Migrant and Refugee Week: Read poem

Read a poem about asylum seekers written by an English as a Second Language teacher at St Mary’s Primary School, Warners Bay.

Migrant and Refugee Week: Read poem

Alwyn McNamara is an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher at St Mary’s Primary School, Warners Bay. She recently felt compelled to voice her concerns about the asylum seeker debate by writing a poem. We present the poem during Migrant and Refugee Week (19 - 25 August).




You can read her submission below:


Boundless Plains

We took a boat across the sea

To claim this land for you and me

We ‘turned’ it into holy ground

And so we build a fence around

This land we ‘own’,

This holy ground.

To keep it safe from others’ harm

To keep it ours, to keep it calm.

But now they come across the sea

In their boats, to take it from me.

They’ll take our jobs, our way of life

They’ll take our homes, they’ll take our wives.

Our media tells us everyday

They are no good, send them away

Those people from across the sea,

Looking for love, humanity.


Our government says we’re a secular nation

With Christian values as our core station.

We show them as we work and play,

in fact we show them every day.

But those values are for you and me

They do not extend across the sea

To those who need our humanity.


But what would Jesus really do?

Show more compassion than me and you?

He’d take in the sick, the lost, the poor…but

Would he really then ignore

Those people from across the sea

Who need our love, humanity?

Who aren’t that different from you and me?

Who love their God, pray and give charitably?

Would he accept them into our society?

Or would he turn his back and say

“You are too different, go away!

We do not want your problems here.

We don’t want your hate and fear.

We have our own, too much you see.

And you can’t take our way of life from me.

To have you here is not the Aussie way

So find another place to stay”.


But they can’t go home,

These people who came across the sea,

They have no place to go, you see.

They have no home, their own is gone.

Taken away like the breeze takes a song.

No safe place to go to sleep at night

Because of drought, poverty and fight.

Yet here they come in boats, risking lives

With their children and their wives.

Looking for a home, you see

Filled with love and humanity.


But Australia has closed the door

And said “We don’t want anymore”.

Our politicians, our people scared

“What it is, we’ve got, we don’t want it shared”.


These people who come across the sea,

Looking for love and humanity.

Should we really send them to PNG?


Alwyn McNamara

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