Click on subject of interest shown on the right under the heading "labels" to see all relevant posts

To look at letters (and some replies) sent to politicians and newspapers, scroll down the index on the right hand side and select the appropriate heading.

Note the blog allows multiple labelling and all letters to politicians are under "letters to pollies".

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A message to Prime Minister Morrison: Subject: Children on Christmas Island

Dear Prime Minister,

I have been deeply saddened by the plight of the two little girls, Australian-born Kopica and Tharunicaa, who have now been detained by the government that you lead for more than one thousand days. How can you, in all conscience, treat these innocent children in this way? What if they were your daughters?
I do not need to consult my wife to enable me to draw the conclusion that your government's actions are utterly callous, devoid of all compassion, and completely lacking in humanity. This dreadful situation shames us all, and could be ended immediately by the stroke of the Minister for Immigration's pen.
Just do it!
Mike G. (full details provided)
Valla Beach


Letter: Dear Minister Hawke,

 Dear Minister Hawke,

In the light of the recent court judgement relating to the youngest child of the Sri Lankan family held indefinitely on Christmas Island at huge expense to the taxpayer, surely now would be a good time to show some humanity and to return them to Biloela. You have the power, under the legislation, to release

From The Guardian

the family on compassionate grounds, regardless of the findings about their bid for asylum.  The family pose no threat to our security, and releasing them would have no impact on the government’s (cruel) asylum policy.

I note with interest the Prime Minister’s comments about his conversation with his wife  earlier this week on another matter, and the need to “think about the girls.” Well, here are two little girls, born in Australia, who the government has now detained for more than 1000 days. Do they not deserve some consideration?

I urge you to finally show some compassion towards this family and to release them into the arms of the Biloela community, who anxiously await their return.

History will judge you harshly if you continue to pursue the hardline and uncompromising stance that has to date characterized the government’s position on this case, which could and should have been resolved long ago.

Mike G.

Valla Beach NSW 2448

An appeal to all RAR members for team members

Personal and family illness is sucking the strength from our National RAR Committee.

And as some members of the committee have fallen, others have simply picked up the extra load.

Yet being who they are, wonderful and dedicated, they do not complain.

But the few remaining will inevitably succumb to the untenable burden of too many tasks.

The 2020 elected committee of 11 members has been reduced to four. Louise, Jonathan, Marie, and Paul.

Steve M.  has recently been co-opted as a new member, as Louise needs to reduce her load, and, after four years on the National Committee, Marie needs to slow down.


I am writing this letter to appeal to our thousands of supporters to step up.


National RAR needs:

·         Someone to manage the Website

·         Someone to lead the Facebook team

·         Someone who understands Twitter

·         Someone who loves Campaigning

·         Someone who loves Networking

·         Someone who ….


I believe in the amazing network that is RAR.

In 2008, Margot O’Neill wrote about RAR in her book, Blind Conscience:

… three middle-aged women [were] so enraged by the treatment of the Tampa refugees, they formed the optimistically named ‘Rural Australians for Refugees’ (RAR). Despite the media cliché of country rednecks, RAR will ultimately boast 100 groups around Australia with 15,000 devotees, the largest and most influential of the refugee groups.


As many of you know, I am currently writing the amazing history of RAR’s 20-year existence.

I would hate the final chapter to have to detail the second collapse of the RAR network.

As Richie Norton says: You deserve a network of inclusion and influence, but it’s up to you to create it.

Jan G.

15 February 2021


Pics from Valla Beach Market Stall February 6, 2021

 Yesterday’s Valla Beach market RAR stall. 


The scrolls that Marlene has made are beautiful. They will be available again at Coffs Harbour later this month and Bellingen next month.






 Dear RAR group convenors


I would like to invite your group to nominate someone to become a valued part of the RAR National Committee. Our current Committee is struggling to match personal commitments with RAR responsibilities and want more volunteers to share the load.

Being a member of our National Committee is an important way to contribute to RAR’s impact and to be part of a nationally coordinated response to the challenges refugees and asylum seekers face in 2021 and beyond.

This year has started on a positive note, with the release of some Medevac refugees from detention.  RAR groups have helped coordinate efforts to support these men, find them jobs and accommodation in our communities and raise money for relocation.

In December, our members posted hundreds of #HomeToBilo Christmas cards and postcards to our politicians. We posted human rights videos on social media and our website. Now we are starting to plan for Palm Sunday rallies across the country. We continue to lobby for the Biloela family to go home and have permanent residence there, as they approach three years in detention on 5 March.

These are just some examples of what we can do when we work together. We have a strong reputation

because of the work you, our member groups, do across the country. Yet our greatest impact comes from being able to work and act together. The RAR National Committee pulls our independent groups together to provide a strong united voice and influence the national political agenda.

Opportunities on the RAR National Committee exist for the following roles:

·       Vice-President

·       Treasurer

·       Communications Convenor, to manage social media activities (supported by several people who do regular posts)

·       Committee members,

We’re also calling out for members of the proposed Training Fund sub-committee.

I call on you to please consider joining the National Committee in one of these roles. We meet monthly via Zoom. I recognise the work you do in your own local groups is an important commitment, but so is being part of RAR’s National Committee - all national committee members are also actively involved in our own local groups.

Please consider being part of our national movement and please table this letter at your next meeting to offer others the opportunity to step up and join the National Committee. Anyone who is a member of a RAR group is eligible to be nominated by their group to fill a casual vacancy.  Please call me if you would like to discuss this, or other ways you could contribute.

Stepping up to support RAR in this way is a small commitment of your time that goes a long way to supporting RAR and realising our goals for the just and humane treatment of people seeking refuge and asylum in this country.

I look forward to welcoming your nominee for the National Committee in 2021.


Rural Australians for Refugees on Twitter and Facebook 

RAR is a member of the Australian Refugee Action Network


Letter to Minister Dutton 'about the remaining approximately 150 refugees in community detention'.


To Minister Dutton

Thank you for releasing the medevac refugees recently. This is news we have been long awaiting. Now….what about the remaining approximately 150 refugees in community detention? 




We request that they be released immediately and that they be given all the medical assistance that they so desperately need.

You yourself, Minister Dutton, have said that releasing refugees from detention is “a cost saving measure” (quite heartless words actually) so why not save the billions of dollars the taxpayers provide so that your government can keep in detention the Sri Lankan family on Christmas Is and those on Nauru and in PNG. We haven’t forgotten them.

Minister, could you please let me know why you are not accepting the NZ offer to take 150 refugees ANNUALLY? They will be well cared for there and out of your responsibility.

Thank you for your attention

Margaret H and Georgina S

Mylestom  NSW  2454