The heartbreaking messages we were never supposed to see 100



View Profile

For a brief moment, we had a chance to look into a dark corner of Australian policy and see the faces and voices there. But as quickly as it came, it was taken away.

A small group of brave kids who are on Nauru Island, living in detention, yesterday launched a Facebook page with the hope of telling their stories and having their voices heard.

By 6.30pm, the Facebook page had been taken down. Social media is banned on the tiny island as it causes unrest.

The page, Free the Children NAURU, was created with outside help and curated by a group of children living both in the community and in the detention centre.

Speaking with the ABC anonymously, one of the children said, “We started the page because we want to show everyone around the world that we are not forgotten children and not just numbers here in Nauru.”

“We want everyone to hear our voices and the situation we going through. We thought if we create this page, many other peoples can see us and feel in our shoes.”

Government figures say there are 92 children on Nauru and the ABC reports that around 80 of those have been declared refugees. But we never see their faces or hear their voices.

On the page, the children shared photos, poems and drawings by children living in detention.

“I am trying to get out the story of the kids and other teenager in here …. I want those teenagers who is reading our story to share this around … about the kids from detention in Nauru,” the member of the group said.

“Every moment spent in here is full of painful (sic). I feel like our future is bleak. We hope for people to care.”


A compilation of some of the now deleted posts from the Facebook page; they include drawings, pictures of children and the conditions they are living in.
A compilation of some of the now deleted posts from the Facebook page; they include drawings, pictures of children and the conditions they are living in.

One entry we saw before the page was taken down tells the story of a boy who describes fleeing Iraq only to struggle with illness and worry about his family’s safety.

When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, the boy responds, “Anything, free.”

Australia was recently criticised by the United Nations for continuing to keep children in detention both offshore and at home.

Do you think it’s right for children of asylum seeking families to be held in detention? Would you want to know more about how and where they are living? 



Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Who took the page down? Why was it taken down? I hope it wasn’t our government…

    5 REPLY
  2. TTThe page is back up. Please go and support these dear children. Free the Children NAURU –
    Of COURSE it is not all right to keep children and their families in detention, especially in the conditions this government has instituted as a deterrent to others. They are using children as political footballs. I ask all those on here to go and read, and give support to these lovely children and their families.

  3. Children. Should not be held in Dention

    5 REPLY
    • The parents make the decision to come here in unsafe boats with their children so why shouldn’t they all be held together in these centres … Do not use the children to try and gain access quickly

    • If MY country was being bombed I would want to try and get MY children out to keep them safe….wouldn’t you?????

    • If these people had really come from bombed countries their applications would already be processed and they’d be out. It’s because their parents are trying to scam the system that it takes so long to resolve the situation.

    • Helen Miles Yes to the nearest place NOT half way round the world ,through many countries to the wonderful welfare of Australia, AND housing for ALL. bugger our homeless .

  4. Sorry but there are Australian children living in poverty, children living in homes where domestic violence takes place on a daily basis and children living in cars with their family. in Australia.These children on Nauru are there because of the decision by their parents to put them on a leaky boat and risk their lives. Now they are away from all the bombing, they have three feeds a day and have the chance of being free to live in another couuntry. or on Nauru. I also feel these children were encouraged to do this, the adults will do anything, even use their children to get to Australia. I say look after our own children first, their message is also heartbreaking.

    21 REPLY
    • We do care for the Australian children. Or at least, I do. And that was not for you, Marlene, but the person before you.

    • I just find your comment disgusting on so many fronts I don’t know where to start….. But I am guessing with that grasp of humanity it’s a waste of time trying to enlighten your selfish attitude. I hope you never face the desperation that lack of hope brings to many other human beings.

    • Well what are you doing about it, do you takes kids out for the day to get them away from their violent home, do you donate to them, do you give them any help at all. Did you know that families who have no fixed address can’t get any help from the Government, living in a car relying on handouts isn’t what you call living.

      1 REPLY
      • I know heaps of people who help domestic violence victims and give of time and money too provide safe havens for them and their children. I give things when I can too help them. I do not use the excuse that we can not help all children no matter where they come from. It might ease people too say we can not help them but it is a lie we can help we choose not too!

    • Caring about one group doesn’t stop you caring about another. What a selfish attitude. A wrong is a wrong no matter where it is committed. These kids should not be in detention and all kids worldwide should have a safe home, enough to eat and an education.

    • These children in “detention” are at least safe from where they came from. They are fed and looked after. Their parents have to be patient. I would have thought they would be most grateful their children are now safe and well fed.

    • I care about all kids no matter what the circumstances, its some of the adults I take issue with. ???

    • So you would be happy for them to live in a war zone. Rape is a weapon of war. Would you like this to happen to your daughter. We live in luxury in Australia. Have some compassion.

    • Jan Leslie are you actually aware of what goes on at Nauru? Do you actually realise how traumatised these people are?

    • How many have you invited to live at your place Robyn and will you take responsibility for their actions ?

    • These people also were able to pay the people smugglers to bring them here instead of going through the process of applying to a country for entry….not true refugees if they can afford to pay for a trip by sea

    • Robyn Rylands The word compassion is thrown around too easily. Remember all those other millions who are suffering., yet stand tall in their belief of God and country.

    • Peter Hainsworth God has nothing to do with it. The most dreadful atrocities are carried out in the name of God as the ex use. Instead of thinking of yourself just try and imagine what these people are running from.

    • John Birch I take responsibility for my own actions. There have been 3 people killed in Australia – 3 as a result of terrorist actions. So far this year over 70 women dead as a result of domestic violence most of which is perpetrated by good ole white Aussie males.

    • Lee Horrocks yes I do and I also help homeless women…what do you do????? I also put Australians first because they don’t demand our culture be changed, that we buy religiously stamped food in our supermarkets and our Australian children don’t walk out of school when our national anthem is being played….I could go on but I don’t have much time for those who can’t see the what is happening in this country. RIP to all those who died in France last night, innocents who didn’t think they would be murdered because their President kept telling them they were safe.

    • Agree with you Sandra,if people so concerned about Nauru they should invite them to live in their home..

    • What is the big deal about the kids on Nauru, they ARE being cared for, the Australian taxpayers money goes towards the roof over their heads, the food on their table & the clothes on their backs.
      There are many Australian children that don’t have that benefit, some live in squalid conditions with very little food & are mistreated & some are sexually abused continuously.
      So I agree with Sandra, we need to look in our own back yard & care for our own first & foremost.

    • Marlene Baker It is the fact of MONEY , most of these illegals are still on welfare 5 years after arriving here, and many are taking a second & third wife and between them are getting 4 separate payments from Centrlink and live in 4houses . It is illegal under our law, but police have more to do than chase these bludgers, .until they are charged it continues. Thats where our money goes . Each wife has a house & Husband does too, 6 kids so need to work . Playing Australians for suckers, All are terrorists, can’t trust any of them even those born in Aust.

  5. Anyone can put up a facebook page under any identity. I have a few questions. Did children really put this page up? How do we know that this is for real? I am not saying that it is not I am just commenting that we should be cautious. Anyone can write anything and say that they are a 6 year old child. This is now predators target children. Anyone can put a photo on their facebook page and say this is me when it is not. Be cautious.

    4 REPLY
    • This is what concerns me about the 12000 refugees coming here. They have no ID wr don’t know who we are letting in.

    • I guess if the ABC reported it, then you can be pretty sure it is legitimate. So many excuses to avoid accepting responsibility for the abuses our government (past and present) has subjected these children to.

  6. I was wondering when someone would start using children for political gain in this issue…

    1 REPLY
    • Yes Sylvia. How terrible of the children to try and make us feel bad about torturing them on islands. Luckily you and I are psychopaths who don’t care. Aussie Oi!

  7. There are Australian children living in worse conditions they have no roof over there head days. Without food living where ever the find shelter or a car. Their parents put them in this situation using there children anyway they can
    No Paris here
    Prayers for Paris

  8. Just more propoganda. I am sick of hearing about these detainees – go back to where you came from and take your children with you. All a bunch of freeloaders. No wonder our welfare payments are blowing out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *