More than 400 refugees from Indochina arrived in Australia by air from Bangkok on Monday (7 February) to start a new life.
MCU Vietnamese refugees passing through Customs (2 shots)
CU Vietnamese group AND PAN TO other refugees (3 shots)
CU Dr. Michael Ryan speaking to reporter OVER SHOTS OF refugees sitting in Customs hall (10 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: SMART: "Some of the refugees who arrived today spoke any English at all and they appeared a little dazed by the attention they received. However, through interpreters, most said they were delighted to be here and quite optimistic about the future. Most of the refugees came from two camps in Thailand and will live in either Victoria or South Australia. The doctor who travelled with them, Michael Ryan, today spoke about conditions in the camps."
SEQUENCE 3: RYAN: "Taking into account the crowded conditions I thought they were particularly healthy and cheerful."
SMART: "Were the conditions very depressing over there?"
RYAN: "Well you can't compare conditions in a country like this with conditions in Australia, you have got to look at the general conditions of the country in the out-lying country areas. Even if you're overcrowding (unclear) were well, clean, neat and tidy."
SMART: "Were they keen to get to Australia though?"
RYAN: "Oh yes very keen to get to Australia. We would have had more people applying than we could accept. We had a limit of 400 in the two (unclear) camps and I think there were roughly 1400 people in the two camps at present so it meant that we took roughly one out of three in the camp."
SMART: "How are they with regard to Australia, do they know what to expect here yet?"
RYAN: "Well I don't think they do. They're happy to get away from these camps and full of hope."
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Australian Government is anxiously watching the progress through the South China Sea of two small ships filled with refugees from Vietnam and Cambodia. The Minister for Immigration Mr. Michael Mackellar has warned the church organisation that is financing the mercy mission that the refugees may be turned away and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has condemned the mission as "misguided philanthropy."
REPORTER: BRAD SMART.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: More than 400 refugees from Indochina arrived in Australia by air from Bangkok on Monday (7 February) to start a new life. The refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were taken from Thai camps around Bangkok. About 150 of the 418 refugees already have relatives or people ready to finance them in Australia. A report from Brad Smart in Melbourne....