Remembering the SIEV X

REFLECTION: Ballarat refugee advocate Kath Morton explores the MAPgroup's Beyond Borders exhibition at M.A.D.E. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric
REFLECTION: Ballarat refugee advocate Kath Morton explores the MAPgroup's Beyond Borders exhibition at M.A.D.E. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

The Ballarat Rural Australians for Refugees group is holding a special commemoration for the anniversary of the SIEV X disaster.

The boat sank on October 19, 2001, resulting in the tragic deaths of 146 children, 142 women and 65 men who had been hoping to join their families in Australia.

Refugee advocate Kath Morton said Ballarat RAR held commemorations annually, which had included ceremonies, silent protests and film showings. 

But this year the advocacy group could not go past MAPgroup’s exhibition Beyond Borders at Ballarat’s Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka as the perfect backdrop to the event.

The exhibition documents the asylum seeker and refugee experience in photos and personal accounts.

“I was delighted, pleased as can be when I saw the program,” Ms Morton said.

“I hope the stories will help (the attendees) improve their understanding of how these people did it and what effect it had on them and their families, because some of them came, of course, without their families.”

Guest speaker will be Ballarat artist Tamara Bekier, who will share her experiences as a World War II refugee from Russia and how it impacted her art.

“She will be talking about her life as a refugee, which is very different to the stories you will read on the wall,” Ms Morton said.

“She came to Ballarat and found herself because of the art, she was delighted Ballarat was where she landed.”

The free event will be held on Tuesday, October 17, from 2pm. Refreshments can be purchased at M.A.D.E’s Saltbush Kitchen.