Detention Remembered is a record of testimonies about immigration detention from Australian residents, for future generations of Australians.

Detention Remembered is a Spare Lawyers for Refugees oral history project, compiled in 2005 and 2006. Its purpose was to record the testimonies of those who were directly involved in detention centers across Australia; the former detainees; and the detention centre staff, counselors, legal personnel and regular visitors who assisted and supported them.

A team of trained volunteers filmed interviews with willing participants about their experiences of life in the detention facilities.  We would like to thank these interviewees and volunteers, without whom, this first-hand, unedited record of Australia’s mandatory detention policy would not exist.

Detention Remembered is based on the model initiated by Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation which recorded the testimonies of over 52,000 Holocaust survivors across the world. The testimonies have been comprehensively catalogued and are now available as a public resource. Detention Remembered shares Shoah’s vision in informing future generations of decision makers about the consequences of racism, intolerance and fear.

Partner Sites

Behind the Wire is an oral history project documenting the stories of men, women and children who have experienced Australian mandatory detention over the past 22 years. It seeks to bring a new perspective to the public understandings of mandatory detention by sharing the reality of the people who have lived it. Visit the site here.

Freedom Stories is a multi-platform documentary project exploring the contribution being made to Australian society by former asylum seekers who arrived by boat around 2001 – the year of political controversy over the MV Tampa, the Pacific solution, the children overboard affair and the SIEV X disaster. Visit the site here.