On December 12 at approximately 7am I posted a status update on Facebook – “Last night a wise man told me that we are people first… And if we are good people then we can be good Muslims, Christians, Australians, etc… But we must be good people first.”

Due to family commitments, which naturally must be my first priority, (otherwise I would be quite the hypocrite) this post will be brief. I have a cake to ice – because yes, I spent all day yesterday (and today) cooking – for my Grandmother’s Wake. Mandela is sad to have lost his Great Meema, and I have a hole inside me now, which I did not expect – though I will write more about that later – Grandma deserves more than what I am about to write. One thing I will say about her, is that she “had her own bloody think” (as she once famously said) and wasn’t one to let someone who doesn’t know her talk down to her or to make assumptions about who she was. So, as I said, this post is brief.

I don’t know that I actually “need” to apologize for a “late” response to readers’ comments – I wasn’t aware there was a protocol – I would however like to thank the many people who have read this article and offered their support and constructive feedback. Furthermore, I do not “sensor” comments on my blog, but sadly, once again mainly due to family – I am Mama Mandela after all – I am not able to dedicate as much time to writing as I would like.

I am responding to comments made on my piece: “Us vs Them – Australia vs Asylum Seekers – Slaves vs Everyone Else: Is there are difference?”


The comments made relate to my ‘failure’ to address the role that religion plays in refugee flows appear to have been written by a person who did not read the article. The article was not about why people are running, who they are running from or indeed about religion at all. Although these are all fascinating topics which I have written about in the past, and hope to write more on in the future – I know you will be looking forward to reading them. My article is simply asking Australians to consider why it is that we are able to pawn off our responsibilities (and indeed any compassion we should be having as humans – not Muslims, not Catholics, not Atheists – but PEOPLE, HUMANS) towards people who are ‘different’ to us (or rather, who we are told to believe are different to us).

I could respond to your rants about how Catholics in general and Mother Theresa specifically did evil things to the poor and suffering, however, your comments, other than being inaccurate, were completely irrelevant to my piece. Naturally religion plays a part in global movement of humans – this can be both positive and negative. Religious teaching may also play a role in forming the ideas of both the people who do wonderful things and those who do awful things…. What plays a far greater role in the movement of humans and the actions of humans, however, is HUMANS. I started this post quoting a friend – who by the way, was a Iraqi asylum seeker who, whilst critically ill, was concerned about my son’s health and well-being – he said we have to be good humans – a good human could be a good Catholic, a good Muslim or a good Atheist – who cares? We are all human first.

In terms of my own religion – which is not mentioned anywhere in this article, on my Facebook, or my blog, as I believe that it is personal (and as stated above not relevant to this article). I would like to offer those making assumptions about me – never, ever assume that you know what another person believes, and then use this as a basis to illustrate what you believe to be their failures, because it makes you look a fool when you are wrong.
Perhaps you are Tasmanian and my family name might have given you a “clue” about my religion – but honestly – you are way off the mark. So, please for the sake of everyone in the world who can read, keep your inaccurate assumptions to yourself.

Also, I am called Mama Mandela because I am the mother of a child called Mandela – Winnie Mandela was MARRIED to a man called Mandela. Not relevant really, but anyways.

Yes - HUMANS are responsible for the good and the bad we do.

Yes – HUMANS are responsible for the good and the bad we do.