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Wickham Detention Centre

by Wendy Mesman

For three years 2012-2015 I have been in Darwin first living in The Gardens - it was so expensive! After the first 12 months I bought a caravan and moved to Noonamah. The people and the pub were real old fashioned Darwinites and a lot were INPEX workers.

Darwin is an extraordinary town that has perhaps the best winter, and people from down south should come up. The traffic the Radio always says that there is a hold up (not)it just means that the traffic is going at 80kpm not 100kpm, quite a change from Melbourne.

Darwin is unique in that they have high-rise buildings not for businesses but housing. Being 42 klms from Darwin is like being in the outback. The caravan park is at the rear of the Service Station and Noonamah Pub and at the rear of us is a Station with Brahman cattle. They get the helicopter to move the cattle in the dry and with the sun coming up and the dust lifting its a sight to behold. The clouds up here are nothing like you have ever seen, in the wet season there are layers of clouds and the colours. It has to be seen to be believed.

I have been working at the Wickham Detention Centre which is now the only one left. Illegal immigrants came to Christmas Island or they would make it into Darwin Harbour. The three years had been very difficult not only for those who work there, also the Asylum Seekers. Not for a minute do I regret coming to Darwin, it has truly been a wonderful time and the work colleagues certainly made life long friends.


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