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Newsletter for 6 September 2016 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Next Popup demonstration: Thursday 8th September Bellingen
Next Market Stall: Sat 17th September Bellingen
Home among the Gumtrees
Letters to local papers

Roadside Demonstration: Bellingen, Thursday 8th September. 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm

A reminder that our next roadside demonstration is this Thursday , 8th September in Bellingen. You will find us on the roadside adjacent to the library on Waterfall Way in the town centre. It would be really encouraging to have a strong turnout for the demonstration. We have lots of banners and placards to go round! These demonstrations send a clear message to the public and to politicians that many Australians are strongly opposed to the government’s cruel and unlawful asylum policy. Only by strong public pressure can we hope to convince our politicians - both the Coalition and the Labor opposition - that these policies are unsustainable and that the offshore detention centres must be closed.
Please come and join us if you can, even if for part of the time. We need your support.
Market Stall : Saturday 17th September in Bellingen

Our next market stall will be at the Bellingen market on Saturday  17th September. Mike is looking for someone to help him set up at 7.00 am, as John has departed on an overseas holiday. He is seeking other volunteers from 9.00 am until 1.30 pm, so if you can help for an hour or two, please let Mike know at : The markets present an excellent opportunity to reach out to the public, many of whom still seem to have little awareness of the secrecy and the brutality of life for asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus . The responses that we get from people at the markets is overwhelmingly positive. People do appreciate what we are doing and are very encouraging of the stand that we are taking on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers. Please come and join us for a while if you can.
Home Among the Gumtrees: A reminder from Margaret Henley
You may recall the item below which we published two weeks ago. Margaret has had some positive responses from supporters, but is still looking for one or two more volunteers to take the initiative forward. Please contact Margaret by phone or email (details below) if you can help. This is such a worthwhile cause, and the opportunities for refugees to experience a little of life outside the big cities can make such a difference.
Many of you would have heard of this support for asylum seekers and refugees. Basically it offers them an opportunity to experience a period in a country or coastal village.
I am happy be the co-ordinator of this service in our area. I am calling for any volunteers who would like to participate as hosts.
My partner, Georgina and I would like to be hosts but need the support of others as it is important that anyone who visits meets different people and has a variety of experiences. We live at Mylestom so can offer fun on the beach and the river. The hosts have certain requirements asked of them as the visitors have different needs. There are no financial requirements – just time and appropriate accommodation. I can forward details to anyone interested.
If you have even the inkling of an interest in this, please either email or ring me. I am new to this also so we will explore it together. However, I do believe in being well prepared and well organized.
In your email or phone call give me an idea of:
How many you can accommodate
What setting you will offer – eg, farm, town, coast
What preference you have, if any, for small family, males, females
Whether you can’t offer accommodation but could take visitors for a day out.
 Once I find that there are enough of us to support a stay, I will contact the organisers for Home Among the Gumtrees.
       Margaret Henley 02 6655 4613 (evenings mostly) 0414 592 519

Letters to the local papers
Several of our members have had letters printed in the local press in recent weeks about the government’s asylum policy. If you missed them, you can find them on our blog by clicking on the appropriate tab (Guardian News; Advocate; Courier Mail). Letter writing is an excellent way to get our message across, and the local editors will usually print them. Why not give it a go?

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