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Newsletter for 25 September 2018 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Roadside demonstration report
Next market: Valla Beach, Saturday 6th October
Our meeting, music, lunch and fundraiser: Sunday 14th October
Nauru: The president of the AMA speaks out

Roadside demonstration report
A small but enthusiastic team of supporters gathered for our roadside demonstration in Toormina last Thursday. The weather was not too kind, and in the end, we had to beat an early retreat. Nonetheless, the response from passing motorists was very supportive, as always.
Our next demonstration will be by the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour on Thursday 4th October from 2.30 to 4.00 pm. Please come and join us if you can and help us to continue our campaign to end offshore detention.

Next market: Valla Beach, Saturday 6th October
Our next market stall will be at the Valla Beach market on Saturday 6thOctober. As usual, we’ll be handing out leaflets, talking to market-goers and encouraging people to sign our open letter to the prime minister. If you can help out for an hour or two, please let Mike know by emailing him at: The markets are enjoyable occasions and offer a great opportunity to better inform the public about the terrible realities of the government’s asylum policy.

Our meeting, music, lunch and fundraiser: Sunday 14thOctober
We do hope that many of you have this important date in your diaries, and that you are planning to attend either from 11.00 am for the meeting, or from midday for the music, lunch and fundraising auction. It is important for our planning purposes to know how many people will be attending from midday, so we would be really grateful if you could email Mike to let him know that you plan to attend. From past experience, these get-togethers are really enjoyable occasions.
So far, a number of auction items have been promised, including hand-crafted jewellery, wine, works of art, a piano accordion, cloisonné pottery, rafus palms and several other items. We also have the watercolour painting by famous artist Wendy Sharpe, which we hope will attract a lot of interest. We do however need many more items if we are to get close to our target of raising $1,000 for the Asylum Seekers Centre, so please have a look around and try to find an item or two that we can put under the hammer. Please contact Mike to let him have the details of your offering, so that we can put a running order together.
The event will take place at 39, Rogers Drive, Valla Beach.
……….and the music! We are delighted to welcome singer/songwriters Stewart Peters and partner Snez who have recently moved to Valla from the Blue Mountains. Coming from a Macedonian working-class family, where stories about hardship, romance, black magic, mysticism and work ethic have been passed down through generations, Snez subtly weaves these influences into her own stories and songs.
An engaging storyteller with quirky catchy tunes and sounds, Stewart takes us on a trip through his travels across Australia and overseas – and in his head.
We are very grateful to Snez and Stewart for offering to join us, and we very much look forward to hearing them perform. 

Nauru: The president of the AMA speaks out
Last week, the President of the Australian Medical Association, Tony Bartone, wrote to the prime minister, urging him to take urgent action to remove families and their children from Nauru, preferably to the Australian mainland, to safeguard their physical and mental health. He described the situation on Nauru as “a humanitarian emergency requiring urgent intervention”. In addition to seeking an urgent change of policy, Dr Bartone has asked the PM to facilitate access to Nauru for a delegation of Australian doctors to assess the health and wellbeing of people in detention. Any medical delegation would make their findings public “to assure the Australian public that the Australian government has done all that is possible to protect the health and wellbeing of asylum seekers and refugees.”
Given the government’s determination to maintain the veil of secrecy over the appalling situation for detainees on Nauru and Manus, it is highly unlikely that the AMA will receive a positive response, but it is nonetheless important that the pressure on the government is maintained.
And the prime minister’s response to Dr. Bartone’s letter? An instant rejection, on the grounds that he will not “put at risk any element of Australia’s border protection policy”.
Clearly, an armada of navel vessels off our northern shores is not enough to keep us safe, and we need to keep a hundred children in indefinite detention as some kind of human shield. How did we get to this?
Please keep up with the emails and letters to our politicians to demand an end to this cruelty.

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