Lessons learned from SIEV X

Five years ago this week Australia was heading to the 2001 federal election and John Howard’s triumph for his tough measures of border control.

At the same time, a nameless Indonesian fishing boat of less than 20 metres in length was foundering in the seas between Indonesia and Australia with more than 400 people on board.

The sinking of the SIEV X, as it became known, cost the lives of 353 Middle Eastern refugees.

The repercussions of its sinking surprisingly didn’t effect the 2001 election, but it has forced a great deal of soul searching by Australia’s border patrol, and voters in subsequent elections.

This anniversary feature, the sinking of the SIEV X, is by Adam Connors.