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Newsletter March 23,2021


You will be aware that, due to the incredibly wet weather, Bellingen Market, scheduled for last Saturday, had to be cancelled.
Our next market stall will be at the Valla Beach market on Saturday 3rd April from 9.00 am until 1.00 pm. As usual, we’ll be handing out leaflets, asking people to sign our open letter, inviting people to send a postcard to the PM about the Sri Lankan family held on Christmas Island, and selling our Boat People merchandise, together with art works, to raise funds for the Asylum Seekers Centre.

If you can help out for an hour or two at our stall, then please let Mike know by emailing him at: Let us hope that the sun shines. 


A reminder that our next roadside demonstration is on Thursday 25th March from 2.30 to 4.00 pm by the Pacific Highway in Coffs Harbour, opposite the base hospital. It would be great to have a good turnout to remind people that the voices of the community need to be heard in relation to the cruelty of the government’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.  

Our demonstrations are always positive and affirming events, and we remain very confident that they do matter, and that public opinion does, in the end, influence our elected members. The worst that can happen at our demonstrations is the occasional rude gesture from a passing motorist.

We are certainly not in any danger of being fired upon for exercising our democratic right to demonstrate!  


A reminder that our first major fundraiser of 2021 is now less than three weeks away. Since the last newsletter, we have received offers of a number of great items to go under the hammer on 11th April, some of which include:
  • A one-day cheesemaking experience at the Big Banana, valued at $200.
  • A Persian meal for four, served in your own home.
  • Various items of pottery.
  • A large, framed painting from the Janakpur Women’s Development Centre in Nepal.
  • A wooden platter.
  • A pair of binoculars.
We do hope that many of you will want to attend the event. You will enjoy the company of fellow RAR supporters, and the auction will be fun.
Please bring a plate to share if you can.
Drinks will be provided by the hosts.

1. We are urgently seeking further items for the auction. Please consider donating an object of interest that you think will attract bids of at least $25. It would be most helpful if you could let Mike know fairly soon what you plan to offer, so that he can create a sales catalogue in advance of the event.

2. It is important that we know in advance that you are intending to come to the lunch and auction, so that we can plan accordingly. We will have lunch from 12.30 pm, with the auction to commence at about 1.30 pm. If you want to skip the lunch and just come along for the auction, that’s fine, but it is important that you let us know.

 Please email Mike in the coming days at: to let him know your intentions.
Directions to 39, Rogers Drive, Valla Beach, and parking options, will be included in the next newsletter.

Two medevac refugees who spent more than a year in Darwin immigration detention were flown back to Nauru, at their request, last week. Kirubakaran  Rasanayagam said that he and his wife requested to go back to Nauru because they could no longer tolerate their indefinite detention in Darwin. They decided that, although they often felt unsafe on Nauru, they were at least able to move around freely and were permitted to work. 

 In the Darwin facility, on the other hand, they were locked up for 23 hours a day, and their privacy was constantly invaded by guards, who would routinely enter their room and shine torches in their faces in the middle of the night.

It is outrageous that medevac refugees, who should be receiving care, support and medical attention, are instead treated like criminals by Border Force operatives. Amnesty International refugee coordinator Dr Graham Thom, had this to say: “The government is now forcing people to choose between detention offshore, where they face medical neglect, or hotel detention in Australia, where they are locked in rooms for up to 23 hours a day.”

Our fight for justice for refugees goes on.

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