Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 28

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.

5 March 2013. 2 days to home!

Day shift today. Was a good day, nothing major happened. We did have one guy try to leap through the canteen, but that dissipated pretty quickly.

I worked the canteen in the morning, and ipads in the afternoon. The changes we made to the ipads – having a charger each, and placing the table across most of the door does make it smoother, though I think I need to make sure that both staff are on the other side of the table.

For most of the afternoon, I was the effective shift leader, as neither of the actual shift leaders were down there. I don’t mind taking on the extra responsibility, but it would have been good to know why they weren’t down there, and when they would be back.

Last shift tomorrow. While I’m really looking forward to being back home, I am going to miss people here. I’ll say goodbye in SAMs during my shift, but I’ll pop into Families after dinner.

Mentally – Good. Sad to be saying goodbye, but excited to head home.

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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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