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Newsletter for 20 June 2017 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Next Roadside Demo - Big Banana, Coffs Thursday June 29 2:30pm
Fundraising lunch and auction report
Next Market Stall - Coffs Harbour Sunday June 25
Film Screening - Cast From a Storm - Scotts Head
Manus Island detainees court victory
Quote of the week

Roadside demonstration report

We had a good turnout for our demonstration in Bellingen last Thursday, and the rain held off! There was lots of support from passing motorists and pedestrians, including a number of comments from passers by who told us how important it is to keep the asylum seeker issues in the public eye.
Our next roadside demonstration will be on Thursday 29th June in Coffs Harbour, next to the Big Banana, from 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm. Do come and join us if you can.

Fundraising lunch and auction report

We were so lucky on Sunday to avoid the rain after the downpour on Saturday. A great time was had by all who were able to attend and  some forty items went under the hammer at the auction. A huge thank you to everyone who donated items to sell. We took $500 on the door in donations and raised a further  $1830 with the auction. With several  promised donations on their way, the event will have raised in excess of $2,500, which is fantastic.  The money raised will be shared between the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown and our RAR group, since we need some funds to support visiting refugees through the Home Among the Gumtrees initiative.

Thanks so much to Mike and Marlene for making the fundraiser lunch such a success. They welcomed us to their lovely home and managed somehow to fend off the rain till most guests had left. Their preparation was thorough and they were great hosts. The setting was perfect, the food plentiful, the wine flowed, the conversation was vibrant and the auction was a hoot!!

Next Market Stall : Coffs Harbourside Market, Sunday 25th June from 9.00 am until 1.30 pm

A reminder that our next market is this coming Sunday at the Harbourside market in Coffs Harbour. The market is temporarily located adjacent to the Park Beach car park, by the mouth of Coffs Creek. If you can help out on the stall for an hour or two, then please let Mike know by emailing him at:

Screening of the film Cast From a Storm: Scotts Head Public School: Wednesday  28th June at 7.00 pm

This isn’t your typical refugee film. A coming of age story, this uplifting documentary shares the reality of what it means to be a teenager and a displaced person. This is a story of what comes after, and what it means to remake your home. An opportunity to see the film and to discuss refugee issues. Entrance is free, and voluntary donations will be sent to the Refugee Council of Australia.  Please contact Janet Granek for further details at:

Manus Island detainees settle out of court

Much has been written this past week about the $70 million plus costs awarded to 1907 Manus detainees. What is very clear is the the government is prepared to spend whatever it takes to keep the reality of the cruelty and inhumanity of indefinite detention out of the public eye. If the government thought that it had any chance of winning the case, then it could of course have proceeded.  What is also clear is that is is no longer possible for the government to argue that the detainees in offshore detention are the sole responsibility of the governments of Nauru and PNG. It’s worth noting also that the legal costs are high because the government has fought the issue all the way for three years, during which time there were 50 appearances in court. Up to eighty similar individual cases have been brought, but almost all of them have been settled out of court, thereby enabling the government to avoid public scrutiny. Given that the government has not accepted liability in this case, then it is highly likely that others will follow.

Quote of the week

“Looks like a windfall for people who unfairly took advantage of our nation’s generosity.” Tony Abbott, commenting about the payout on his favourite 2GB radio programme. You couldn’t make this stuff up!

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