Themes

5 main areas of concern emerged for the research participants. In essence, these were concerns that young Australians have about society today and their place in it. These areas of concerns have been grouped into the five “themes” that The Middle Ground project will seek to explore through its online portal and productions.

5 main areas of concern emerged for the research participants. In essence, these were concerns that young Australians have about society today and their place in it. These areas of concerns have been grouped into the five “themes” that The Middle Ground project will seek to explore through its online portal and productions.

THEME 1

“We decide who comes here”

Theme 1 of The Middle Ground explores the contentious issue of immigration, including its history, economics, and several key arguments that exist around it. Particularly it looks at various dimensions of thought on immigration which see it as a threat to Australia’s socio-economic fabric and, extending to the issue of refugees, often position those coming into Australia as impinging on the lives of Australians. By looking at key history, facts and figures, this theme will seek to debunk key myths and explore the reality of immigrants and their contribution to Australia.

Explore Theme 1
THEME 2

“Go back to where you came from”

This theme explores the complexities surrounding the immigration-security nexus that have broken into the foray of Australian public discourse over the past few decades. It looks at the various voices and political players that have shaped the narrative around asylum seekers and refugees, and in particular, that have created an atmosphere of paranoia and fear around their presence in Australia. By an honest look at the facts, this theme seeks to interrogate claims that refugees and asylum seekers pose a threat (whether through crime or terrorism) to Australia and looks at the impacts this line of thinking has on refugees and migrants at large.

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THEME 3

“One nation, one law”

Religion and Law. These two ideals have constantly been in tension since the very inception of the Australian nation. Although both the freedom of religion and the rule of law are ideals of the Australian nation, their relationship has often been far from pretty. This theme explores this tension over the last decade and interrogates key voices and narratives coming from this national discussion. Beyond the shariah law scares media scares and constant over reporting of minorities and the law, this theme takes a look at the facts and seeks to establish a middle ground between seemingly far off positions.

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THEME 4 

“Keep Religion at Home”

The tension between religion and the secular nature of Australian society has played out continuously over the past 3 decades. On the one hand, religious groups seek their best interests, claim to operate within the boundaries of the constitution and practice the freedom of religion they were promised. On the other hand, however, and perhaps more contentiously, there is much concern and anguish over a perceived overstepping of religion into the public sphere.

Explore Theme 4
THEME 5

“Love it or leave it”

This phrase has defined much of how mainstream Australia thinks and speaks about its immigrant population. It has found its way into public discussions, has featured in heated debates and has characterised the dislike many have for minority groups in Australia. One would hope these polarising statements find their stay only in the deep corners of the internet and away from the spotlight of actual public discussions. But that’s not the case. It is on the backdrop of this politically charged environment where the theme of ‘Love it or Leave it”, the fifth in The Middle Ground project, seeks to further the national conversation.

Explore Theme 5