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Newsletter for 17 June 2015 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Newsletter for 17 June 2015

Hi everyone

For local events for this week's  Refugee Week in  Coffs Harbour on Thursday and Friday


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

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."

Treatment of Asylum Seekers

So much has been happening in recent days in relation to the treatment of asylum seekers. The news, sadly, is all bad.
The most recent legislation passed  by parliament, with the support of the Opposition, is the Border Force Act.  

From 1st July, under the provisions of the act, it will be an offence, punishable with up to two years in prison, for health professionals, teachers, and social workers employed on Manus and Nauru, to disclose details of any concerns they might have about the treatment of asylum seekers. 

Put bluntly, they will no longer be able to fulfil their professional obligations to report mistreatment of asylum seekers and refugees.  On the Australian mainland, a teacher, health professional or social worker is obliged by law to report any suspicion or incidence of child abuse, with serious penalties for failing to do so. On Manus and Nauru, however, from 1st July, the opposite  will be the case. 

How can that be? Where is the morality here? How can a worker be prosecuted for doing  their job in relation to asylum seekers on remote islands, and yet be punished for failing to do their job on the mainland? Our politicians need to explain.
Following hard on the heels of this legislation, we now  have numerous reports that the Australian government has allegedly used taxpayers’ money – in this case US$30,000 –  to pay people smugglers to take a boatload of asylum seekers back to Indonesia. Three government ministers have flatly denied that money changed hands, but the Prime Minister has refused to confirm or deny the allegations. The UNHCR, after interviewing the asylum seekers,seems to be of the view that the people smugglers were indeed paid by the Australian government to return them to Indonesia. If these reports are definitively confirmed, then surely this is a new low for the government. It seems that “stopping the boats”  must be achieved “by hook or by crook”, a phrase that can readily be substituted with “by fair means or foul”.

We should be telling the government loud and clear that they do not act in our name.

Baby moved to Nauru  in dead of night

Kaldor centre newsletter

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 :

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. 

List of labor MPs and text of Mike's email to labor representatives is on the blog 

Chilout Newsletter published on 1 June 2015

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

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