Monday, May 30, 2005

Childhood must be spared this huge responsibility

Ian Whang, former student, man-of-the-house, interpreter, 12 years old.

That our Immigration Department does not offer an interpreter to all their clients is a matter of great concern, in fact it borders on a breach of duty-of-care.

DIMIA must adopt an opt-out-service culture.
Not this opt-in-service culture that we are witnessing that leaves 12 year old children with the responsibility to interpret for their parent documents that their tender years cannot comprehend.

I was the same age as Ian when I would help my grandmother with her shopping. I not only provided muscle...I also provided interpretation. I found that the delicatessen staff would bypass me and try and get her to agree to ham instead of bacon. They would look for any signs of agreement, after all they were running a business and time is money.
My English was not very sophisticated, it all took time and I had a child's worldview.
Pressure for profit...
I wonder how much pressure was put on the Whangs to get this DIMIA agenda driven document done?

"The Department of Immigration issued a statement denying it had deceived Ian Whang's mother. And they said at no time had she asked for an interpreter."
I believe that DIMIA does behave in this opt-in way as an overriding organisational culture and I call it abusive and I am beyond ashamed.


Image from here

2 Comments:

Blogger Susoz said...

'Beyond ashamed' just about sums up how I feel these days too.

4:14 pm  
Anonymous Brownie said...

perhaps our shame is a good thing. I used to think that this country was fairer, cleaner, better than the rest.
nu gulags, no injustice, . . . .plus, it's not WHAT you do, but how you do it. if we must have Baxter then why are the poor things spied on and bored witless, they could have passed law degrees during the time they've been there. oh I can't go on.

8:05 pm  

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