait for judgement day

    • Shira Sebban
    • 18 October 2016
    12 Comments

    Finally he is having his day in court. After 13 months languishing in limbo in immigration detention, he has been given the opportunity to be heard. Hopefully, it won't be long now before his case is determined and his torment resolved. Or so I thought. But in today's Australia, asylum seekers are not treated the same way as you or me. I meet him not as originally planned in the courtroom itself, but in the bowels of the building where he has been confined for the second day in a row to a tiny cell.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Humanity meets bureaucracy on asylum seeker Fast Track

    • Shira Sebban
    • 15 August 2016
    14 Comments

    Sobs rack his body. Under the Fast Track Assessment process being used to clear the backlog of protection claims, the nondescript official sitting opposite him, or one of his colleagues, will most likely be the one to decide his fate. 'Should you be found not to engage Australia's protection obligations, the government may share your biographical details with the authorities of your country of origin,' the official intones. 'If you give them information about me I will be killed,' comes the chilling reply.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Doing good and being happy

    • Shira Sebban
    • 19 November 2014
    4 Comments

    People of faith seem able to find an opportunity for growth, spirituality and meaning in every good deed they do, apparently experiencing true happiness along the way. By way of contrast, emotional happiness is often dismissed as selfish, elusive and unpredictable. But focusing on 'what works for us', and connection through family, friendship and community, also allows us to find purpose, and to savour many happy moments along the way.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Addicted to community

    • Shira Sebban
    • 01 July 2013
    4 Comments

    Since time immemorial, philosophers have argued that we are social animals. Yet it was not until my father's death that my longing for community became urgent. I'd once asked him if he would like to be buried in the same cemetery as his parents in Toronto, or in Melbourne where he'd lived for more than 30 years. 'We should be buried within the community where we live,' he replied.

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