Sports help asylum seekers’ integration

November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

300 men from Afghanistan were transferred from Christmas Island off Western Australia to the Scherger RAAF Base in Cape York to relieve overcrowding. The Immigration Department last night held its third public information session in Weipa about the facility. Weipa Town Authority spokeswoman Carrie Gay says some people are against the detention centre but the community is building relationships with the detainees through sports like cricket. “There has not been any negative incidents out there – I think we have pretty low risk people where we are,” she said.
“Next Saturday the town of Weipa is having a ‘Movember’ match raising money for prostate cancer and from that match they’re going to pick a team to represent Australia to go out there next week and play against a team from Afghanistan.” She says the detention centre generated more business for hire car companies, accommodation and food outlets, as well as new job opportunities.
“Some of these will actually get employment out at the base. “Of course those who are not successful will still have that up their sleeves for when we have public functions and … people can hire them when they need them.” Ms Gay says a volleyball match was held last weekend between the community and the detainees. “I believe it was a lot of fun and I think they got a lot out of it and so did the local boys,” she said. (ABC)

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