The offshore detention of asylum seekers who attempt to reach Australia by boat is a national shame and an international scandal. For the average Australian, it's also out of sight and out of mind. The notion that our government maintains camps full of desperate people on distant Pacific islands sounds awful, but with these centres closed to media and their residents prevented from communicating with us directly, there are few first-person accounts that help us form a realistic picture of life on Manus or Nauru. In this new podcast from the Wheeler Centre (who uncovered this story through its inaugural So You Think You Can Pod contest), that narrative is smuggled out in the form of thousands of voice memos sent between Abdul Aziz Muhamat, a Sudanese man on Manus who has been detained for more than two years, and Melbourne-based journalist Michael Green. Reception is too weak for Aziz to take phone calls (not to mention that his phone is contraband), so the two send each other audio clips. The value of the clips themselves - their affecting intimacy, and spy-hole view into a secret world - cannot be understated, and the show is assembled with the care and class one would expect of the Wheeler Centre's team.
Gateway episodes: #1 Aziz, Not a Boat Number (23 Jan 2017)