Betts, J & Krayem, M 2019, 'Strategic Othering: Framing Lebanese Migration and Fraser's “Mistake”', Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 100-114.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 The University of Queensland and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd. Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, has framed the mid-1970s immigration of Lebanese affected by civil war as Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser's “mistake”. His remarks sparked controversy in the parliament and the media. The issue became a contest of frames between the Murdoch media, which supported the Minister's “mistake” frame and argued his right to “tell the truth”, and the Fairfax media, which viewed the Minister as being “racist” for “scapegoating” the Lebanese community. Along with archival documents, this article examines the context and coverage of the Minister's remarks, noting that the frames presented in the media “indexed” those adopted amongst political elites, while failing to re-examine the historical record. This case study demonstrates the power of framing and the media's tendency to accept rather than challenge frames used by those in the political contest, with the result that errors in the representation of history were never corrected. This article draws on framing theory and indexing theory and concludes that the “mistake” frame for the Lebanese feeds into narratives that serve to “other” Muslim and Arab groups, fanning fears and mobilising a discourse of Islamophobia around the exclusion of “undesirable” immigrants on the basis of “cultural fit”.
Betts, J & Higgins, C 2017, 'The Sri Lankan civil war and australia's migration policy response: A historical case study with contemporary implications', Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 272-285.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017 Crawford School of Public Policy of the Australian National University and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd. Sri Lanka's civil war lasted almost 26 years and cost tens of thousands of lives. Since the end of the war in 2009, several thousand asylum seekers from Sri Lanka have sought protection in Australia, but both Labor and Liberal/National Coalition governments have taken a restrictive approach to their arrival and have expressed support for the Sri Lankan government. This article explores Australia's response to the protection needs of Sri Lankans during an earlier era, at the outbreak of the war in 1983, when a Labor government processed Tamils 'in-country' under Australia's Special Humanitarian Program.