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Newsletter for 10 June 2015 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and NambuccaDistricts

Newsletter for 10 June 2015

Hi everyone and welcome to new supporters who joined at Valla markets

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

Stall at Valla Markets last Saturday 

Many thanks to our volunteers who attended last Saturday’s Valla market. It was great to welcome some new faces to our stall. Lots of positive interaction with the public ,more signatures on our petition and a number of new supporters to add to our list. It’s so important to maintain our presence in the face of this government’s increasingly draconian policies on asylum seekers – aided and abetted by the Labor opposition. 

Picnic at Urunga on Sunday 28 June 2015

"With courage let us all combine” is the theme for Refugee Week in Australia for 2015 to 2017. 

Come and help celebrate this theme with Bellingen and Nambucca Districts RAR at the Park opposite the Ocean View Hotel in Urunga on  Sunday 28 June 2015 from 12 noon. 

Bring a picnic lunch and a placard to show your support for asylum seekers. We will take a group photo to help promote our cause. A great chance to meet our group and help plan future activities".

The full theme from RCOA is

"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."

Close Manus and Nauru Detention centres
A big thank you to all our supporters who, in recent months, have signed the petition to Peter Dutton, calling for the closure of Manus and Nauru detention  centres. The 570 signed petitions have now been sent to the minister.

Border Force Bill

Three weeks ago, Parliament passed it’s Border Force Act.  Under the “secrecy and disclosure provisions” the act states that any disclosure of information about conditions on Manus and Nauru “will be punishable by imprisonment for two years”. We know from the little information coming out of these  detention centres that women and children are being subjected to physical and sexual abuse. From 1st July, doctors, nurses , teachers and other support workers will face imprisonment if they speak out about the cruel and abusive treatment that is a part of daily life for asylum seekers on these islands. The government has a lot to hide, and clearly does not intend to be held to account.

Pressure on Labor Party to change their policy on Asylum Seekers letters to all Labor MP's ahead of their Party Conference

Some of you will no doubt have written letters to Labor Senators to ask them to change the Party's cruel and inhumane policy on asylum seekers. Could  you now spare a few minutes to send your letter to Labor MPs?
As with writing to Senators, it's quite straightforward, except that this time you have to include their first name as well as their surname and you have to insert MP. A number of them shorten their first names : Michael becomes Mike, Anthony becomes Tony etc.  One or two just have their initial for their first name.  Their correct email titles are as set out in the list below.
So, the format is: First
Example: Nicholas Champion becomes :
The 55 Labor MPs are:
A Albanese     Sharon Bird     Chris Bowen     Gai Brodtmann     Anna Burke
Tony Burke    Mark Butler   Terri Butler     Anthony Byrne       Jim Chalmers
Nick Champion   Lisa Chesters     Jason Clare     Sharon Claydon    Julie Collins
Pat Conroy      Michael Danby     Mark Dreyfus     Justine Elliot         Kate Ellis
David Feeney     Laurie Ferguson     Joel Fitzgibbon    Andrew Giles   Gary Gray
Alan Griffin     Jill Hall     Chris Hayes     Ed Husic    Stephen Jones   Catherine King    Andrew Leigh   J Macklin     Alannah MacTiernan  Richard Marles
Rob Mitchell   Shayne Neumann   Brendan O'Connor    Clare Oneil   Julie Owens
Melissa Parke     Graham Perrett     Tanya Plibersek     Bernie Ripoll  Amanda Rishworth   Michelle Rowland   JoanneRyan    Bill Shorten   Warren Snowdon   Wayne Swan   Matt Thistlethwaite   Kelvin Thomson    
Maria Vamvakinou    Tim Watts    Tony Zappia    

If you do write a letter, please forward it to:   for publication on our blog.   

The Labor Party will be holding its national conference in July and that it is expected that the Party's policy on asylum seekers will be debated. 

We would encourage supporters to write to as many Labor Party conference delegates as possible. 

Text of Mike's email to labor representatives 

I understand from press reports that the Labor Party will discuss the Party’s policy on asylum seekers when it holds its conference in July. I welcome that, and I earnestly hope that the ALP will adopt a principled policy stance which reflects our international obligations  under the UN Refugee Convention and which recognises  the immense harm that the current Coalition policy, largely supported by the ALP, is inflicting on innocent people, many of them children.  That harm includes the emerging evidence of the sexual abuse of women and children in the Nauru detention centre.
Richard Marles, in an interview on Sky News in early February, stated that: “We need to be doing everything practicable to get these children out of detention as quickly as possible.” So what does that mean in policy terms? To date, we have not been told. In relation to Nauru, it has to mean the closure of the detention  centre and an end to the pretence that releasing families into the Nauruan community constitutes a solution to the problem. Save the Children, which has considerable experience of the situation, has repeatedly stated that Nauru is not a sustainable long-term option for the resettlement of refugees.
It is surely time for the ALP to recognise that the current policy stance is deeply flawed, is in contravention of our international obligations and is inflicting intolerable harm on a group of already-traumatised people. It’s time to move on from the sloganeering of “stopping the boats” and from the convenient lie  that the policy is all about saving lives at sea. The ALP should work with other nations in the region to develop regional solutions to a complex problem that is not going to go away, and that a civilised nation cannot turn its back on.There are many Australian citizens in our communities who are looking to our political leaders to rediscover their roots by adopting principled, humane and fair policies that can be confidently explained and promoted to the electorate.
I do hope, therefore, that the ALP, with your support, will listen to those voices within its ranks who are advocating a change in policy; a policy which is rooted in sound principles, international law and common humanity.
  Yours sincerely,

Chilout Newsletter published on 1 June 2015

- check it out and sign up with that wonderful group by clicking on their web site link below

ChilOut - Children Out of Immigration Detention on TwitterFriend of Facebook
Free the Children Canberra Event & National Day of Action on June 15
The End Child Detention Coalition’s Free the Children action has been touring the country for the past 12 months collecting thousands of signed postcards demanding respect for the rights of more than 200 children who are still locked up in detention centres run by the Australian Government. ChilOut is one of the lead members of the End Child Detention Coalition, which was formed in 2012 to advocate for the release of children from immigration detention facilities. Now the Coalition’s Free the Children action is coming to Parliament House in Canberra!
We are inviting all of you to get involved in our National Day of Action on June 15, to kick off World Refugee Week. We are asking everyone to amplify the growing chorus across Australia that innocent children do not deserve to be locked up. Those in Canberra are invited to come and free a doll from our cage installation on Parliament House Lawn from 10am - 4pm. A short program will take place at 2pmthat will include actor and activist Imogen Bailey and ChilOut’s campaign coordinator Claire Hammerton. Two of ChilOut’s amazing 2015 Youth Ambassadors, Mohammad Ali Baqiri and Sarah Yahya, will also be speaking at the event. For more details, please see our event flyer.
Others around the country are invited to run their own action and participate in our coordinated social media thunderclap. You can further contribute to the National Day of Action by using the hashtag #FreeTheChildren on June 15.
Latest Information on Children in Detention
Senate Inquiry into Abuses in Nauru
Department Referred to Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse
Royal Australasian College of Physicians Speak Out Against Children in Detention
How Can You Help ChilOut?

Secrecy, Cost and Cruelty of the Government's control of asylum seekers

There are so many news stories about the Federal Government's  actions on asylum seekers, so we list some of them below and where possible give links to the source.

Bellingen Courier Sun "Savage spending cuts to affect the shire's needy"

Four refugees transferred from Nauru to Cambodia - cost $45 million

inadequate medical support on Nauru
boy breaks an arm and is not treated properly for a month. The Federal Government answer is to send a medical team to Nauru. Perhaps moving the boy to Australia makes more sense.

Babies and children sent to Nauru from Melbourne at 4am in the morning Why?  see

Detention secrecy just got worse
Those working in Australia's detention centres are now forbidden under threat of jail time from revealing information to anyone about anything they come across while doing their jobs, write Greg Barns and George Newhouse.

Refugee Week - Sunday 14 June to Saturday 20 June 2015
“With courage let us all combine”.

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

check out National RAR on


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

Blog  includes articles from many sources and letters to politicians.
  (5469 page reads)

information on costs of offshore detention.

The next newsletter is being drafted on the blog.  If you want to see what is in it so far go to

Our Facebook page can be found at 


Documentary "Freedom Stories -  people just like us"
film project started after Tampa affair
"mandatory immigration detention is a billion dollar business - analysis"

Join over 58,000 Aussies & sign our petition for all 227
‪#‎KidsOut‬ of detention: 

Twitter Account  @RARBellingenNam

Email Address

David Wallin

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