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Karoke compact video disc

Date: 1990s
Overall: 120 mm, 0.02 kg
Medium: Plastic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs
Classification:Sound communication
Object Name: Compact disc
Object No: 00030573
Place Manufactured:Zhonghua

User Terms

    This Karoke compact video disc was carried on board the illegal immigrant vessel KAYUEN, which arrived in Australia in 1999 with 69 Chinese immigrants on board. It is one of many items collected by Australian customs officers from the ships' crew cabin. The vessel generated great public interest when it arrived at Port Kembla as it had travelled further south than any other immigrant ship before.
    SignificanceThis karoke compact video disc is part of a collection of items from KAYUEN, which brought 69 illegal Chinese immigrants to Australia in 1999. It represents the arrival of illegal boat people to Australia during the 1990s.
    HistoryKAYUEN was a Panama-registered coastal freighter that attempted to smuggle 69 illegal immigrants from China to Australia in May 1999. It was intercepted by HMAS FREMANTLE off Jervis Bay, NSW, following a three-week joint surveillance operation by the Australian Customs Service, Australian Federal Police, NSW Police, Coastwatch, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force. After a dramatic chase from Jervis Bay to Port Kembla, KAYUEN was detained by Federal Police and Customs and escorted to the Garden Island naval base in Sydney.

    KAYUEN's passengers were part of a new wave of illegal boat people arriving from China, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in the 1990s. In contrast to Indochinese boat people in the 1970s and 1980s, who organised their voyages collectively and shared costs amongst passengers, the new wave of Chinese boat people bought passages from entrepreneurs known colloquially as 'snakes heads.' In Australia they are referred to as people smugglers.

    Since the late 1980s, sophisticated people smuggling operations had been run out of China's Fujian province, a gateway to the west. KAYUEN's passengers paid around $40,000 each to secure a passage in appalling conditions - hidden in false compartments under sand ballast in the vessel's cargo hold. Some would have paid upfront while others borrowed money from the smugglers, on the agreement that the fee would be repaid by their families at high interest rates.

    The arrival of KAYUEN attracted significant media attention because it exposed the vulnerability of Australia's entire coastline - not just the more traditional northern and western shores. It also followed closely on two other high-profile landings of illegal Chinese boat people at Holloways Beach, north of Cairns in Queensland, and Scotts Head, on the NSW north coast. As with these previous groups the illegal immigrants on KAYUEN were taken into custody and detained at the Port Hedland detention centre in Western Australia.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Karoke compact video disc


    Related People
    Maker: Malata

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