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Locked Up, Locked Down and Coping with Covid

Why is healthcare still not a human right for refugees in Australia?

Tamil asylum seeker Thanush Selvarasa has working rights but loses Medicare every six months when his temporary visa expires.

Thanush's is not a single case. 

30 to 40% of asylum seekers on bridging visas in Australia have no work rights or access to Medicare.

Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, why does the Australian state fail to support some of its most vulnerable communities?

For our series 'Coping With Covid', journalist Chenturan Aran investigates further. 

He speaks with Thanush and also visits Utopia Refugee Health to understand how limited to no access to healthcare can deeply impact the social, mental, physical and financial well-being of asylum seekers made much worse by Covid-19.

Watch now.

The thumbnail image of Thanush Selvarasa is by Tim Bauer.

‘Coping with COVID' is a multimedia series funded by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing. Through this project, we aim to highlight the mental, physical, social and financial recovery of South Asians in Australia post-lockdowns. Follow the hashtag #CopingWithCovid below for more.

About the author

Chenturan Aran is a Sri Lankan Tamil Australian playwright, journalist, documentarian, and rapper. In 2021, he became a member of the Besen Writers Group at Malthouse Theatre. His writing often explores ancestry, memory and forgiveness. Chenturan is also a tutor at The University of Melbourne, teaching documentary film and mobile journalism. He is also known as 'Chen Be Quiet' in Melbourne's underground rap scene. Instagram: @chenturan



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