Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 8

In 2013, myself and 5 other cadets from Catherine Booth College, along with three staff, went to Manus Island, PNG, as part of our training, to work as part of The Salvation Army’s Humanitarian team working in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Four years on, I’ve decided to share my diary from that experience. Names have been changed, and I acknowledge that the centre has changed a lot since then, but it is my hope that this will share a bit of light into how our government is treating Asylum Seekers.

13 February 2013

Last day on day shift before a day off tomorrow. It’s been a long five days, but from here, it’s two days on, one day off.

The morning again was quiet, and I helped out in the Canteen. In the afternoon, I started playing monopoly, before being pulled away to run the Internet room.

The internet room is easy, except for the 10 minutes of change over. When the times change to include a 15 minute break between sessions, that will be better.

Towards the end of the shift, I had a really good chat with one of the Tamil guys, where we discussed the differences between the Australian and Sri Lankan education systems.

I sat with P and R [Salvation Army Program directors] over diner, and got an insight into their roles. It would be interesting to be able to shadow them for a day. I think that would be quite a learning experience.

Mental state – Great. I’ve been looking forward to my day off, particularly facetiming Liesl and Annabelle. I should be nice and relaxed by the end of it.

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Author: Ben Clapton

I'm an Officer in The Salvation Army, currently appointed with my wife as Corps Officers at the Rochester Corps in country Victoria (20 minutes out of Echuca). I play violin and guitar, amongst many others, and love golf and running.

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