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News letter for 8 December 2015 - RAR Bello and Nambucca Districts

Urgent fund raising request below

Valla Beach Market Report
The rather wet weather  at Saturday’s market meant that the expected Christmas crowds didn’t quite materialise. In spite of that, we had lots of interest in our cause, we collected 50 signatures for our petition to the Prime Minister, and sold a number of our new “Boat People” T shirts. A big thank you to our band of volunteers who turned up to help. Later this week, once we have received all the completed petitions from other RAR groups around the country, we will send them to the Prime Minister. More details, together with the letter to the PM, in next week’s newsletter.
Our next market will be in Bellingen on 16  January 2016. 

This newsletter is recorded here for archive purposes. To read the whole newsletter click below

 We have been collecting money regularly for ChilOut, the national charity which campaigns to have children released from detention. This week we have sent them $160  to help to fund their vital work.  A great Christmas present from our supporters. 

Chilout Newsletter is now on the blog

Chilout provides figures of children in detention in Australia

"Of the 112 children currently in detention on the Australian mainland, it was recently revealed in Senate Estimates that 80 of those children are due to be sent back to Nauru into harm’s way. We understand that almost all of these 80 children are currently held at Wickham Point Detention Centre in Darwin. We have spoken to many of these children and they have told us about their daily fear of being sent back to Nauru."

Mike has provided additional information
In addition to the children held in detention on the mainland, there are currently 95 children held in detention on Nauru. But that’s not the whole story. Other children on Nauru have been processed and found to be in need of protection under our international obligations to refugees. There are now at least 80 additional children who  are “living in the community” on Nauru. Theirs is an island prison, from which there is no escape, but as they, in the Orwellian language of our government are deemed to be free, they don’t appear in the official statistics.

 SMH article on Saturday 5 December 2015  on Border Control actions

We have previously sent out an email about the plight of refugee children in Melbourne, the link below provides more detail

Urgent Fund Raising for Asylum Seekers

The three organisations below are urgently seeking funds to provide legal services for refugees

"The reality is there has never been a time of greater need for people seeking protection here.  With 31,000 people – 11,000 of them in Victoria – about to have their cases decided, we remain at the forefront of defending the rights of refugees and stand determined to meet this need in the year ahead."...
"Funding cuts deny justice
In 2015, the Federal government persisted with severe funding cuts to legal assistance for people making applications for protection here.  This has created a recipe for systemic chaos and injustice, leading to an almost inevitable risk of someone being denied protection and sent back to persecution, torture – even death.

The paperwork minefield

People applying for asylum are now asked to present their case within 28 days.  The application for a protection visa require answers to 184 questions including a detailed statement of fears.  All in English.  Some answers require information that goes back over 30 years or details ‘since birth’.  For a desperate person having had to escape a Syrian war zone or targeting by the Taliban in Afghanistan, every such question is a potential minefield risking a miscarriage of justice and a return to danger. "

Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre

RACS Refugee Advice and Casework Services ( which was included in our newsletter of 1 December 2015)

ASRC Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (forwarded from Mid North Coast Refugees)

Then there is a plea from Asylum Seeker Centre seeking donations and gifts

and of course Chilout, who we already support.

Get up campaign against Transfield Services

The future of Australia's violent offshore detention camps is hanging in the balance. 

The corporation that runs them – Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield Services) – was supposed to sign a new contract in October to continue running the camps on Manus Island and Nauru for another 5 years. But it's nearly Christmas, and it hasn't happened yet. 

Why not? Well, when 30,000 of us stood up against corporations profiting from abuse, we hit front pages around the country. Now senior sources have told us Broadspectrum is dragging its feet on signing the Manus and Nauru contract because it's waiting to see how much of a threat our movement really is. 

No corporation should profit from abuse. And to drive that message home, we need to speak the language corporations understand best: dollar figures. With your help, that's exactly what we can do. 

Broadspectrum rakes in millions of dollars by providing services to local councils. So we've just launched 563 campaigns on GetUp's petition platform CommunityRun calling on every council in Australia not to do business with corporations that profit from abuse. One council at a time, we'll show Broadspectrum that their involvement in offshore detention will have disastrous consequences for the rest of their business. 

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.

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

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Blog  includes articles from many sources and letters to politicians.
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check out the index of subjects on the blog
the draft newsletter for next week is on the blog see tab at top and will be sent to 367 recipients
Mission statement for our group has been renamed "who are we?" and can be read at
It includes the updated RAR leaflet

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Twitter Account  @RARBellingenNam

Email Address

David Wallin

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