We would like to wish you and your family a safe and joyful Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of a child for whom a compassionate inn-keeper found room in his stable. We also wish a joyous Christmas for the refugees and asylum seekers moved this week from the Mantra Hotel in Melbourne to the Park Hotel. There is room at the inn – and in our community – for them, and the contribution they would make if they were allowed to live amongst us. There would have been room as well for Fazel Chegeni, who was described by those who knew him as a “generous, kind and deeply humble” man. Instead the Department that you headed as Immigration Minister drove this deeply traumatised man further into mental illness and despair, as the hard-hearted policies which you enforced saw him treated more like an enemy alien than a man who “asked for nothing but peace” and a place to call home. Now, 5 years after his death, I wonder if you will read this article https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/dec/19/fazel-chegeni-wanted-nothing-but-peace-instead-he-died-alone-in-australias-island-prison
and reflect upon those people who continue to languish in detention on- and off-shore. I wonder if your devotion to a child who embodied the love of God for the most marginalised and vulnerable, will bring you to fashion policies that treat people as human beings worthy of love and inclusion.