Subject: Treatment of Asylum Seekers and Children in Detention
I am the Senior Minister of CityLife Church, Melbourne. We are a community of over 9,000 members representing people from over 105 cultural backgrounds who make up our diverse and beautiful nation. On behalf of these members, I am writing to raise grave concerns about the current direction the government is taking in the treatment of asylum seekers, especially children in detention.
As a minister and follower of Jesus, I cannot stand idly by whilst children and adults, who have sought refuge and protection on our shores, are languishing in deplorable conditions in detention under Australia’s control. Numerous reports and investigations have clearly shown that detention centers have an incredibly negative effect on the mental and physical health of already traumatised individuals.
I am writing to ask whether you would act immediately to change the processes so that children and their families can be housed in community in Australia? I also ask that you would allow all asylum seekers to be processed onshore with minimal periods in detention.
I pray for you as the appointed Prime Minister of Australia and I appreciate that you hold a difficult position with many requests vying for your attention. However, I would consider the health and safety of any and all children, and the health and safety of all individuals seeking refuge, paramount and a priority for the government.
I look forward to your response.