Daughter of Bad Times

Rohan Wilson

Daughter of Bad Times
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Daughter of Bad Times

Rohan Wilson

‘What better pitch than helping the refugees of the world? Who doesn’t want to help refugees, right? The five Australian facilities are immigration detention centres, sure, but they’re also manufacturing plants. That means two revenue streams for one facility. And we also clean up our image. We’re not just a corrections company anymore-now, we’re building communities, we’re saving lives.’

Rin Braden is almost ready to give up on life after the heartbreaking death of her lover Yamaan and the everyday dread of working for her mother’s corrupt private prison company. But through a miracle Yamaan has survived.

Yamaan turns up in an immigration detention facility in Australia, trading his labour for a supposedly safe place to live. This is no ordinary facility, it’s Eaglehawk MTC, a manufactory built by her mother’s company to exploit the flood of environmental refugees.

Now Rin must find a way to free Yamaan before the ghosts of her past and a string of bad choices catch up with them both.

In its vision of the future, Daughter of Bad Times explores the truth about a growing inhumanity as profit becomes the priority. 

Review

Daughter of Bad Times is set in the not-so-distant future, where rising sea levels have begun to swallow entire islands. Levee walls are built around cities that can afford it – those that can’t are relocated as refugees. Rin Braden was devasted after the death of her lover Yamaan, but everything changes when she discovers him miraculously alive in Eaglehawk Migrant Training Centre. Eaglehawk, situated in Tasmania, is the way corporations get to clean up the image of immigration detention centres and create a secondary revenue stream by using the migrants for labour in their factories. Here, they are reduced to a binary state of sleep, work, sleep, work until they work back the cost of their detention and earn a place in the outside communities.

Rin’s mother is CEO of the company that runs Eaglehawk and offers exit strategies for drowning countries. Rin lives her life, as heiress to this company, under the expectations of the wealthy, those of class, and her mother. When Rin decides to finally fight for her relationship with Yamaan, she undertakes a difficult path to prove to her mother, society, and to Yamaan himself that they can work. The fight is not for Yamaan alone, but for who Rin really wants to be in a world full of corruption and empty of humanity.

Daughter of Bad Times is a view to a dystopian future that is already creeping upon our doorstep. It shows a world where corporate influence on government, corruption and greed find a response to environmental refugees. It is a warning about what will happen if profit becomes the priority and compassion gets left by the wayside. The near-slavery conditions of these ‘futuristic’ immigration detention centres are excluded from the labour laws of the countries they operate in – which hits closer to home than the future is.


Cindy Morris works as a bookseller at Readings Carlton.

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