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Newsletter for 24 November RAR Bello and Nambucca Districts

National RAR

Some much needed good news -

Julian Burnside has agreed to be Patron for Rural Australians for Refugees - see more at -

Rural Australians for Refugees
P: (03) 5448 5479   M: 0417 313 037  E:

Next picket outside Luke Hartsuyker's office THIS Thursday 26 November 2015
This will be our final picket/protest outside Luke Hartsuyker's office for this year so help us to make it a big one. 11.30 to 1pm Little Street Coffs Harbour, then lunch at the The Happy Frog just around the corner. Bring your placards and help us to keep up the pressure on the government.
This newsletter is stored here for archive purposes - to read the newsletter click below

Our next market stall will be on Saturday 5 December at Valla Beach.
 John and Mike will be setting up the stall at 7.00 am and would welcome volunteers from 9.00 am through until 1.00 pm. If you can help for an hour or two, please contact Mike at:, or phone him on 6569 5419. It’s a great market and we always have lots of interest from the public, who are happy to engage in discussion, sign our petition and sometimes purchase our various items of merchandise. Please consider joining us for a while, even if just to drop by, have a chat and sign the latest petition to the Prime Minister.  It would be good to welcome some new faces, so why not give it a go?
Report on Bellingen Market Stall 21 November 2015
After being informed initially that we couldn’t have a pitch at the market, we were allocated one at short notice due to another stallholder cancelling their booking. We are very grateful to Jerome Speekman, the market manager, for coming to the rescue.
We had a very successful morning, with lots of visitors to our stall, and we collected 150 signatures for our petition to the Prime Minister, as well as signing up a number of new supporters. We plan to send the petitions to the PM  after our final market of the year at Valla Beach. There were many interesting and supportive conversations during the morning,  with so many people telling us once again how  present government policy towards asylum seekers, supported by the main Opposition party, makes them feel ashamed  to be Australian. We know that we can do better than this.
We are now trying to source additional tea towels and bags before the next market, after a serious run on them in Bellingen!
Many thanks to all our volunteers who turned up to lend a hand.
The terrible plight of Syrian refugees
Much has been written in recent times about  the millions escaping the conflict in Syria. The people fleeing represent all backgrounds and beliefs, and it will be important for governments around the world to resist calls to favour one particular group of refugees over another. The American President has been commendably forthright on this issue and we have to hope that our government will resist calls for one particular faith group to be favoured above  others, particularly in the light of the rise of anti-Islamic groups throughout the Western world, including in Australia. These groups seek to demonise all Muslims and to create division and fear of the other in our societies. Refugees are all human beings, just like us, and we need to treat them all with respect and humanity, whatever their background. We have nothing to fear from our refugees, who historically have contributed so much to Australian society.
There was a most interesting and moving report on Syrian refugees in the Sun Herald on Sunday 22nd November by Peter Holmes a Court, accompanied by photos taken by Alissa Everett, which is well worth reading. The report can be found at
Updated RAR leaflet see tab "Who are we" or click on
Meeting to discuss future of Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts group
The event will take place on Sunday 21st February 2016, starting at midday with a meeting to discuss progress and strategy, followed at 1.00 pm by lunch. Please put the date in your diary. Further details will be circulated nearer the time.
Christmas Island death and riots November 2015
reports on the unfolding story on Christmas Island on the blog see
National Rural Australians for Refugees - now has current news on their web site 
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David Wallin

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