In the lead up to the Federal Election we are hearing a lot of "Stop the Boats" discussions. It is a good time to revisit this issue in our classrooms. I went past Villawood Detention Centre a couple of days ago. It looks like they are doing a lot of construction work. Many of the older accommodation and administrative buildings still remain, but the whole centre of the property is being redeveloped. Interestingly, compared to about 10 years ago there seems to be a lot less razor wire. There is still plenty of barbed wire around the perimeter but I wasn't able to see any actual razor wire. I guess that is a step in the right direction. There are a couple of different year groups, topics and even subjects where refugees can be discussed:
Year 11 Geography - Population (Population Movements) View...
Year 10 Geography - Australia and the Asia Pacific (Global Links)
Year 10 Geography - Australia and the Asia Pacific (Human Rights)
Year 8 Geography - Global Change (Human Rights)
Year 12 Legal Studies - Human Rights
Obviously you don't want to cover it too often or the students become desensitised to the issue and it loses its impact, but I think it is an important issue to address, whenever you choose to do it.
Deputy Principal at a Sydney high school. Coordinating author of the Geoactive text book series.