18 Jan 2019

Offshore detention whistle blower wins free speech award

3:09 pm on 18 January 2019

A doctor who blew the whistle on Australia's wilful neglect of refugees detained on Nauru has won an award for free speech.

Nick Martin

Nick Martin Photo: Blueprint

Nick Martin, who was employed by the Australian government through the company International Health and Medical Services to care for hundreds of refugees on Nauru, has been awarded the Blueprint prize for Free Speech.

Previous recipients include Chelsea Manning.

Dr Martin says he spoke out after his recommendations to transfer sick refugees for treatment not available on Nauru were repeatedly ignored by Canberra.

"I had to look myself in the mirror and I had to say 'you knew this was happening and you didn't say anything' and I couldn't do that. I think Australia's standing on the world stage is diminished and I think it diminishes us all.

"I know there are much bigger problems in terms of migration in the UK and Europe... but the Australian solution is not a solution it's not the way to go."

Nick Martin has also presented evidence in successful legal challenges to bring sick refugee children to Australia.

Melbourne's Asylum Seeker Resource Centre was also commended by Blueprint for helping refugees on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.