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News letter for 12 January 2016 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca

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 1.30 pm by lunch. Please put the date in your diary. Further details will be circulated nearer the time.

This newsletter is stored here for archive purposes. To read complete newsletter click below
Bellingen Community Market Saturday 16 January 2016
Our first market of 2016 is this coming Saturday in Bellingen. John and Mike will be setting up as usual at the crack of dawn and are looking for helpers between 9.00 am and 1.30 pm. If you can help for an hour or two, it would be great to see you. Please let Mike know if you can help out by emailing him at:, or phone on 6569 5419. 
We have a new petition for people to sign and have lots of merchandise for sale, including the new “boat people” T shirts, which proved popular at the Valla Beach market in December. It all helps to spread the word that there are large numbers of Australians who are demanding a more humane and generous response to the current humanitarian crisis.
Market dates for 2016
We have put together the dates for our market stalls for 2016 in Bellingen, Valla Beach and Coffs Harbour.  The markets at Bellingen and Valla Beach are on Saturdays, whilst the Coffs Harbourside markets are on Sundays. You might like to note the dates on your calendar. There will of course be reminders in advance of each of the markets to encourage attendance and to ask for helpers on the stall. This year more than 20 supporters have given some time to supporting our RAR stall. You might want to think about joining us from time to time in 2016.
16th January:  Bellingen
6th Feb:  Valla Beach
19th March: Bellingen
2nd April: Valla Beach
24th April: Coffs harbour
21st May: Bellingen
4th June: Valla Beach
26th June: Coffs harbour
16th July: Bellingen
6th August: Valla Beach
28th August: Coffs Harbour
17th September: Bellingen
1st October: Valla Beach
23rd October: Coffs Harbour
19th November: Bellingen
3rd December: Valla Beach
The realities of education for children on Nauru
Six months ago the Australian government closed the detention centre school on Nauru and forced children to attend the island schools, where the language of instruction is Nauruan and where teaching standards are poor. Asylum seeker children are reluctant to attend, as they are regularly subjected to humiliation and abuse.  A five-year-old boy was recently urinated on by Nauruan boys and asylum seeker girls have been sexually harassed at the local schools. Teachers routinely use physical punishment in the classroom.  Parents do not want to send their children to these schools as they are inherently unsafe and the children are learning little. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection, when contacted about the unsatisfactory conditions for these children, stated that this is a matter for the Nauruan government. Once again, our government seeks to shirk its responsibilities by shifting the blame onto others. 
To read the full report, which appeared in the SMH on 9th January, go to
Crikey article on $20 million cost of charter flights and budget information for Nauru and Manus Island
Just imagine how that money could be spent to improve life in Australia!
Chilout newsletter for December 2015
The Chilout Newsletter is on the blog
Extract from the newsletter below relating to detention centre in Australia
"Usually children in detention attend school during the day, but the holiday break means that they cannot leave the detention centres at all. Since Border Force took over this year, we have been told that children are not even allowed to leave detention centres for short day excursions, which were previously run by staff from local community groups."
Donations to Chilout
Kombu Wholefoods in Bellingen has a collection box near the till. At the end of 2015, the collection was checked and sent to Chilout.
$64.25 in the tin and Kevin matched the amount and sent $128.50 to Chilout.
Thanks Kev and the Kombu team for your support.
National Rural Australians for Refugees - now has current news on their web site 
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check out the index of subjects on the blog
the draft newsletter is on the blog see tab at top and will be sent to 380 recipients
Mission statement for our group has been renamed "who are we?" and can be read at
It includes the updated RAR leaflet
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Twitter Account  @RARBellingenNam
Email Address
David Wallin

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