Help us put these posters up across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane

As a refugee from former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, I am forever grateful for the treatment I received which enabled me to start a new life. I am deeply saddened by the current attitudes and government policies in regards to asylum seekers.

‘I came by boat’ is a campaign in response to the increased anti-asylum seeker feeling in the community and their dehumanisation in the mainstream media. We’d like to shed some positive light on the ‘boat people’ and try to celebrate their contribution to society.

The idea is to photograph beautiful portraits of 12-15 people who came to Australia by boat as refugees. These images would become a posters campaign to run nationwide at bus and train stations. The poster would consist of their photo, occupation, and a short quote with an indication of their reason for leaving their country of origin and/or their contribution in Australia. As part of the photoshoot, we would also shoot footage of these people telling their stories. The films would be housed online.

The campaign gives people who came by boat a voice, it allows them to tell their story, a chance to be celebrated rather than vilified. We’d
like to convey that asylum seekers are people with courage to try to change their dangerous circumstances, and if allowed into Australia, can contribute greatly to the society, culturally and economically.

We’d like to encourage an open and inclusive conversation about Australian immigration policy built on human rights and compassion.
It is important that it gets seen by as many people as possible.

– Blanka Dudas