Villawood Immigration Detention Centre & Sydney Immigration Residential Housing
Because Sydney IRH is based at Villawood IDC, they have been group together here. You can see the figures for individual facilites in the table below, or the combined figure in the far right total column.
Villawood Immigration Detention Centre
Villawood IDC, managed by Serco Australia Pty Ltd (Australian branch of the UK based multinational Serco Group), is located in western Sydney at 15 Birmingham Avenue, Villawood NSW 2163, and has an operating capacity of 379 detainees and a contingency capacity of 480 (as of 29th April 2013).
Villawood IDC has 3 main sections:
- Blaxland (aka Stage 1)
- Hughes (aka Stage 2), contains female-only area Banksia
- Fowler (aka Stage 3), for “high risk detainees – people at high risk to others or themselves,” according to ABC’s Four Corners program Asylum (October, 2011)
Sydney Immigration Residential Housing (IRH) is adjacent to Villawood IDC and comes under the same management, though it is often characterised as a separate facility.
An immigration processing facility was first opened at Villawood in 1976. Prior to that time it was called the Westbridge Migrant Hostel, which was opened in 1946 to provide accommodation for new migrants. The facility was initially run by the Federal Government but management was outsourced in 2003 to G4S. In 2009 G4S lost the contract and Serco took over the facility.
Sydney Immigration Residential Housing
Sydney IRH is adjacent to Villawood IRC in western, Sydney, and comes under the same management, though it is often characterised as a separate facility.
According to DIAC's website 'Placement in immigration residential housing allows people in immigration detention to live in a more domestic environment and permits a greater degree of autonomy over their life while remaining formally in immigration detention.'
|Villawood IDC||Sydney IRH|
|Date||Men||Women||Children||Total Villawood IDC||Men||Women||Children||Total Sydney IRH||Combined Total|
|This data has been aggregated from documents posted by DIAC to http://www.immi.gov.au/managing-australias-borders/detention/facilities/statistics/|
Where does this data come from?
The data for this table comes from The Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), who publish information on detainee numbers for the current period on its website’s Immigration Detention Statistics page.
Unfortunately, instead of leaving the previous period’s data available, when DIAC publishes the most recent figures they remove the previous period’s data. This makes it difficult to identify trends or compare current numbers to previous periods’. (note that since 24th April 2013, DIAC have not removed previous periods data)
Using the Internet Archive’s Way Back Machine, a number of documents containing the data from previous periods were collected. We performed a Way Back Machine search for documents within the
/managing-australias-borders/detention/_pdf/ on DIAC’s web server and also for older versions of the page where they publish required data, Immigration Detention Statistics. The results you get from these searches can require a lot of sifting. The Way Back Machine may not have captured the actual document, but rather ended up at a 404 (no-results) page for that url when it took its snapshot.
- Results for Way Back search for
- Results for Way Back search for
Additional documents were found by googling variations on the generic file name and title of document required: “Immigration Detention Statistics Summary”
Adding more past dates to this table now relies on collecting the data from people who may have downloaded it while it was available, or from DIAC themselves.
As new data becomes available on DIAC’s website it will be copied to the table. You can follow an rss feed of changes to DIAC’s Detention Statistics page, which should provide notices for when it is updated with the latest data.
RSS feed for changes to DIAC Immigration Detention Statistics page
How can I get more detail?
Currently the table on this page only covers the total number of detainees in detention centres. The tables in the source documents contain more information, including the gender breakdown and the numbers of children detained when the data was recorded. The source documents also include information for Immigration Residential Housing, Immigration Transit Accommodation and Alternative Places of Detention (APODs).
We plan to expand this page with more information as soon as time allows.
How can I help?
This table needs to be extended to include a wider range of dates and also a more complete list of detention centres in operation during those periods.
You can help gather the data required by finding the necessary data and sending it in. The most obvious source are documents previously posted to DIAC’s Detention Statistics page. Only data that can be verified as originating from original DIAC records will be published here. If you have more data for this table please:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the data attached or get in contact on Twitter to @DetentionLogs.
- Fork the repository on GitHub, expand it yourself and send a pull request. Remember to add the source documents into the source documents folder.