DESTINATION AUSTRALIA: BITTERSWEET FREEDOM
After Rashiq’s father fled Iran, to seek asylum elsewhere, Rashiq, being the oldest of four children bore much of the responsibility of raising the family during the nine years of separation from his father. Now as a teenager in Australia he is determined to define and live a freedom that he has been unable to experience before. Rashiq has been in Australia for nine months, and in the summer break before Year 12, he has chosen to challenge himself in many areas. His ambition to learn English is unwavering. Despite having driven since he was ten in his home country he needs to learn the Australian road rules and get used to driving on the opposite side of the road, so he can pass his provisional drivers license test. His siblings are struggling to find friends and his father is struggling to get a job. Rashiq, determined to help, also begins the job hunt. On top of all this and for his own emotional health, Rashiq wants to confront and understand his father’s experience in Australia – the reason why he was separated from his family for nine years. Mousa, Rashiq’s father was held in Curtin Detention Centre for three years, Baxter Detention Centre for three years and then it took another three years for the family to gain Australian visas. So the family decides to go on a road trip to Baxter Detention Centre, that is now deserted but still has many of the original buildings and Mousa takes the family on a whirlwind tour. Rashiq has an opportunity to see and experience the place where his father was incarcerated. Rashiq is adjusting to Australian life; however he still has a deep connection to his culture and his country. Leaving his home was a “bittersweet” moment for him, bitter to lose those he loves and the places and culture he knows, but sweet to be with his father again.
PRODUCER: Caroline Mann, Mike Piper
DIRECTOR: Sophie Hyde