Click on subject of interest shown on the right under the heading "labels" to see all relevant posts

To look at letters (and some replies) sent to politicians and newspapers, scroll down the index on the right hand side and select the appropriate heading.

Note the blog allows multiple labelling and all letters to politicians are under "letters to pollies".

If you scroll down and cannot go further, look out for icon "Older Posts". Click on that to continue


Newsletter for 3 June 2015 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Distreicts

Hi Everyone

Stall at Valla Markets THIS Saturday 6 June 2015

Mike has achieved a full roster of volunteers, but please come along and have a chat at the stall.  It would be good to see some new faces, and you will enjoy the experience !

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

Breaking News - Baird Government to sign up to move of TPV refugees to regional areas

Pressure on Labor Party to change their policy on Asylum Seekers letters to all Labor senators ahead of Party Conference

In last week's newsletter we reported that 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 included  a letter from Mike which he has sent to the 25 Labor Senators and which he plans to send to  Federal  Labor MPs. 

We would encourage supporters to write to as many Labor Party conference delegates as possible. You might want to adapt Mike's letter, by picking out some of the salient points.
Emailing Labor Senators is very straightforward. Their email addresses are simply:

So, Susan Lines, for example is:

The Labor Party Senators are:
Penny Wong; Stephen Conroy; Kim Carr; Joe Ludwig; Jacinta Collins; Kate Lundy; Jan McLucas; Catryna Bilyk; Carol Brown; Doug Cameron; Sue Lines; Jenny Mcallister;  Alex Gallacher; Gavin Marshall; Anne McEwen;  Claire Moore; Helen Polley; Lisa Singh;  Nova Peris; Glenn Sterle;  Anne Urquhart; Sam Dastyari; Joe Bullock; Chris Ketter; Deborah O'Neill.

It's an easy matter to send your letter to one Senator and then forward it one by one to the others, changing the names as you go.

Please give it a go! Politicians are influenced by the number of communications that they receive from  electors.

Mike's email to labor Senators 

Dear Senator
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,

Mike received a positive response to his email from Senator Sue Lines  as follows

"Sue is a strong advocate for change to our policy on asylum seekers and as you have noted this will be discussed at the upcoming National ALP Conference.

Sue will be part of these discussions in both her capacity as a Senator and a member of Labor for Refugees.

Thanks for taking the time to email us we have noted all your valid points."

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

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
According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s (DIBP) latest published statistics, as of 30 April 2015 there were:
  • 127 children in immigration detention facilities within Australia;
  • 95 children in detention facilities in Nauru;
  • 1,092 living in community detention; and
  • 3,004 children living in the community on bridging visas.
However, recent information provided by DIBP during the Senate Estimates hearings last week revealed that as of 25 May 2015, there were 136 children in detention facilities in Australia. The DIBP also said that 88 children currently detained in Australia are due to be transferred to Nauru in the near future. It was also revealed during the Senate Estimates hearings that the average length of time that children are currently spending in detention is 345 days. Disturbingly, it was revealed that one child has been in detention for almost five years.
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?
Although ChilOut is one of the leading organisations in Australia fighting to end child detention, we are a very under resourced organisation with only one part-time staff member running all of our campaigns and programs. ChilOut is heavily reliant on individual financial support to continue our work. 
ChilOut - Children out of immigration detention · Australia
This email was sent to To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with ChilOut - Children Out of Immigration Detention on Twitter or Facebook.

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.
"Understanding and Responding to the Rohingya Crisis" from the Refugee Council of Australia.
forwarded to us by National RAR

#RefugeeWeek from Sunday 14 June 2015 to Saturday 20 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 includes World Refugee Day on 20 June.

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


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

Blog  includes articles from many sources and letters to politicians.
  (5401 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 

"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

No comments: