‘Children Overboard’ – David Leser [Review]

The first reading of David Leser’s piece, Children Overboard, gives the reader more than one side to the story. I think the story is clever to introduce two different views on what happened that day in October. It allows the reader to visualise not only what it would have been like for the people on board the asylum vessel, but also the moral dilemma the navy personnel faced while trying to uphold their orders.

The feature is also well structured; first with introducing Hawraa Alsaai and her family with a brief backstory of how they ended up on board, followed by Laura Whittle, Navy personnel, and her view on what happened. The feature then ends back with Hawraa and what has happened to her and her family since the accident. I think this structure works really well for the reader and also the type of story that is being told.

The story is also very visual and graphic which I think adds a lot of drama for the reader. This makes the story more emotional and makes the reader more invested in the story. The firsthand accounts from both Hawraa, her family and Laura also make the story very confronting. The issue about boat people has always been a touchy subject in Australia and having the issue written about in such a way makes the story tough.

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