How much is a life worth?

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

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.

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