Tonight I attended a welcome dinner for the five latest Indonesian delegates of the AIMEP, along with various local alumni from years past. It was an opportunity to learn from each other about national perceptions of the other in our home countries. Not surprisingly, their questions about the languishing refugees on Manus Island and the increased prevalence of Islamophobic hate crimes were key issues framing their perceptions about Australia. It confirmed to me that these are defining traits of how Australia and Australians are seen by many in other countries. And it concerned me because these observations are 100% correct in identifying issues a responsible government might have humanely resolved expeditiously, years ago, rather than profit from as a function of populism. Racism and neglect, it appears, are lucrative tools in stoking public fear, for profit . 
We have so far to go.