(ABC Open: Chris Lewis)
Boat carrying asylum seekers pulls into Geraldton
A small fishing boat linked to one of Australia’s most prominent border protection breaches is a step closer to becoming the first asylum seeker vessel to be displayed in Western Australia.
Authorities were shocked when the 45-foot tuna fishing vessel carrying 66 Sri Lankan men, women and children arrived on Geraldton’s foreshore in 2013.
The fishing boat was built to accommodate five people.
Curators from the Western Australian Museum have spent a week examining every item on board so the vessel, discovering more of the harrowing journey those spent on board.
All items were meticulously documented so curators can accurately recreate the boat’s setting once it eventually becomes a museum exhibit.
The 13-tonne fibreglass boat has been trucked from a port hold yard in Geraldton to Perth, 400 kilometres south, and will eventually become the first asylum seeker vessel to be displayed in the state.
There are only a handful of vessels used to seek asylum that have been conserved in Australia, with one in the Northern Territory, one in Queensland and one in New South Wales.
The fishing boat will become Australia’s first Sri Lankan asylum seeker vessel to be displayed, although a decision is yet to be made where the vessel will be housed.
Topics: refugees, immigration, community-and-society, library-museum-and-gallery, perth-6000, geraldton-6530