Archived News Item


Sister Berneice Loch RSM, Leader of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea, has signed the Joint Letter expressing concern about the Government’s recent announcement regarding the use of the term “illegal maritime arrivals” to refer to asylum seekers who have arrived by boat.

Extract from the Joint Letter supported by 138 non-government agencies, faith-based organisations and community groups:

“While some people may believe there is political value in engaging in negative rhetoric about asylum seekers arriving without valid visas, the long-term implications of this approach must be considered very carefully. We cannot see how the Government’s use of harsher rhetoric against people seeking asylum will assist Australia to remain a cohesive and diverse nation.

We are particularly concerned to hear that the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection instructed his Department to tell staff and contractors to use the term “illegal maritime arrivals” when referring to asylum seekers who arrived by boat. It is deeply disturbing that people of good conscience should be required, for political purposes, to use such dehumanising language.”

Read: A Joint Appeal to the Prime Minister about the use of the Term ‘Illegal Maritime Arrivals’

Read: Sister Berneice’s Letter to the Prime Minister

Inform the Prime Minister of your concerns:
The Hon. Tony Abbott MP
Prime Minister
PO Box 6022
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Contact Details for Politicians: