Moving poem of young Iranian asylum seeker
I do not know what will happen after I die
I do not want to know.
But I would like the Potter to make a whistle
from the clay of my throat.
May this whistle fall into the hands
of a naughty child and the child blow
hard on the whistle continuously
with all the suppressed and silent air of his lungs
and disrupt the sleep of those
who seem dead to my crises.
In his keynote speech
at the national Catholic social services conference, Hearing Healing Hope
, held in Melbourne in February, President of the Australian Refugee Council
, Phil Glendenning, stated: "We must proclaim to that asylum seeker, and all others who seek
protection only to be met by cruelty, that we are not dead to these
cries, no matter what the limits or blindfolds of the domestic political
"Following the conference, a book has been published that builds on the reflections and challenges of Phil's presentation and other keynote speeches, along with those of workshop leaders and engaged participants at the conference. Hearing Healing Hope: The Ministry of Service in Challenging Times includes an array of inspiring, practical and useful
resources for all involved in Catholic social services, nationally.
In his chapter, titled Catholic Social Services as Agents of Hearing, Healing and Hope, Phil shares the poem penned above a young Iranian asylum seeker who spent a number of years in
mandatory detention after arriving in Australia by boat and challenges everyone "to start blowing on those clay whistles and go and change history!"
Phil's chapter, and so much more can be found in Hearing Healing Hope:
The Ministry of Service in Challenging Times, available online here.