Author(s): Mark Isaacs
When it comes to asylum-seekers on Nauru, we learn only what the government wants us to know. In the wake of The Nauru Files, see first-hand is happening inside the Nauru detention centre through Mark Isaacs' eyewitness account. Mark Isaacs worked for the Salvation Army inside the Nauru Detention Centre soon after it re-opened in 2012. He provided humanitarian aid to the men interned in the camp. What he saw there moved him to speak out. The Undesirables chronicles his time on Nauru, detailing daily life and the stories of the men held there; the self-harm, suicide attempts, and riots; the rare moments of joy; the moments of deep despair. He takes us behind the gates of Nauru and humanises a political debate usually ruled by misleading rhetoric. This revised edition of The Undesirables features an updated foreword from Julian Burnside and a new chapter by Mark that interrogates how little has changed inside the detention centre, despite documented human rights abuses, and why we need to close offshore detention centres.
Mark Isaacs became impassioned by the asylum seeker debate after a visit to Villawood Detention Centre while writing for Oxfam. Months later, in October 2012, Mark was employed by the Salvation Army to work at the Nauru Regional Processing Centre. While in Nauru, Mark established the Recreations program and Oceans program for asylum seekers. He eventually resigned from the Salvation Army in June 2013 and spoke out publicly against the government's No Advantage policy. Continuing his passion for humanitarian work, Mark is now employed as a case manager at an asylum seeker settlement agency in Sydney.