Published Reviews, Commentaries

This section of the website will record any published book reviews or commentaries on Reluctant Rescuers.


Audio: Extended interview Tony Kevin with Masako Fukui, producer for ABC Radio National 'Encounter' program, 'Global Good Samaritans'' broadcast 24 February 2013 and uploaded on 24 Feb 2013 :
'Reluctant Rescuers' author Tony Kevin, on Australia's obligations to refugees

Download MP3 (30MB)


Book review of Reluctant Rescuers by Miriam Cosic, staff writer at the Weekend Australian, 8/9 September 2012

Postwar secrets revealed in tale of exiled Germans   (review is part of a three-book review article)

Tony Kevin's self-published book, Reluctant Rescuers (166pp, $24.95, details at is a timely exploration of one facet of the problem: the safety record of Australia's border protection system between 1998 and last year. This covers, among other things, several terrible losses of life at sea, including the infamous SIEV-X sinking in 2001 and the harrowing SIEV-221 shipwreck on Christmas Island in 2010. It covers, in microcosm, the full tragedy of the cosmopolitan experience today. Read More Here.


*  NEW ITEM Richard Ackland’s 'Justinian’ weekly column in Sydney Morning Herald on 7 September,
Leaving the boats to Indonesia will lead to more deaths’  (references to Reluctant Rescuers)
Leaving the boats to Indonesia will lead to more deaths - Richard Ackland, SMH 7 September 2012
Repeatedly we are told by politicians that the offshore processing of asylum seekers will save them from drowning. The Pacific Solution Mark Two will help protect people from the perils of the deep. It's a noble mission. Read More Here.


*  NEW ITEM Book review of Reluctant Rescuers by Jay Fletcher  in Green Left Weekly, 8 September 2012 ,

Australia’s border control policies leave refugees to die.

Fewer than 50 Hazara refugees from Afghanistan survived when a refugee boat sank en route to Australia on August 29. Amid the tragedy and horror, Australian politicians have stormed and blustered over so-called people smugglers selling refugees
Immigration minister Chris Bowen and home affairs minister Jason Clare made absurd claims that “people smugglers” were running a “closing down sale” to explain the rise in boats in the wake of a bipartisan return to offshore processing. Read More Here.


Ex-ambassador says attitudes need to change, Tony Kevin interview on ABC TV News Breakfast, 4 September 2012 .

Former ambassador and author of Reluctant Rescuers, Tony Kevin, joins ABC News Breakfast to discuss the plan to improve asylum seeker rescue operations between Australia and Indonesia


Edited U-tube video film by Paul Benedek of GLW of highlights from Tony Kevin’s talk at Refugee Action Coalition book event meeting in Sydney on 6 August 2012 -


'New deal to allow Australia search and rescue in Indonesian waters’. Radio Adelaide The Wire current affairs program, 1 Auguat 2012, produced  

 by Catherine Zengerer and David Thornhill, interviews with ANU Professor Don Rothwell and Tony Kevin 


Interview, Tony Kevin with Mike Head, of World Socialist Web Site,  20 July 2012, Retired diplomat points to Australian culpability for refugee deaths


Tony Kevin's submission to the Houston/L'Estrange/Aristotle Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers -


Interview Tony Kevin with Waleed Aly and Peter Singer,  on 'The Drawing Room', broadcast by RN Drive on 18 July 2012

The waleed aly interview audio went up on this url or you can simply get it by googling [tony kevin reluctant rescuers]


Hundreds die, yet we stand by

-      Tony Kevin

Canberra Times/National Timeswebsite  -Opinion, 15 July 2012

Government agencies need to reform their operational protocols, or more asylum-seeker lives will be needlessly lost at sea. Read more here


Crikey, Friday 13 July 2012
How authorities decide to rescue asylum seekers … or not

by Tony Kevin, author of the new book Reluctant Rescuers

As the death toll among asylum seekers making their way to Australia by sea climbs to 400 in the past three years, authorities should reform their operational protocols — which are ad hoc and unpredictable — to save lives. Read more here


‘Australia's ad hoc refugee rescue costs many lives’, Tony Kevin essay, Eureka Street, 8 July 2012 


Speech by Fr Frank Brennan SJ, Professor of Law, Australian Catholic University, Watson ACT 2602 at Canberra book launch of Reluctant Rescuers at Paperchain Bookshop, Manuka on 5 July 2012.


Audio of a radio interview with Tony Kevin by Ghassan Nakhoul, Senior Producer, SBS Arabic program,  broadcast on SBS on Monday 2 July , with  introduction in Arabic,  8 minute interview in English


Released: Jun 18 2012 12:23PM
Headline: Reluctant Rescuers an Important New Book by Siev X Campaigner Tony Kevin
Organisation: Tony Kevin

FRAN KELLY interviewed Tony Kevin on ABC RADIO NATIONAL BREAKFAST on 25 June 2012, about the previous week’s sinking disaster north of Christmas Island ( 90 people missing presumed drowned) and the relevance of his book 'Reluctant Rescuers' to this latest tragedy.

 For a link to the audio interview and the ABC report see

TRANSCRIPT OF FRAN KELLY INTERVIEW , prepared in the Refugee Rights Action Network of WA, ‘Interview on ABC Radio National with Tony Kevin’, 25 June 2012

NATALIE O’BRIEN, ‘Boat death toll rises to six’, The Age 24 June 2012 (on the latest disaster)

NATALIE O’BRIEN, ‘Australia’s bungles and cover-ups exposed’, SMH 3 June 2012 (new information regarding the 2009 lost boat, uncovered by O’Brien after Reluctant Rescuers went to print)