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Don't miss out!

 Six new beautiful gift card designs by our resident artist Marlene Griffin. The cards, together with more than twenty existing designs, will be on sale at our stall at Valla Beach market on Saturday 1st April. All proceeds to the Asylum Seekers Centre, Newtown.









1.      Rally in CanberraPermanent Residence for all.

A refugee rally was held on the lawns of Parliament House on Monday 6 March, calling for permanency for all refugees in Australia, not just those on TPVs and SHEVs.  It was attended primarily by refugees, and many stayed on for several days, to strengthen their point that many have been excluded from the permanency offered by the Albanese Government.  Full congratulations to the refugee organisers who did a great job.


2.       This call for permanent visas for all is a big part of PALM SUNDAY. Rallies and other actions are planned for Sunday April 2.

Sydney:  Palm Sunday rally for Peace and Refugees for 2023 will be held at Belmore Park, near Central Station. The march will proceed up Broadway to Victoria Park where it will disperse.

Melbourne: Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees

Music from 1.30pm, speakers from 2pm at the State Library, corner Swanston and Latrobe Streets, Melbourne. Around 2.45pm Walk through the city to Parliament Gardens where there will be closing speakers and music until around 4pm.


RAR groups:  please send us your actions and we will list on our website and on the ARAN website.

More information:


3.       Mansfield RAR– Afghan refugees have arrived.  RAR group members have lodged sponsorship applications for hundreds of vulnerable Afghans.  It is uplifting to see that eight people have secured humanitarian visas and are being settled in the Mansfield area, with the support of RAR members.  There is one family of five and three single women.  We can only hope this is the start of more successful outcomes from our sponsorship applications. 

The Afghan Sub-committee haS urged us all to keep up our letter-writing to politicians and stories in local media, to ensure that Afghanistan is not ‘forgotten’.  The Albanese Government has promised 31,500 visas between 2021 – 2026.  A drop in the bucket of those that are needed urgently. 

4.       Watandar, My Countryman.
Many RAR groups will know Muzafar Ali and Jolyon Hoff and their documentary The Staging Post.  They have now produced another documentary. Jolyon writes:

The tagline for Watandar is “We’re all a little bit more connected than we think’ and every event will be an opportunity to connect our audience with the Cisarua Learning community. Hope to see you there.

When we are in your town or city we would love to visit your school or university, or even better arrange discounted daytime cinema screenings. .”

You can view the trailer here.

Confirmed Screening Dates 28/02/2023

NSW Mid-Coast

Apr 28th/29th - NSW Film Festival TBA


May 31st - 6:30PM Classic Esternwick, VIC [on sale here]

June 1st - 6:30PM Cameo Dandenong, VICon sale here]

June 2nd - 6:30PM Lido Hawthorne, VIC [on sale here]

June 3rd - 6:30PM Pivotonian Geelong, VIC

Brisbane & Sunshine Coast

June 7th - 6:30PM New Farm, QLD [on sale here]

June 8th - 6:30PM The J Noosa, QLD

June 10th - 6:30PM Maleney, QLD

Sydney, Bowral and Canberra

June 11th - 6:30PM Ritz, NSW [on sale here]

June 12th - 6:30PM Dendy Newtown, NSW

June 14th - 6:30PM Empire Bowral, NSW [on sale here]

June 15th - 11am Empire Bowral, NSW [Schools]

June 16th - 6:30PM Dendy Canberra, ACT

June 18th - VIC Film Festival TBA

June 19th - VIC Film Festival TBA

June 20th - 12PM & 6:30PM Griffith, NSW

Adelaide and South Australia

June 28th - Adelaide Academic Panel, SA

July 2nd - 8:30PM Marree, SA [Free]

July 5th - 6:30PM Pt Augusta, SA

July 6th - 6:30PM Piccadilly, SA

July 7th - 6:30PM Mitcham, SA

July 8th - 6:30PM Mt Barker, SA

5.      Refugee Week:  18 – 24 June 2023

The Refugee Council runs the annual Refugee Week and many groups take up this opportunity to run events that highlight the positive contribution that refugees make to our country.  Once again the Refugee Week website has resources and a listing of events for groups to use.  The theme this year is Finding Freedom.


6.       Neil Para –  a refugee’s story

Neil and his family live in Ballarat and are supported by many people there.  Neil is an active community volunteer, and advocates for people like himself who don’t have permanent residence.  He has written the story of his and his family’s life.  He published this first on Facebook and has now compiled this into an ebook.  He has asked us to promote it.  If you would like a copy, please email and Jonathan will forward you a copy.


7.       Neil Para’s Refugee Week event – Baxter Mums

Neil wrote to RAR and asked us to put out this call:

“Four Baxter Mums living in Geelong used to visit the detention center in Baxter. I am planning to have an exhibition to acknowledge their amazing work and also want to have other refugee activists' images too. Please volunteer yourself and/or let someone be at the exhibition.

I want your photo (half is preferred) and any photos were taken in the rallies or protests etc

Write a biography about yourself (about 200-500 words)

Optional: I will really appreciate it if you can help me to print your story and images. (cost/expenses) Printing will be at Ballarat Officeworks, so you can order print online, I can collect them)

I am also looking for some of the stories of those who had to depart before our plight ends.

Looking in any gender displays.”

If you can help, please get in touch with Neil.


9.       Voluntary contribution - thanks to the groups who have made a contribution to RAR.  Special thanks to Mansfield for their generous payment of $500.  These contributions are voluntary – there is no membership fee for RAR.  When groups make a payment, it gives the National Committee more scope for campaigning costs.  If your group hasn’t yet made a contribution, could you please consider this at your next meeting?

10.   RAR Website.  We launched the new website last year but I confess that it was not well maintained after the May election.  But our wonderful Communications Convenor has been giving it some loving attention.  Kat has developed a new page – Community Stories.  Here you will see an interview with Paul McKinlay from Buddies from Buderim.

The March Letter-writing kit is there.  This month the topic is Raise the Humanitarian Intake.  These are great resources for groups and supporters to use, as we continue our persistent and continuous call for justice for refugees.

That’s it from me – Guest Editor for the past two Updates.  Bernie Maxwell from Griffith RAR has offered to take on this role, from April.  We are very grateful to Bernie for this!

Louise Redmond

RAR National Committee


Rural Australians for Refugees on Twitter and Facebook 

RAR is a member of the Australian Refugee Action Network
Rural Australians for Refugees