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newsletter for 13 May 2015 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Newsletter for 13 May 2015
The Next Market at which we will have a stall will be in Bellingen on Saturday 16 May 2015
At the time of writing, we have very few volunteers for Saturday’s market and would therefore very much welcome some additional support.
Can you spare an hour or two to join us? The markets are always a pleasant experience and it’s so important to let people know that , as Australian citizens, we are not prepared to let the government keep the appalling realities of their policies out of sight. The treatment of asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru are a national disgrace, and we must keep up the pressure to get them closed. So please come along to share the experience, to bear witness, to give out information and to encourage people to sign our petition.

If you can help, then email Mike on 
Or call him on 6569 5419.

This newsletter is stored here for archive purposes. To read complete newsletter click below

Contact Labor Senators via Getup about
"Maintaining the Good Order of immigration Detention Facilities Bill

In the last newsletter you were urged to write to Labor Senators via Getup to protest about the bill before Parliament, which gives the Australian Border Force Commissioner the power to do all things necessary  or “convenient” for, or in connection with, the performance of his or her duties.

Getup has missed one senator -  Jenny Mcallister who has replaced John Faulkner in the last week. Her parliamentary email address is not yet available. She is also National President of the Australian Labor Party and that address is 
It would be a pity to miss writing to someone who has a lot of influence in that political party.

Mental health data on Asylum Seekers not used

Dr Young former mental health director with Australia's detention centres stated 

"while the Mental Health data was still being collected, it was not being used to assess the health of people in immigration detention.
“This resulted in the collection of a lot of data, which unfortunately is not accessible now,” he said.
“The department were very unhappy about these results. Following this mental health screening was removed.
“The measurements are still occurring. But nobody is actually using the data, and nobody can look at them. And there’s been no further development in child mental health screening."

for full article click on

#RefugeeWeek 14 June 2015 – 
“With courage let us all combine”

Refugee Week, coordinated by the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is Australia's peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.

This year Refugee Week will be celebrated from Sunday, 14 June to Saturday 21 June, which includes World Refugee Day on 20 June.

“With courage let us all combine”
RCOA has chosen “With courage let us all combine” as the theme for Refugee Week in Australia for 2015 to 2017. Taken from the second verse of the national anthem, the theme celebrates the courage of refugees and of people who speak out against persecution and injustice. It serves as a call for unity and for positive action, encouraging Australians to improve our nation’s welcome for refugees and to acknowledge the skills and energy refugees bring to their new home.

More information relating to this year’s theme can be found here

Labor Party Conference in July

Recent news that may be worth commenting on, and that can be found in links in this week’s Kaldor Centre weekly newsround, is the position of the Labor Party on asylum seekers. 

Last week, Bill Shorten signalled that there would be no weakening of Labor’s policy on asylum seekers. He refused to rule out sticking with the Coalition’s policy of turning back the boats. 

It seems that, whether the Coalition or or Labor win the next election, the cruel treatment of asylum seekers in off-shore detention will continue. The
best that one of his MPs could offer was that Labor doesn’t demonise asylum seekers and doesn’t refer to them as “illegals”.

The issue will be hotly debated at the Labor party conference in July. In the weeks ahead, it would be great if RAR members could write to NSW Labor MPs and Senators to press them to 
adopt a more humane.


National Rural Australians for Refugees - now has current news on their web site 

Blog  includes articles from many sources and letters to politicians.
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The next newsletter is being drafted on the blog.  If you want to see what is in it so far go to


Twitter Account  @RARBellingenNam

Email Address

David Wallin

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