Gary Stephen Anderson – also known as Angry – was the front man of 1970s rock band, Rose Tattoo. In 1993, he also became a Member of the Order of Australia for his work with disadvantaged youth. Late last year, Angry announced his intention to run as a candidate for the National Party. He spoke out against the carbon tax and waded into the asylum seeker debate, advocating a mandatory, 'no papers, no process’ policy to stop 'the illegals'. 'I don’t accept the boat people at all. Send them home," he says.
Catherine Deveny is a writer, comedian, social commentator and broadcaster. She has written as a columnist for The Age and is an ABC regular. Catherine says Australia is a signatory of the United Nations Refugee Convention, so no refugee or asylum seeker is illegal. Her charity and community work includes Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, Wishin and Broken Rites.
Peter Reith is a former Howard Government senior cabinet minister. He was an architect of the Pacific Solution, a policy that ensured asylum seekers were processed offshore. 'No one can dispute the reality that we did stop the boats," he says. In August 2001, he ordered Australian Special Forces to board the Norwegian freighter Tampa, which had been denied entry to Australian waters after rescuing 438 Afghan asylum seekers from a stricken fishing boat. He describes Labor Government’s immigration policy as 'one of the biggest government stuff ups of all time".
Michael Smith is a former radio shock jock with Sydney’s 2UE and Brisbane’s 4BC. Despite having lived and worked in Indonesia – the largest Muslim country in the world – he believes, 'Islamism is the greatest threat to the world today". Michael considers himself a defender of Australia’s traditional values and says the government is failing to protect Australia’s borders. 'Absolutely, unquestionably, we treat people who lob by boat here far too well," he says. He believes in 'keeping Australia the way it is" and fears that by 'importing tribes" who can’t assimilate we run the risk of home grown terrorism.
Imogen Bailey is an actress, former model and animal rights activist. At the same time that she was voted Australia’s Sexiest Model, Imogen was involved in an eight-year relationship with a Lebanese Muslim, mixing in a community that condemned what she did for a living. Imogen was a bikini model by day, but reading the Koran by night. She fears the mainstream media have misinformed the public on refugees and asylum seekers, and that politicians are using the debate to garner votes. 'There are a lot of politicians that use these people’s suffering for votes, but what’s the price of somebody’s life to win a vote?"
Allan Asher is a former Commonwealth Ombudsman and an outspoken consumer advocate. As Ombudsman, Allan was particularly concerned about what he saw as the poor treatment of asylum seekers and visited Christmas Island and other detention centres to get a first-hand account of the issues faced by detainees. In October of 2011, he resigned after it was revealed he supplied questions to Greens senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, during a Senate committee hearing. The questions were intended to highlight inadequate funding for his office and problems with immigration detention centres. Allan has been disappointed and dismayed by what he calls the 'niggardliness" of Australians’ attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers.