Bonus Episode: Sumarlinah Raden Winoto

This week our bonus episode features a familiar voice: its my co-host Linah! This was one of the first interviews I conducted while in Australia and it was the beginning conversation that got us thinking about creating this podcast together. Linah has experience as an activist and organizer, they are part of the organization Whistleblowers, Activists, and Citizens Alliance (WACA), and they also are a regular detention centre visitor.


Key numbers Australia (26 April 2018):

  • Numbers of people in held detention: 1,369 with key sites being Villawood (481), Christmas Island (304), and Yongah Hill (264) 
  • Average length of detention: 434 days, with 264 people having spent more than 730 days in detention
  • Numbers of people held in detention because they came seeking asylum by boat: 349
  • Number of children: in detention facilities: 7in Nauru Regional Processing Centre: 22, in community detention: 180, and in the community on a bridging visa E: 3,038
  • Number of people in community detention: 457, from Iran (252), stateless (52) or from Sri Lanka (42), with 299 people having spent more than 730 days in community detention
  • Key nationalities of people in detention: New Zealand (191), Vietnam (119), Sri Lanka (116), and Iran (109). (

Full Episode Transcript


Episode 6: Shen Nayaranasamy

Shen Narayanasamy is GetUp!’s Human Rights Campaign Director. She founded the No Business in Abuse project, targeting corporate involvement in offshore detention of asylum seekers, and led #LetThemStay, which prevented the deportation of hundreds of asylum seekers to Nauru.

Recently, she led GetUp’s response to the Federal Government’s attempts to change the Racial Discrimination Act, and ongoing attempts to change citizenship requirements. Shen’s background is as a human rights lawyer and advocate, working in Australia and across the Asia Pacific on issues of economic justice and land rights.


Full Episode Transcript

Episode 5: Lavanya Thavaraj

Lavanya Thavaraja is a Melbourne based refugee activist and unionist. She is a founding member of Tamil Workers Council.

*Note: Apologies on the sound quality of this recording, there is a lot of background feedback noise in this episode and it was very hard to remove. Sorry for any inconvenience to your listening pleasure.


Manus Island:

The myth of “African Gangs” in Australia:

Sunrise Encouraging Another Stolen Generation

US Current Crisis: Immigrant Family Separation

Article that draws upon the example of Australia (indigenous child removal) to talk about engative and long lasting effects of family separation/child removal

Full Episode Transcript

Episode 4: Uncle Jack Charles

Jack is an actor, musician, potter and gifted performer but in his nearly 70 years he has also been homeless, a heroin addict, a thief and a regular in Victoria’s prisons. A member of the Stolen Generation Jack has spent his life in between acting gigs, caught in the addiction/crime/doing time cycle.


The Torch Project

Ahn Do:

Parkville riots:

Full Episode Transcript

Episode 3: Aran Mylvaganam

Aran Mylvaganam is a spokesperson for the Tamil Refugee Council and an activist. He is a father, a unionist, and came to Australia as a refugee from North-East of Sri Lanka.


Full Transcript

Episode 2: Samantha Castro

Samantha is a mother of three, an organiser and activist committed to environmental, social, cultural and political transformation. She is the co-founder of WACA (Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance) and currently works as the Operations Coordinator for Friends of the Earth (FoE) in Melbourne, Australia. Sam has previously worked in International Aid and Development and has a background in media production and community radio. She has a Masters in Communication with her specialty being on the intersection of Global Media and the War on Terror.


Overview on WACA’s work on rights for refugees

James Der Derian

Open Canada: The “Virtuous” War

Iceland constitutional reform

War on Terror

Naomi Klein on Disaster Capitalism

Prison abolition

Youth incarceration


Full Episode Transcript Here

OFFICIAL RELEASE! Listen to Roj Amedi, Episode 1 Condemned to the Labyrinth

Roj Amedi is a writer and editor, and a Senior Human Rights Campaigner at GetUp.

She was a guest editor of the 38th issue of Acclaim Magazine. She has written for The Saturday Paper, SBS, Meanjin, Swampland, Vault and and is a regular columnist for Right Now. A seasoned public speaker and commentator, Roj has appeared at the Melbourne Writers Festival, the Wheeler Centre and the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law. She is also a regular host on PBS 106.7FM.

Roj is of Kurdish heritage, and sought refuge after being displaced in Iraq in the 1990s as the result of war and persecution. She is passionate about human rights, community building and social justice, and her advocacy and community work has a strong focus on platforming and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people of colour, LGBTI+ people, and refugees.


Full Podcast Transcript