Welcome to Rural Australians for Refugees


Election 2016: the campaign trail begins

From the Refugee Council of Australia:

RCOA logo

‘Despite professed bipartisan support for the issue, several MPs have broken ranks and acted on their conscience, speaking out against current detention policy.  Over the weeks that follow, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) will be providing background information to assist voters, including a guide to the refugee policies of the three main parties.  We will also be asking the public to declare support for a fairer alternative.’ Read the latest RCOA Bulletin


Welcome to our RAR Network

Dunkeld Refugee & Asylum Seeker Support Group



Refugee WeekRefugee Week 19-25 June 2016

  • Read the first Refugee Week Bulletin here
  • Read the second Refugee Week Bulletin here


And check out our Events Calendar for Refugee Week Events including screenings of Chasing Asylum.

And also check the Events Calendar on the RCOA Website


A National Petition to the House of Representatives.        

Organised by South Gippsland RAR.     To Print a copy,  click herePetition 1

Return completed copies to SGRAR by end of May.

(Return to address at bottom of petition)

And Bellingen RAR sent their Petition with 975 signatures. Thanks to every one who signed.  Read Mike’s letter to Peter Dutton here.



Newsletters   from  Groups  

and   Organisations


Welcome to the RAR Network

Rural Australians for Refugees Yass


First in Sydney – then around Australia …

Check out the Freedom Story Project here:  www.freedomstoriesproject.com

Or contact to discuss a screening.


And speaking of Films … have you heard about the $6 million movie commissioned by the Immigration Department

Marlene from Bellingen RAR has written to her local MP, Luke Hartsuyker about “The Journey“.

Read Marlene’s letter here

Image result for The Journey Australian film aimed at asylum seekers

And to watch the segment about “The Journey” on Charlie Pickering’s show “The Weekly”, click here.  The segment is about 12 minutes into the video clip.

The Guardian News item about “The Journeyhere

Chasing Asylum 1

And watch out for  “Chasing Asylum

CHASING ASYLUM exposes the real impact of Australia’s offshore detention policies and explores how ‘The Lucky Country’ became a country where leaders choose detention over compassion and governments deprive the desperate of their basic human rights.

The film features never before seen footage from inside Australia’s offshore detention camps, revealing the personal impact of sending those in search of a safe home to languish in limbo.

CHASING ASYLUM explores the mental, physical and fiscal consequences of Australia’s decision to lock away families in unsanitary conditions hidden from media scrutiny, destroying their lives under the pretext of saving them.   http://www.chasingasylum.com.au/


PETITIONS  …  …  …  When is a petition not a petition?   

Making Your Voice Heard … & … Sample Petition  for the House of Reps

Brief Guide to Senate Petitions


Let your local MP know that you Stand for Sanctuary.  Find your local MP here: http://bit.ly/1NTf1sx


Julian Burnside, AO QC, the acclaimed “Australian National Living Treasurer” winner of the Sydney Peace Prize, and highly regarded long-term advocate for asylum seekers and refugees has agreed to become our honourary Patron … Thank you Julian, and welcome aboard … officially.


Message from Julian Burnside:   

 Rural Australians for Refugees have been calling for a fair go for refugees ever since the infamous Tampa event, when the Pacific Solution was created  and 438 asylum seekers rescued by the Norwegian cargo ship Tampa were forcibly diverted to Nauru.
Since then, these local groups have persisted in their work; visiting refugees, raising money for their food, clothing and shelter and holding public meetings that draw attention to more compassionate policy options.
To my observation, RAR has been the most impressive and dedicated group supporting refugees.  What they have done is little short of inspirational.
RAR has my greatest admiration and my full support.
Please promote this petition through your networks,
The Secrecy Provisions of the Border Force Act can be repealed with support!
Petition          Detainees
Its too important to allow the legislation to go unchallenged.
National Settlement StandardsSettlement Council of Australia – June 2015
On October 2015 the Department launched a new website for IMAs

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection says its IMA website is designed to enable IMAs and other users to navigate intuitively to information that is relevant to different stages of the IMA status resolution journey, including:

1.     living in the community while waiting to apply for a visa

2.     applying for a protection visa

3.     after a decision has been made on the application.

For up to date always check information on the Immigration and Border Force Website 



Home Among the Gum Trees

Dear RAR groups and friends

Would you like to help person to person?


There are ways to do this even if you are away from asylum seeker suburbs, especially if you are in Rural and Regional areas.

  1. Join Home Among the Gum Trees, Rural Australians for Refugees holiday program as a host or supporter.
  2. Be on the look-out for jobs  for asylum seekers in your area. Please forward any employer leads or contacts to Given the Chance for Asylum Seekers I Workforce Solutions that Matter I  Brotherhood of St Laurence I Centre for Work and Learning, 95 Brunswick Street Fitzroy Victoria 3065 I  T (03) 9288 9955  M 0400 153 148 IWvanRiet@bsl.org.au I Available Mon-Fri www.bsl.org.au

Either of these actions is  life changing for Asylum Seekers… and life changing for you!

Elaine Smith – mob 0427596977





No Business In Abuse is a movement of people who want corporations to know they face a choice: engage in Australia’s abusive detention regime or maintain a profitable business model.

Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield Services) and Wilson Security are the two corporations that provide services central to the detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru. Together they’re paid billions by the government – but they rely on other income streams as well, including contracts with local councils all around Australia.

Without contracts like these, their business model would fall apart – and that’s where you come in.

By organising and applying strategic local pressure, we can get our councils to say they won’t further contract with Broadspectrum and Wilson while they’re involved in detention. This way, their choice to be complicit in human rights abuses has immediate consequences for the rest of their business.

Are you in? Search for your nearest petition here

GetUp- No Abuse   Shen Narayanasamy is the new Human Rights Director at GetUp.

Let’s help Shen end business in abuse.  Click here to read more: www.nobusinessinabuse.org


Bumper Stickers available from Bellingen and Nambucca RAR


email John:  

50 cents each plus postage

New T shirts available –  details at http://bellorar.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/where-to-get-t-shirts.html


These bumper stickers are also available.   Email Peter – 

Say Yes to Refugees


Looking for information or resources about Refugee or Asylum Seeker issues?

Try RAC  and  Asylum Insight

From ChilOut – New Asylum Seeker Laws – Your Questions Answered

Australian Border Force Act explained

Asylum Policy in Australia Today
Asylum Insight have published a comprehensive update of background information on asylum policy in Australia. This content is updated annually to reflect recent changes in how Australia receives asylum seekers. The background information is presented in four main sections:


ASRC Project

Researching and Messaging Project

Probject aimed at reframing the narrative around asylum seekers and refugee


Don’t forget to check out the RAR Events Page

To have your event included on our calendar just email details to


A comprehensive report on the Economic and Social Impact of the Karen resettlement in Nhill


The Refugee Research Blog


Regional Refugee Action Networks in Victoria

  • CVRSN – Central Victorian Refugee Support Network
    • Email for further information –  RAR Admin at 
  •  CRAG – Combined Refugee Action Group – Geelong, Victoria
    • Email – 
    • Facebook – CRAG
  • SCRAR – Surf Coast Rural Australians for Refugee 
    • Email – 
    • Website – SCRAR
    • Facebook – SCRAR

Refugee & Asylum Seekers Service and Support Mapping- May 2014 Mainstream and specialist support services available across the G21 (Geelong) region


We invite you to consider how you might work with Rural Australians for Refugees

  • Join one of the Refugee and Asylum Seeker support groups.  There are many RAR groups, community groups, church groups working to improve the lives of Asylum Seekers and Refugees
  • Engage in Fundraising,  Awareness- raising, and/or  Advocacy
  • If there is no group near you, consider starting one
  • Visit Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Detention Centres
  • Letter Writing – to Politicians – MPs Addresses   Senators Addresses
  • Letter Writing – the Refugee Council of Australia has an initiative called Write to Be Heard.
  • Visit our Facebook Page – Rural Australians for Refugees
  • Want to have your Asylum Seeker or Refugee Support group listed on our website?  
  • Send details to RAR Admin –

RAR Groups – Websites

Visit Rural Australians for Refugees Facebook pages – keep up-to-date with issues and events

Email your local Rural Australians for Refugee Group  

  • Apollo Bay – 
  • Aireys Inlet – 
  • Armidale –  
  • Ballina – 
  • Barwon Heads – 
  • Bega Valley – 
  • Bellarine – 
  • Bellingen and Nambucca Districts – 
  • Bendigo – 
  • Braidwood – 
  • Castlemaine – 
  • Great Lakes – 
  • Macedon Ranges – 
  • Mansfield – 
  • Queanbeyan – 
  • Queenscliff – 
  • South Gippsland – 
  • Surf Coast – 
  • Warrnambool – 

 For other RAR Groups, please email RAR Admin at 


Those who wander are not lost  :  Tracking displaced people around the world

An excellent interactive graphic – Statistics based on 2014 figures supplied by UNHCR



Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au

News Archives