How much is a life worth?
MODEL, actress and activist Imogen Bailey is one of six Australians who feature in a new series of SBS documentary Go Back Where You Came From.
The series puts a human face on the refugee experience by sending participants overseas to replicate the journey of asylum seekers who now call Australia home.
Bailey travels to Mogadishu, the capital of the Somalia, Africa – one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
It is where Abdi, a young Somali-born Melbourne resident, was born and raised. Abdi was just a child when he was separated from his parents, survived a massacre by playing dead and began his journey crossing several countries to land in Australia, not yet aged 16.
‘‘I thought I’d never stand so close to men with guns and never want to again,’’ says the former Neighbours star.
Bailey says the journey and the people she met on the way changed her life.
‘‘I got home and I wanted to shout about what I’d learned from the rooftops,’’ she says.
Bailey has since found it impossible to listen to Australian politicians debate the issue of asylum seekers.
‘‘Boats, queues, processing, onshore, offshore. It’s all tricksy stuff with language designed to win votes. What’s Above: Imogen Bailey in Mogadishu; left: (clockwise from back) Peter Reith, Catherine Deveny, Angry Anderson, Bailey, Allan Asher and Michael Smith. a vote when a child’s life is at stake?’’
Joining Bailey in the series are former Howard government cabinet minister Peter Reith, social commentator and writer Catherine Deveny, rock veteran and conservative political activist Angry Anderson, former Commonwealth Ombudsman Allen Asher and retired radio shock jock Michael Smith.
They join a human exodus in the Ethiopian desert, live in refugee camp squalor, and bunk down with families waiting to board people smuggler boats in Jakarta.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 7.30pm, SBS One.