News & Commentary

Peter Dutton’s au pair imperative

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There’s a shortage of rain. There’s a shortage of public housing. There’s a shortage of hospital beds. But now, perhaps indicating the frightfully dire state of this nation, we are learning there is a shortage of au pairs.
How else to explain the surfacing of the compassionate actions of the Home Affairs Minister, and onetime executioner, Peter Dutton? In the past week it has come to light that he has intervened to allow two women into this country, one French, one Italian, to serve as au pairs. Can there be a greater need for this nation? Can there be a greater display of human kindness?
Think of the travails of families, mothers and fathers, if the supply of au pairs were to dry up like a river in a drought. It would be a disaster.
According to the website careforkids.com.au, this what an au pair’s day might look like:
Wake children in the morning.
Help the children wash and dress for school or day care.
Help children make their bed and clean their room.
Prepare breakfast for the children.
Prepare lunches for the children.
Drive children to school or day care.
While children are at school complete light household tasks such as children’s laundry or weekly vacuuming.
Pick up children from school.
Prepare a healthy afternoon snack for the children.
Drive the children to after school activities and pick them up.
Help the children with their homework.
Bathe the children and get them ready for bed.
Au pairs are obviously vital for the care and maintenance of a family where, it must be assumed, the parents are working. If the parents cannot work then the economy suffers. Thus this is an issue of national significance and thus is one where the personal intervention of a minister is justified. That the two cases have, prima facie, links to the minister or his party is neither here nor there.

“It’s essential that people realise that the hard-won success of the last few years could be undone overnight by a single act of compassion in bringing 20 people from Manus to Australia” – Peter Dutton

And anyone who criticises Dutton over the paradoxical nature of his words and actions, remember, he has done nothing wrong. Dutton haters may point out in June he said of refugees, “It’s essential that people realise that the hard-won success of the last few years could be undone overnight by a single act of compassion in bringing 20 people from Manus to Australia.”
Well, here are not one but two examples of the man’s kindness to strangers. Imagine the state of mind of both host and prospective au pair. Both in limbo, in a no man’s land of doubt. But then a week earlier than the Manus comments he opined it was “in the interests of Australia as a humane and generous society” to open the doors. And he did with the stroke of a pen, and against departmental advice.
As to the justification into one of the decisions, he said, “I looked at it and thought it’s a bit rough, there’s no criminal history.”
So to those on Nauru and Manus, clearly you have to think smarter. Learn French or Italian, drink wine and cheese, take a course in looking after children who aren’t your own. We will welcome you with open arms.
Welcome au pairs. We need you.
[box]Image: Rebecca de Mornay as a can-do au pair in the 1992 film The Hand that Rocks the Cradle[/box]

4 responses to “Peter Dutton’s au pair imperative

  1. Terrible to watch what happens when old mates and colleagues turn against each other. Australia’s always been a country where mates look after mates but that tradition doesn’t extend to the political arena it would appear.
    No surprise to see the Greens and Labor sinking the boot when they smell blood, trying to draw some futile equivalence with off-shore illegals trying every stunt in the book to get onto Australian soil.
    Both nannies arrived legally, with visas, they were just the wrong type of visa. Even on the TV program ‘Border Security’ first responder immigration officers can be seen occasionally making allowances for visitors who may have made mistakes with their original visa choice.
    Nannies from overseas serve variable purposes. As well as looking after the household chores and the kids, they provide a role model linguistically for the youngsters who may only be exposed to English. Similarly it serves the nannies well in that they practise their English while on the job.
    Our politicians need to concentrate on running the country, not indulging in public bitch fights.

    1. Just one small problem with your response Jon. If they had applied for the correct visa in their home country, they would have been denied a visa. It’s a scam to get them here and then get their visa changed by a well connected mate. They did not arrive legally because they intended to work on a tourist visa. If you read the terms and conditions for a tourist visa to enter Australia, it’s patently clear that you are not allowed to work.

  2. Au pairs are vital to the functioning of this country as they provide a much needed service combined with a cultural exchange that breeds understanding between countries.
    None of this has anything to do with that sh*t-eating arsewipe Dutton and his obnoxious decisions to let people into the country on tourist visas who has _previously_ worked as au pairs. These girls were coming back on their second and third occasions to work as au pairs again, when working holiday visa rules stipulate they are allowed once to each person, and once only.
    They were coming in on tourist visas intending to work. This is blatantly illegal and Dutton’s claims he was showing them “compassion” when he withholds this from sick refugees and self-harming children is blatant evil.
    I know your article is tongue-in-cheek but this just makes me seethe.

  3. I presume therfore that everybody that arrived in Palestine by ship after the war were illegal, oh shit yes they were.
    Sorry the UN said you CANNOT be discriminated against for your method of arrival in a country.
    The people in Canberra have created a pavlovian response -” illegal” immigrant and we all drool. On this idea my great great grandmother was an illegal immigrant to Hungary in 1921 after she was forced out of what had become Rumania. Refugees have existed since before the Bible, it says a lot about a people as to how we treat them. Theres real logic in saying 30 people from Manus would destroy the country. Giant political minds work all this out. Thank God we are ruled by geniuses.

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