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newsletter for 1 July 2015 - Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Hi Everyone

This newsletter is stored here for archival purposes. You can read it by clicking on "read more" below

Our RAR Picnic at Urunga on Sunday 28 June

We were so fortunate to have had such a beautiful sunny day for our picnic, which was greatly enjoyed by the twenty or so supporters who came along.  Lots of good food and conversation and a very visual presence which attracted some attention from passers by. We were delighted to be joined a Tibetan family who had recently settled in Australia and who were staying with one of our supporters in Bellingen. A wonderful illustration of how important it is to show compassion and humanity towards those seeking shelter from persecution in their homelands. 

Coffs Harbour Market.  Sunday 19th July from 8.00 am until 1pm
We have booked a stall for the Coffs market and as usual we are looking for volunteers to help on the day. As you will all know, we have had successful stalls at Bellingen and Valla markets for the past year, and we intend to continue with these. This will be our first stall at the Coffs Harbour market, and we are hoping to reach out to a new group of people and to sign up more supporters to our group. 

If you can help out for an hour or two on the day, then please email Mike at :  or phone him on 6569 5419. The markets are a great opportunity to meet people and to demonstrate  that we continue to stand up for the plight of asylum seekers, especially those imprisoned  on Manus Island and Nauru. Our government, with the support of the opposition, is doing all it can to  maintain a blanket of secrecy around its activities in offshore detention centres, which is all the more reason for us to be out there explaining as best we can what is actually being done in our name. 

Chilout Round up of Refugee week and issues with children in detention

Free the Children in Refugee week
Why are children still in detention?
Babies transferred to Nauru - rally
Imprisionment for reporting sexual assaults
Chilout appeal

The Italian Prime Minister speaks out for asylum seekers

In last Wednesday’s UK Guardian, the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, wrote about his government’s response to the many tens of thousands of asylum seekers arriving in Italy from Libya each year.  He writes with compassion and principle about the plight of the asylum seekers, and  makes it clear that he believes that receiving nations have an obligation to treat people with care and humanity, regardless of the political risks. The contrast between his leadership and principles compared to our own Prime Minister could not be more stark. You can read the article here:

Migration into Australia 2015

No mention has been made by the Australian government on Asylum Seeker arrivals by air

"The bleak economic outlook in Greece has seen thousands of people move to Australia to find work and join their extended families, with many coming to Melbourne, the city with the largest Greek population outside the country itself."

At the same time, Australian Government is trying to get Iran to take back Iranian Asylum Seekers because they are economic migrants?

Parliamentary Library report 2015

Nearly 10,000 air arrival protection visa applications were made in 2013-2014

Note: September and December quarter 2014 statistics not available.

Chinese electricians admitted to Australia without check on qualifications

Refugee Welcome Zones - Ballina
from National RAR

"Our group  encouraged our mayor sign the Refugee Welcome Zone Declaration for our shire. It was signed on Saturday. I first heard about the declaration in February, when a councillor from Byron Bay told me he was encouraging that council. Byron Shire signed a week before Ballina Shire. Lismore council signed in 2003. Canberra signed last Friday
Since hearing about the declaration two other groups have asked me about it. That made me realise that there could be a lot of groups that have no idea about the declaration. Would you please share info about it with RAR?
The declaration is put out by the Refugee Council of Australia and you can get the documentation from them. You probably already have these details but I went to
Ballina Region for Refugees "  

Information from RACS - the following link will take you to the full document.

This is a very informative document as the following headings show

RACS Telephone Advice Service - vital with the new Border Protection Laws
What doesn't make the news
creations of temporary protection visas
creation of fast tracking process
release of children from detention


National Rural Australians for Refugees - now has current news on their web site 

Blog  includes articles from many sources and letters to politicians.
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Insiders account of devastating treatment on Nauru and Manus Island

Twitter Account  @RARBellingenNam

Email Address

David Wallin

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