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Newsletter for 22 November 2016 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen ands Nambucca Districts

Next market stall - Valla Beach 3rd December
RAR annual meeting and get together report
Petition to the Prime Minister
Roadside demonstration - Bellingen Thursday 24th Nov
Invitation to Bellingen bookreading

Bellingen market report

We had another very successful market stall under sunny skies in Bellingen on Saturday. As usual, there was a lot of interest in our campaign from market goers, and we collected about 100 signatures on the petition to our local member of parliament. A big thank you to all our supporters who turned up to help, or who dropped in for a chat.
Our final market of  the year – number 16 – will be at Valla Beach on Saturday 3rd December. If you can help out for an hour or two, please let Mike know by emailing him at:  If you have been able to collect any signatures for our petition, please bring them along to the market. 
Meeting and social gathering report

Our meeting on Sunday, followed by lunch, was a most productive and enjoyable occasion, with 24 people in attendance. We reviewed our 2016 activities and engaged in wide-ranging discussion under the headline “Where do we go from here?” The unanimous conclusion was that we must keep up the pressure, as it is clearly having an impact, whilst being ready to react and adapt to changing circumstances, particularly in relation to offshore detention.
A more detailed report will be published on our blog in the coming days.
The meeting was followed by lunch on the deck, with delicious food provided by everyone who came  along. A very successful and enjoyable event!

Petition to the Prime Minister

You may recall that, in early October, we sent a petition to the Prime Minister, signed by 1,400 people, calling for an end to offshore detention. We have recently received a lengthy response, signed by “T.B.”, which you can find on our blog. As usual, the issues which we raised were not addressed by the respondent, and there was much emphasis on saving lives at sea and protecting our borders. No mention at all of the harsh offshore regime or the impact of punitive, indefinite detention on the mental health of the detainees.
At the time of writing, we have not received any response from the Labor opposition or the Greens, who we also wrote to, and who were copied into the letter to the PM. All the letters can be viewed on our blog.
Next roadside demonstration: Bellingen, Thursday 24th November

Our next roadside demonstration will be held this Thursday from 3.00 pm until 4.30 pm in our usual spot adjacent to the public library on Waterfall Way. If you can join us for a while, we would be delighted to see you. We have lots of banners and placards to share, so why not give it a go? These demonstrations are an excellent way to get our message across to the public about the terrible treatment of asylum seekers languishing on Nauru and Manus. Please join us if you can.
Invitation to a book reading in Bellingen on 3rd December

Dear BRAR members, At now eighty years of age I am no longer as physically active as I used to be in organisations such as BRAR, but my fingers can still do the talking to support your and my cause to free the refugees. Recently I have published my autobiography: “The Lure of the Horizon”  about my childhood under Nazi occupation as well as my teen years in a liberated  Holland still recovering from the ruins of WWII. I also write about my time in an Australian migrant camp, followed by sixty years of observing the contributions that my generation of migrants, many of whom were refugees, have made to the Australia we all enjoy today. My book is a strong voice AGAINST racism and an equally strong voice FOR multiculturalism, as the last in my opinion is the only way we can keep harmony in a nation of which half of the population consists out of migrants and their offspring. I am having a book launch on Saturday December 3, at 3.00 pm at the Fennel Seed CafĂ© in Bellingen. I would like to invite BRAR members and supporters to come, buy themselves a drink, sit back and relax and enjoy listening to some excerpts that will be read from my book. I look forward to seeing you. 

Thank you so much, Barbera Moret. 

Sanctuary Australia Fundraising Concert: Bellingen 27th November at 3.00 pm

Sanctuary Australia is a local charity, based in Coffs Harbour, which helps to settle approved refugees into the local community. They have been doing amazing work in the area for many years and rely on the help of sponsors and donors to keep up their work. On Sunday 27th November, starting at 3.00 pm in the Memorial Hall in Bellingen, there will be a fundraising recital with David Helfgott, who will be playing Rachmaninoff, Beethoven and Chopin. The programme will also include Yantra De Vilder, who will present her unique and beautiful award-winning performance of “HAIKU”. Tickets are $68 or $60 concessions.  You can get further details by phone : 6652 2127, or go to the website at:  Or you can book online at: (see flyer attached)

Our annual get together and planning lunch. 

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