In August 2001, Prime Minister John Howard refused permission for the Norwegian freighter, Tampa, to enter Australian waters with 433 refugees on board. He infamously said, “But my friends we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come …”. The Baxter Detention Centre, near Port Augusta, became operational in September 2002 to detain refugees who made it to Australian shores using transport not welcome by the Australian government. This facility became a hotbed, both socially and politically.
Darren Franklin recounts his experiences within the wire of Baxter as Operations Manager. This is the inside story that has never been told.