Index

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".




30.8.16

Newsletter for 30 August 2016 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Next Popup demonstration: Thursday 8th September Bellingen
Market Stall Report
Bring Them Here!

Roadside demonstration report

Another successful roadside demonstration on the Pacific Highway in Nambucca Heads last Thursday. For much of the time we had more placards and banners than demonstrators, which was disappointing, but we were delighted to welcome three new supporters.There were several heart-warming highlights to the event. A passing motorist on her way to Sydney stopped to sign our petition and make a generous donation to the Asylum Seeker Centre. Later, a second young lady, also Sydney-bound, appeared on the scene with  bottles of water for each of our demonstrators.  Finally, another group who were driving by decided to turn around and join us for the final half hour. It turned out that they are refugees who are working on the Highway upgrade. It was a privilege to meet them and to learn a little about their lives as refugees on Temporary Protection Visas.
Our next roadside demonstration will be in Bellingen town centre, adjacent to the library, on Thursday 8th September from 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm. Please consider joining us, even for part of the time. We have lots of banners and placards to share!
If you are able to join us, it would be helpful if you could let Robin know at: robinhesketh@hotmail.com 
 
Coffs Harbourside market report

We had a very successful market in Coffs Harbour on Sunday. The sun shone, we had a great location at the heart of the market and we had a very busy time. Lots of signatures on our petition, many positive conversations with market-goers, and a dozen new supporters to add to our growing list. We also received a number of generous donations for the Asylum Seeker Centre in Newtown. We have now sent off our first donation of $150 to ASC, which is a great start.
Our next market stall will be at the Bellingen market on Saturday 17th September. You might like to put the date in your diary.
 
Bring Them Here!

There is overwhelming first-hand evidence that the government’s policy of indefinite detention of asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus Island is hugely harmful to the physical and mental well-being of the detainees. What more will it take for the government and the Labor opposition to finally implement a bipartisan  policy to end this shameful cruelty?
Could you please consider telephoning the offices of Malcolm Turnbull, Peter Dutton and Shayne Neumann ( the Labor shadow minister) to express your dismay about the current situation and to call on them to resettle in Australia all those found to be genuine refugees. They are our responsibility and they are entitled to our protection under the Refugee Convention, to which Australia is a signatory. It only takes a few minutes, and all calls are logged. Only massive, ongoing public pressure is going to change things.
The telephone numbers are:
Malcolm Turnbull: 02 6277 7700
Peter Dutton: 02 6277 7860
Shayne Neumann: 07 3201 5300



​Road side demo at Nambucca


​Harbour-side market stall at Coffs


Our blog is at http://bellorar.blogspot.com.au and includes articles from many sources and letters to politicians and newspapers

check out the index of subjects on the blog

The newsletter is sent to 414 recipients


(482 likes)

Twitter Account @RARBellingenNam


The National RAR web site is at  www.ruralaustraliansforrefugees.org.au 

28.8.16

Statistics of Asylum Seekers awaiting settlement as at May 2016

In the "Academics for Refugees Policy Paper - A Just and Humane Approach for Refugees" they summarise the attached document thus:

As of May 2016, there were 

1570 people in immigration detention in Australia 

1,313 people being held in Australian-funded
camps on Nauru and PNG. 

341 adults and 317 children are in community detention on
the Australian mainland. 

There are also 28,328
people living in the community on a Bridging
Visa E.

27.8.16

Cruel Detention - Nauru Saturday Paper 27 August 2016

The dysfunction of offshore detention on Nauru

As the Coalition defends offshore detention in the wake of leaked files, former Nauru social workers and government officials paint a picture of utter dysfunction. 
AP
A file photo of asylum seekers held on Nauru, at right, talking through a fence with international journalists.

 

Last week, the immigration minister, Peter Dutton, responded to the leak of more than 2000 Nauru incident reports to The Guardian. The 8000 pages detailed allegations of rape, sexual harassment and intimidation, as well as cases of self-harm and suicide. Despite the scale, the leak was far from exhaustive. But Dutton tried to quell what he characterised as “hype”. “Some people have even gone to the extent of self-harming and people have self-immolated in an effort to get to Australia,” he said. “Certainly some have made false allegations.”
Staff of Save the Children, whose contract on the island was terminated late last year and whose reports were included in the leak, watched in anger. As the authors of many of the reports, they felt their professionalism and the reality of their work was being denied by the government that once employed them. Privately they began messaging each other about their frustration. Bound by confidentiality agreements and cowed by the Australian Border Force Act, which outlaws the disclosure of information from offshore camps, the vast majority had remained silent about their time on the island. But now they’d had enough. “When Dutton went on the news and said that these allegations weren’t necessarily true, I thought, ‘Whoa,’ ” Judith Reen tells me. “This is primary evidence. What Dutton said was offensive, and we all started writing to each other and it snowballed.” 
Reen was a teacher in the Nauruan camp. She is now one of more than a hundred former Save the Children staff who have come out publicly to denounce the offshore program, and to detail their time on the island. Never before have we had so many people who witnessed the operations prepared to speak about it. Many I spoke to felt exposed. Some feared prosecution. But all told me that frustration and serial attacks upon their integrity had finally compelled them to go public. “Personally I feel vulnerable,” Reen says. “I fear there could be some insidious backlash. But those kids are suffering, and you can’t un-know that reality. I saw kids deteriorate. It’s counterintuitive for teachers to watch kids in decline. It chips away at your core.” 

Quasi-military culture

Save the Children staff – and other service providers on Nauru – are not the only ones dismayed by the operations of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. I spoke with two former senior executive staff of the department, who left 18 months ago when it merged with customs and created, in parts, a quasi-military. The historic focus of the bureaucracy shifted overnight. “There’s now only about 27 [senior executive] staff left today, from more than 100 two years ago,” one of the former executives tells me. “At the time of the merger I left because of my values, and I thought I’d leave before I was pushed. Essentially it was because I had grave reservations about the ABF [Australian Border Force]. There were some good aspects to it – intelligence, for example – but I couldn’t abide the muscular rhetoric and the new disdain for our experience and the palpable disdain for resettlement and nation building.
“There’s a need for [policy] balance, but I got the feeling that they thought the mission of nation building was accomplished and now it was all about enforcement. You would get outrageous rhetoric like ‘manning the brigades’. They wanted to join the big guys at the table of national security. But to have another armed force established, without much discussion, was disquieting. Among the senior staff to leave, there was wide disquiet or even contempt and derision.” 
Another former executive of the department agrees it underwent a profound change in culture, and that its new secretary, Mike Pezzullo, was dictatorial in his approach. “He always thinks he’s the smartest person in the room,” the source tells me, “and that includes rooms he shares with Dutton. His vision for the department is very clearly paramilitary.” 
I have been repeatedly told of low morale at the department, now worsened by an AFP investigation into the leak. “Immigration had not been a leaking department in the past,” a former executive says. “They were dedicated staff, and they understood how vexed issues were. It was unlike other departments that were more prone to leaking. But when you are disenchanted, there’s a greater risk these things will happen.”
Another executive tells me he doesn’t know whether the leaks came from the department, but he’s surprised it hadn’t happened earlier. “People who raised legitimate concerns, like Save the Children, were demonised. It was a blaming culture and the department was front and centre of that.” 

‘Nothing wrong’

This week, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said on ABC’s Q&Aprogram that he didn’t “think there is anything systematically wrong with the system of offshore detention”.
It was a statement at odds with his own government’s Moss inquiry, the 2000 leaked incident reports and the many conversations I had this week with the authors of those reports. The various crimes and squalor of Nauru camps were not aberrations – they were systemic, practised within a regime of child welfare that falls well below best practice. One problem was the reporting regime. Service providers would never directly report to the department, but to Wilson Security which “triaged and downgraded” the reports. An obvious conflict arose if Wilson staff was the subject of those reports. “The reporting process was ridiculous,” Tracey Donehue tells me. Donehue was another Save the Children teacher on the island. “I can’t exaggerate how intimidating it was to head to the security command room with 15 or 20 burly guys and they’d challenge your reports. A large majority of those reports were about Wilson, so you would file the complaint and then Wilson would investigate themselves.” 
Another former staff member, Evan Davis, told me the security staff they dealt with daily were “good blokes” but the investigative response team – a “quasi-military group” – were despised by most people in the camp. Additionally, multiple former staff complained about a process of reporting that emphasised paperwork over the incident itself. “A big problem,” said a former senior staff member, who wished to remain anonymous, “was when kids had problems with Wilson staff and there was a reluctance amongst them and their parents to report. We had occasions of the person complained about approaching the complainant. Very unfair and inappropriate. But this was never taken seriously enough.”
This same person tells me that her colleagues’ mental health deteriorated alarmingly, as did other former workers’. “Staff’s mental health really declined,” teacher Jennifer Rose says. “I witnessed staff break down. They had difficulty sleeping. They had anxiety. And amongst this, their professionalism was called into question by our government.” 
The anonymous caseworker tells me she attended daily briefings on the mental health of refugees. At these meetings, held with multiple stakeholders, she says, department staff showed sympathy but were ultimately ineffectual. “But what broke me specifically,” she tells me, “were the meetings with Australian Border Force. That ate into my soul. We were discussing attempted suicides and they laughed all the time. We would leave in tears at this disregard for human life. They treated refugees as criminals.”
Perhaps most alarming were descriptions of professional inertia among officials. Davis tells me there were many allegations of rape and sexual abuse within the male camp but, because of shame, cultural prohibitions and the fear of retribution, there was also a great likelihood of many unreported incidents. 
The inertia was pronounced among local police, too. “The unaccompanied minors,” Davis says, “were in a lot of trouble outside the camps. Locals would assault them, kick in their doors. Police aren’t interested. There was a time when Save the Children staff were threatened by a guy wielding a machete. I was there. I witnessed it at the hotel. It took four guys to restrain him: he was totally off his mind on drugs by the looks of it. Well, that guy was released by police the next day.” 
Davis says Nauru has received tens of millions of dollars from the Australian government, and yet he saw no evidence it was being invested in the country. “There’s asbestos everywhere,” Davis says. “There’s only one public toilet on the whole island. Very little capital works going on. Of the 10,000 Nauruans, I’d say 9800 wouldn’t derive any benefit from that money.”

Closing schools

When Save the Children were told their contract would be terminated, it coincided with the government’s decision to close the camp’s school. Teachers were appalled – their classes were always well attended, the result of children gratefully relieving their woeful under-stimulation. But the teachers argued their integration would be problematic in the local schools – they were inadequate and the refugee children would be harassed. Their prediction has been fulfilled – refugee school attendance rates have collapsed. But, senior teachers tell me, their advice was never heeded. Not only was it ignored by the government – contained in a long document regarding the transition of teaching services to Connect and the Brisbane Catholic Education group – but they were forbidden from communicating with the two new service providers. I have seen the transition document, and subsequent correspondence between Save the Children and the department of immigration. Senior teachers proposed a child-protection framework, improvements to the hygiene and safety of an asbestos-riddled school, and an adequately tailored syllabus. They were far from controversial suggestions, but the department wasn’t interested and didn’t forward the material to Connect or BCE. 
“Why? Because they wanted us out,” Rose tells me. “Each step of the way we raised issues about the safety and education of students and the government would have preferred that we didn’t. So they kept us separate so we wouldn’t taint the process.” 
Many former staff feel vindicated by the leaked reports, even if they are now anxious about making themselves public. Perhaps the easiest, saddest illustration of the gross inadequacy of these camps is the damaged mental health of those who merely worked there. “With my health issues, I was fearful about how I might feel seeing these reports again,” an anonymous source tells me. “But I felt validated when these reports were summarised in the media. This is the real deal of what’s going on over there – the ground-level, hard-hitting reports.” 
Whether it shifts public opinion or political orthodoxy is another matter.
TAGS: 

23.8.16

Newsletter for 23 August 2016 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Popup demonstration: Thursday 25 August Nambucca Plaza
Market Stall - 28th August Coffs
Press coverage of Nambucca Heads gathering
Academics for Refugees policy paper
Home among the Gumtrees

Nambucca Heads Roadside Demonstration: Thursday 25th August3.00 pm to 4.30 pm

A reminder that our next roadside demonstration will be this Thursday by the Pacific Highway in Nambucca Heads, adjacent to the Plaza shopping centre. Mike has been honing his new-found skills (?) in painting placards, so there are plenty to go round. Those abandoned election corflutes have come in very useful! Please consider coming to join us, even for part of the time, to demonstrate to the general public that the abuse and mistreatment of asylum seekers must be brought to an end. It would be great to have 10-12 people helping to get the message across. Please email Robin at: robinhesketh@hotmail.com if you can join us.
Harbourside Market, Coffs Harbour, Sunday 28th August

Our next market stall will be this coming Sunday at the Harbourside market, which is located near the Jetty foreshore in Coffs Harbour.  John and Mike will be setting up our stall at 7.00 am as usual and are seeking volunteers to help out between 9.00 am and 1.00 pm. If you can help out for an hour or so, then please let Mike know by email at: mandm.griffin2@bigpond.com.  It would be great to welcome some of our Coffs Harbour supporters. If you are around, do drop by to say hello and sign the petition.
Press coverage of our Nambucca Heads gathering

Following our impromptu gathering last week to protest about the continuing abuse of asylum seekers in offshore detention, attended by more than 30 RAR supporters, we received very good press coverage in the Bellingen Courier Mail and the Coffs Advocate.  Big headlines, great photos and an excellent write-up. A big thank you to John Pollock for sending the reports and photos in double-quick time to the local press.

see http://bellorar.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/letter-to-editor-coffs-advocate-20_20.html
Academics for Refugees Policy Paper

Last week, a group of academics added their voice to the ever-increasing list of organisations and groups across Australia, calling for an end to mandatory detention and the closure of immigration detention centres. It is not a lengthy document, and is well worth reading. You can find it by following this link.

HOME AMONG THE GUMTREES – Bellingen and Nambucca RAR

Many of you would have heard of this support for asylum seekers and refugees. Basically it offers them an opportunity to experience a period in a country or coastal village.

I am happy be the co-ordinator of this service in our area. I am calling for any volunteers who would like to participate as hosts.

My partner, Georgina and I would like to be hosts but need the support of others as it is important that anyone who visits meets different people and has a variety of experiences. We live at Mylestom so can offer fun on the beach and the river. If you read the links below you will see that the hosts have certain requirements asked of them as the visitors have different needs.

There are no financial requirements, as you will read – just time and appropriate accommodation.

If you have even the inkling of an interest in this, please either email or ring me. I am new to this also so we will explore it together. However, I do believe in being well prepared and well organized.
In your email or phone call give me an idea of:

How many you can accommodate
What setting you will offer – eg, farm, town, coast
What preference you have, if any, for small family, males, females
Whether you can’t offer accommodation but could take visitors for a day out

Once I find that there are enough of us to support a stay, I will contact the organisers for Home Among the Gumtrees

Thanks

Margaret Henley 02 6655 4613 (evenings mostly) 0414 592 519

This is the link to the Home Among the Gumtrees site organized by the Rural Australian for Refugees.





Our blog is at http://bellorar.blogspot.com.au and includes articles from many sources and letters to politicians and newspapers

check out the index of subjects on the blog

The newsletter is sent to 414 recipients


(482 likes)

Twitter Account @RARBellingenNam


The National RAR web site is at  www.ruralaustraliansforrefugees.org.au 

20.8.16

Saturday Paper article 20 August 2016 Grand Champion a Tour of Sydney's Asylum Seeker Centre

Asylum Seeker Centre CEO Frances Rush

A tour of Sydney’s Asylum Seeker Centre.

At Bedford Street in Newtown, the air is frigid, the sky clear and still. Beside the train track is a towering fig tree, where shrieks from myna birds are drowned out by the roar of trains. On the corner opposite, close to the road, is the Asylum Seekers Centre, a rambling terrace house illuminated by a multicoloured mural.
When she meets me inside, Frances Rush smiles. Her hand is warm. She wears brilliant lipstick and a bright scarf, but everything else about her is gentle: eyes, manner, the delicate mother-of-pearl studs at her ears. She’s worked with homeless people, priests and nuns, sex workers, camels, kids in youth detention; on national boards, on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; in Aboriginal communities, cities, the bush, the desert. The exposure of her family to social justice has been a strong driver for her own career, she says. “As one of five children growing up in the ’70s, my family pooled with others and supported Vietnamese families. It was community coming together.”
Here, at the Asylum Seekers Centre, Rush has been involved since the very beginning, when the centre was in Surry Hills. Four years ago, with financial support from major foundations, individuals and community groups, the centre expanded, moving to Newtown. Last year, Rush became chief executive officer.
At any one time, there are 17,000 people living in New South Wales who are seeking asylum. The centre, she tells me, is almost at capacity. “We are downstream of government policy and we feel the impact. There are people who will tip into destitution. It is both political and real.”
The centre operates with more than 300 volunteers: lawyers, doctors, cooks, teachers, employment service workers, and more. In terms of compassion and generosity, Rush says, it is the opposite of what is happening at government level. “Even when we first moved in, local people turned up with canned goods on day one. We get five to 10 calls a day saying, ‘What can I do?’ One of our challenges is: how do we harness that goodwill?”     
Rush takes me on a tour. Inside, the house is a tight warren of rooms and hallways. Every space is filled. Against a wall in the common area, a table is laid out with free things to take: cans of baked beans, cooking implements, new coathangers covered in maroon satin or yellow crochet. In the corner is a playpen with toys and books, and a multistorey doll’s house complete with furnishings. Rush stops at the children’s artwork that decorates the walls: carefully coloured pictures of monkeys and dinosaurs, butterflies in pinks and blues, a house with a pointed roof and green garden. “We have an extraordinary number of children here at the moment,” she says. “One little girl is nervous her school friends will find out she’s an asylum seeker, and won’t be her friends anymore.” English classes are not provided by the government for asylum seekers, and school preparation, “takes an enormous amount of work”.
Walking around the centre, Rush greets people by name, fetches paper for someone, confirms meeting times with someone else. We stop at the basic kitchen, where Miles, a volunteer cook for the past 12 years, is frying pakoras. Volunteer kitchen staff provide a hot meal every day. “Not everyone has access to hot food,” Rush says. “For a lot of people, they are not living in a place they can cook.”
Guitars hang on the wall of the music room; below them, bongo drums and electric keyboards sit among sheets of music. “People wait years – what do they do in that time? We run education classes: gardening and music and art. We look at social activities, what’s free in the city.”
Along the hallway, the employment team sits in a narrow office, overlooking the front street. Free to employers, the centre’s employment service matches people with jobs, confirms work rights and skill levels, and offers ongoing support. Last year the service helped 222 asylum seekers find jobs. “Employment transforms lives,” Rush says. “If you want a really good employee, you’d employ someone who sought safety here. They want that job, they want to make it work. There is no sense of wanting to come here and linger.”
We visit the health clinic, one small room, where equipment has been donated by local hospitals. One of Rush’s biggest challenges, she admits, is funding. Four years ago the centre supported 400 people; now, that number is above 1600. Relying on grants makes you vulnerable, she says. “Ordinary people making small, regular donations is vital. That untied money keeps the place going. It enables us to be flexible. And it gives us the certainty of going forward.”
The Australian public who are supportive of people seeking asylum, Rush tells me, understand it, that real sense of courage. “It’s the courage that comes hand in hand with grief really. People who flee their country are losing. They’re leaving family and culture. And they don’t know where they are going. That resilience and courage is a powerful combination. It’s a strength you want to build on.”
Downstairs, behind the food bank, the storage room is heaving. Non-perishable food and blankets line the walls and floor. Rush laughs. She says she has been stalking the generous priest on the corner of the street. “I am always on the lookout for more room.”
Of her role, Rush is cautiously optimistic. “It’s a huge responsibility on every level; I certainly feel that.” Her outlet, she says, is walking: bush treks in Tasmania, the Camino in Spain and France, the Oxfam trail walk. “It’s about getting into that rhythm, that different way of thinking.”
She smiles. “But this doesn’t really need to be about me, does it?” Again, Rush is talking about the centre and its people. Our work here, she says, is about empowering people, helping them to thrive, getting them back on their feet. “When a person from the employment team says someone has got a job – we all rejoice in that. And when you hear someone has got protection, you think: they can live, they can breathe again.”

Letter to Editor Coffs Advocate 20 August 2016 and other local papers

Letter to editor Coffs Advocate 20 August 2016 , Bellingen Courier Sun 24 August and Nambucca Guardian 25 August - close the offshore detention centres

Many readers will have seen the confronting footage on the recent Four Corners program, which depicted the brutal treatment of aboriginal teenage boys in the Northern Territory’s Don Dale detention centre. Political leaders queued up to tell us how deeply  shocked they were by what they had seen in the video footage. They also claimed that they had no prior knowledge of this disgraceful abuse, notwithstanding the fact there had been several investigations into the running of the centre, all of which had set out in detail many aspects of the abuse which we witnessed on our screens. We now have a Royal Commission which will investigate all the issues.
Hard on the heels of these revelations, we have yet more graphic information about the brutal treatment of asylum seekers on the remote island of Nauru. The evidence of the abuse of detainees on Nauru, in spite of the government’s efforts to shroud the operation in a veil of secrecy, has been well documented for several years. We have had The Forgotten Children report, the Moss review, Senate enquiries and many first-hand accounts from doctors, nurses, teachers and social workers, all of which paint a picture of systemic physical and sexual abuse and mental torture. These are innocent people, fleeing conflict and persecution. They have committed no crime. Yet the response of our government to the publication of some 2,000 incident files last week, which set out in great detail the catalogue of systemic abuse on Nauru, was deeply shocking.  This time, we had Scott Morrison, Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton lining up to downplay and dismiss the reports.  Peter Dutton, the minister responsible, went so far as to suggest that asylum seekers set themselves on fire in an effort to get to Australia! No, Mr Dutton, people set themselves on fire because we have made them so desperate, so broken by ill-treatment and indefinite detention, that they want to die. 
What will it take to spur our government to finally come to its senses and close the offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island? How many more asylum seekers have to die before we take our moral and international obligations seriously?
We should hang our collective heads in shame.

Mike 

19.8.16

RAR Conference 3 and 4 September 2016 second newsletter



National RAR Conference ... in Bendigo ... come and join us ...
3 & 4 September 2016

The First Newsletter ... in case you missed it ...

Regional Australian refugee advocates are invited
to be a part of a great weekend
in Bendigo

Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th September 2016
Rural Australians for Refugees National RAR Conference
One Voice, One Vision
Book for the Full Conference
or
Book for each session separately
And don’t miss the Conference Dinner on Saturday night
Registration: https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=200883 Full Conference Details: www.ruralaustraliansforrefugees.org.au
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Email rar.australia@gmail.com
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Rural Australians for Refugees National Conference 2016
Saturday Morning Session
Cost $30 Morning Tea included
One Voice, One Vision
For Rural Australians for Refugees Delegates and interested members of the public
8.30am 12.30pm Saturday 3rd Sept 2016
St Andrews Church Hall, Myers Street, Bendigo
Join us for an exciting morning’s program
Meet ...
  •   Chris Cummins
  •   Founders of Rural Australians for Refugees
    Anne, Helen and Susan
    Participate ...
Facilitated Sessions
1. The power of one message - Media & Refugee Advocacy
Facilitator Anthony Radford
2. Think National, Working Local - RAR groups
Facilitators - Helen Musk and Marie Bonne
3. The Ripple Effect - Growing the National RAR Network
Facilitators Terry White & Bonnie Carter
Enjoy ... Morning‐tea break
Thrill to the sound of ... Gorgeous Voices
Meet ... the new Rural Australians for Refugees Admin Team
And discover ... Where to from Here for Rural Australians for Refugees

Registrations: https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=200883
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Saturday Afternoon Session
Cost $30 - Afternoon Tea included
Special Afternoon Session open to the Public
Changing Attitudes
Ideas that Work
2pm - 5pm, Saturday 3rd Sept 2016
St Andrews Church Hall, Myers Street, Bendigo
Listen to the beautiful voice of
Fay White
Be inspired by John & Margaret Millington’s Successful Settlement of Karen Refugees
Discover how to
Break the Secrecy
with Walkley Award Winning Journalists

Ben Doherty
Anthony Radford

Meet
Julian Burnside QC AO, Patron of RAR
And Participate in the Campaign Launch of
The Welcome Scroll
Introduced by Asher Hirsch, Refugee Council of Australia,
with the Mayors of Bendigo and Mount Alexander Shire, Rod Fyffe & Christine Henderson
Nick Olle

Registrations: https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=200883
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Sunday Morning Session
Cost $30 - Morning Tea and Lunch included
Rural Australians for Refugees National Conference 2016
Words That Work
9am 1pm Sunday 4th Sept 2016
St Andrews Church Hall, Myers Street, Bendigo
Two Special Sunday Workshops
Come for one Workshop or come for both
9am
1. Amnesty Workshop - Changing the Conversation
2. ASRC Workshop - Refuge from our Rhetoric
10.40: Morning‐tea break 11am
1. ASRC Workshop - Refuge from our Rhetoric
2. Amnesty Workshop - Changing the Conversation
The Workshops are presented as part of the RAR National Conference 2016 Registrations: https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=200883
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Conference tickets $75 - A limited number of discounted tickets are available.
We are only able to offer a very limited number of discounted tickets.
Email your application for a discount to Bendigo RAR at rarbendigo@gmail.com
Saturday night Dinner at the Shamrock Hotel tickets $40
Morning or afternoon sessions can be booked separately for $30 each. There is no lunch included with Saturday's half-day sessions. Entry is at the start of each session.
Donations towards the conference running costs will be gratefully accepted.
Donate through the registration process or through a bank transfer.
More details available as you book. Tax invoices will be available on request by emailing us a copy of the transaction.
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Conference Venue
St Andrews Uniting Church Hall 26 Myers Street
rear entry 96 Mollison Street Bendigo, Victoria 3550

Speakers:
Sessions & Workshops will offer an opportunity to:
  •   learn to use language & the media effectively to advocate
  •   help transform public perception of refugees & people seeking asylum
  •   join a national voice
  •   network with like-minded people
  •   & help launch a national campaign
    Full conference program details available from RAR Australia's webpage:
    http://www.ruralaustraliansforrefugees.org.au/event/bendigo-national-rar-conference/
    Registrations:
    https://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=200883 Email: rar.australia@gmail.com