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Newsletter for 7 June 2016 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellinge and Nambucca Districts

The Valla Beach Markets last Saturday were cancelled due to bad weather so there was no RAR stall.
Next popup protest on this Thursday at Bellingen.
Simon Tedeschi concert coming up this Sunday.
Celebrate World Refugee Day at Bellingen on Monday, June 20.

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

Purchase your tickets for the Simon Tedeschi Recital - THIS Sunday 12th June at 2.30 pm
Only a few days to go now before our major fundraising event. Tickets will continue to be on sale until Friday at Helloworld Travel on Bowra Street in Nambucca Heads and at the Alternatives Bookshop on the High Street in Bellingen. Alternatively you can phone Mike on 6569 5419 or email at: to reserve your tickets. Any unsold tickets will be available at the door on the afternoon of the recital.
If you can bring something along to share for refreshments at the end of the recital, then please let Susan know now so that we can plan ahead. We know from ticket sales that there will be a big audience, so please consider helping out with an offering of some kind: biscuits, cakes, nibbles etc. Susan’s email is:
We hope to raise $1,000 each for ChilOut and the Refugee  Advice and Casework Service, and maybe have something left over to offer direct assistance to refugees in Australia.
Thanks to the generosity of one of our supporters, we have  a valuable, beautifully framed, limited edition print by Mark Barnes, which will be raffled at the recital, but we are still looking for items to put in a hamper. Please let Mike know by emailing him at if you can contribute something.
Pop up Protest planned for Bellingen on Thursday 9 June 2016 3.00 to 4,30pm 

Calendar for Pop-Up Protests
Thursday 9th June         Bellingen     Maam Gaduying Meeting Place, in front of the library in Bellingen.
Thursday 23rd June       Coffs Harbour            Pacific Highway south Opposite the entrance to the Base Hospital.
All times are between 3 and 4:30 pm.
Please would people let me know if they can come at or 0490 314 166
If anyone else has a proposed venue, date and time, let me know and I will add it to the calendar.
I will confirm each event once there are 6 supporters.
I thank everyone who has supported these events to da
Robin Hesketh

United Nations High Commission for Refugees: Fundraising Brunch, 20th June 2016

Monday 20th June is World Refugee Day.  One of our supporters, Rosemary Laurens, is organising a fundraising brunch at the Old Butter Factory Cafe in Bellingen, starting at 11.00 am.  The brunch will cost $40, which includes a $15 tax-deductable contribution to UNHCR to help fund its vital work in assisting refugees across the world. There are lots of menu options, including vegetarian and vegan and there will be a performance of songs by Akabella. Tickets are available at the Old Butter Factory and at the Alternatives Bookshop, both in Bellingen. If you can’t get to either of these ticket outlets, then please text Rosemary on 0432 181 474.

National RAR Conference: Bendigo  3rd and 4th September
​  2016​
The national RAR group is planning a major conference  for RAR members across Australia, and they are hoping for  representation from members of our group. You will see from the attached draft program that the conference will be very interesting and informative, with a range of keynote speakers and discussion sessions. If you would be interested in travelling to Bendigo for the conference, please let us know by email at Further information can be obtained from the national RAR coordinator  at 

A letter By Marlene Griffin asking - Have we really stopped the boat?

Recent reports gave the devastating news that 13,000 people had been rescued in one week in the Mediterranean sea. Apparently, warmer spring weather has led to a surge of people attempting the perilous crossing from Africa to Europe. On one day alone, Saturday May 28th , a flotilla of ships saved 668 people from capsized boats bringing the week’s total of refugees plucked from the sea to 13,000 people. 
The rescues by the Italian coast guard and navy ships, aided by Irish and German vessels and humanitarian groups, are the latest by a multinational patrol south of the Italian island of Sicily.
Inline image 1

 The photo shows rescuers helping migrants to board an Italian navy ship , The Vega. 
Meanwhile, with shelters filling up in Sicily, the Italian navy vessel Vega headed toward Reggio Calabria, a southern Italian mainland port, bringing 135 survivors and 45 bodies from a rescue a day earlier
Authorities say many boats in the past few years apparently have sunk without a trace in the Mediterranean, with the dead never found. Often the only news about them comes when family members in Africa or Europe tell authorities that their loved ones never arrived after setting sail from Libya.
Meanwhile here in Australia the Coalition Government keep repeating their manta ‘ we have stopped the boats’. What a meaningless statement this is. The boats may not be arriving on Australian shores. They have simply been diverted elsewhere to countries already besieged and beleaguered with thousands of refugees. With the present unrest in the world it would indeed be a miracle if our Coalition Government could ‘stop the boats’. Can we please ask that this empty rhetoric should stop once and for all ? 

Marlene Griffin 

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