The Hobart and Joondalup local groups have held some stellar events over the past few months to build momentum for the national refugee campaign.
Femke, Co-convenor of the Joondalup group in Western Australia reports:
We started the Joondalup group in January this year, and we have been focused on recruiting new members to help us achieve our first and priority goal: making Joondalup a Refugee Welcome Zone.
We held our first big event in September at the Currambine Community Centre, hosting a viewing of Cast from the Storm with guest speaker Ibrahim Kebe, a former refugee from Sierra Leone. This was our first real opportunity to make a connection with our community and start conversations about refugees – a subject that, we feel, has been avoided in Joondalup for a long while.
Co-convener Bahaval and I are passionate about standing up for the human rights of refugees, and we want our community to open their hearts and join us in the spirit of welcome. Many of the people who attended our event were interested in the issues discussed and enquired about how to help or join our group. We’ve even had coverage in the Joondalup Times.
The event was a success, and we’re excited for our little group to flourish and grow. We’re excited that there is support in community – not just for our group, but for better treatment of refugees in Australia. We have a lot of plans to keep building our presence in Joondalup over the summer. Keep an eye out!
Meanwhile, Zainab Clark reports from Hobart…
Tassie should be proud of the hundreds of people who came from near and far for the Bring Them Here rally in Franklin Square. Colourful banners and signs were held high, calling on the Federal government to close the processing centres on Manus and Nauru, and bring the refugees and asylum seekers to Australia.
Placards cried out for compassion toward all of those who have risked their lives and the lives of their loved ones to escape war and hardship. Organisers from various refugee action groups and politicians from across the political divide gave rousing speeches, and after the rally people were queuing to sign petitions and pledges for Free the Children Nauru and Amnesty.
We gathered hundreds of signatures in support of refugees and we’re proud to be able to help bring these voices to the Federal government.