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Newsletter for 1 December 2015 RAR Bello and Nambucca

Free Children from Detention - see below

Our next market stall will be on Saturday 5 December at Valla Beach.

This will be our last market of the year and is likely to be a big one! John and Mike will be setting up at 7.00 am and would welcome helpers between 9.00 am and 1.00 pm. We will be  making a final push to collect signatures for  the petition to the Prime Minister, as we plan to send the completed sheets to Canberra before Christmas. We’ll have tea towels, bags, T shirts and bumper stickers on sale as usual. For the first time, following requests from supporters, we will have “boat people” T shirts on sale – great gifts for Christmas! All profits from the sales go to ChilOut, the national charity which works for the release of children from detention.
If you can join us for an hour or two, please let Mike know by emailing him at :, or phone him on: 6569 5419, or just drop by to say hello and sign the petition. Helping out at the markets is always an enjoyable experience, so why not give it a try?

Church leaders call on parliamentarians to free children from detention

This newsletter is recorded here for archive purposes - to read click below

At the weekend, church leaders took out a half-page ad in the Sydney Morning Herald, calling on Parliament  to pass the legislation, agreed by the Senate a week ago, which would result in children and their families being released from mainland detention centres. It is possible that the legislation will be considered this week.  The open letter to all members of the Federal parliament states: “During this time of preparation for Christmas and the season of giving, we call on parliamentarians to give the gift of freedom to these children and their families.” The letter also calls on all Australians of goodwill (that’s all of us!), to contact our local MP to ask them to vote for the release of children and their families. Let’s all do that!
For most of us, our local MP is Luke Hartsuyker. His email address is:  A short email, simply urging him to vote in favour of the legislation to release children and their families from detention, is all that is required. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our MP were to receive 370 emails urging him to do the right thing!
Please note that the proposed legislation does not include asylum seekers and refugees on Manus and Nauru.

Mike's email below

Dear Mr Hartsuyker,
In today’s SMH,  faith leaders have published an open letter to all parliamentarians , calling on you, as our representatives, to release children and their families from immigration detention. These vulnerable people deserve the gift of freedom. I stand with the faith leaders and urge you to do the right thing when the Senate’s amendments to the Migration and Maritime Powers Amendment Bill comes before parliament.
The government should, of course, go further, and commit to the closure of offshore detention centres. Many of the 95 children currently languishing in indefinite detention on Nauru have been there for more than two years. This is utterly disgraceful, morally indefensible and  in contravention of our international obligations. There is irrefutable evidence that detaining children  for prolonged periods is detrimental to their mental and physical wellbeing.  Now would be a good time, as we approach Christmas, to acknowledge the damage caused by the policies pursued by governments of different persuasions in recent years, and to take concrete steps to bring this shameful episode to an end.
Yours sincerely,

Or the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre suggests you ring Malcolm Turnbull to release children from detention by supporting the legislation passed by the Senate

Yesterday you will have received an email outlining the horrors facing children in detention in Australia

If that news disgusts you, just forward that email to Luke Hartsuyker to emphasise the point .

The email address is

Send it to a friend to extend the understanding of the problem.

United Nations  Chief rebukes detention policy -  smh 23 November 2015

In a statement, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "expressed concern over the detention conditions in Australia's offshore processing centres" and encouraged Mr Turnbull to "reconsider" Operation Sovereign Borders, Australia's military-led regime to combat people smuggling and oversee borders.

Refugee Advice and Casework Service funding support plea
November 2015
RACS is now embarking upon our most important project ever.
And we need your help.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has started to remove the restrictions on applications for Protection Visas.
There are a large number of people seeking asylum who are already living in our communities.
These remarkable people are already here in Australia.
These tenacious people have been waiting for up to 3 years to have their claims heard.
These people have waited with quiet dignity.
RACS now has a limited period to complete their applications for protection.
Demand for our services is currently greater than at any time in our 25 year history.
You can transform the life of another human by simply giving them the gift of access to a RACS lawyer.
For people seeking safety...
RACS is the difference between staying and going.

Note: when you click below, the RACS team will detail how much funding from Government has been withdrawn from their services

We extend our gratitude to you for being a supporter of this important project.

The RACS Team
Will you be a supporter of our People Seeking Safety Project? CLICK HERE
"What difference can I make?"

Report on last protest of the year in front of Luke Hartsuykers Office

Great turn out for our last protest of the year in front of Luke Hartsuyker's office. We are taking a break to regroup for next year and will let you all know our plans soon. Unfortunately the asylum seekers illegally detained on Manus, Nauru and Christmas Islands are not so fortunate so please keep up the letters to our MP's and newspapers and keep the pressure on..Thanks to Kim and the crew at the Happy Frog for your continued support...more power to the good people in our community!!

National RAR

Some much needed good news -

Julian Burnside has agreed to be Patron for Rural Australians for Refugees - see more at -

Rural Australians for Refugees
P: (03) 5448 5479   M: 0417 313 037  E:

Meeting to discuss future of Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts group
The event will take place on Sunday 21st February 2016, starting at midday with a meeting to discuss progress and strategy, followed at 1.00 pm by lunch. Please put the date in your diary. Further details will be circulated nearer the time.
National Rural Australians for Refugees - now has current news on their web site 
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