“History of RAR” – a book is being written!

2021 will mark two decades of RAR’s grass roots action to challenge refugee policy and practice in Australia.

Jan Govett, from Bendigo RAR, played a key role in re-establishing the national network (2013 – 2017).

She has now taken on the daunting task of compiling the history of this organization.

She will be in contact with you and is keen to hear stories, highlights and photos that you may have about this period.

Jan will keep us updated through this page.

Contact Jan:

9 October 2020

Thank you to so many groups who have sent me news of their activities – amazing people.
If I included all you have sent, the book would become a 3 volume publication.
But you have all understood that I will have to edit and tweak – thank you.

And for the few who missed the very tight deadline to contribute to “The Book”.
I’m hoping that you will still find a moment this month to send me a paragraph or two.
Don’t be the group that is left out.

Warm regards – Jan

1 October 2020

Hi there
My name is Jan Govett, and I’m a member of Bendigo RAR.
In 2021 it will be 20 years since RAR began in the Southern Highlands of NSW.

      • To celebrate and document this unique rural Australian network, I am writing its history.
      • Working title: Ten Thousand Strong: Rural Australians for Refugees

RAR groups rally in Melbourne 2019


Below is a list of questions your group may like to answer and return to me.

I hope you will be interested in contributing some of your personal memories and knowledge, especially for the chapters:

  • Original RAR groups 2001 – 2007
  • RAR in the Labor Years 2007-2013
  • RAR groups 2013-2021
  • Initiatives and Projects – e.g. Freedom Rides, Welcome Towns, Art Exhibitions, etc.
  • Resettlement stories
  • 2021 – Where to from here

Questions for RAR Groups

  1.  Name of your group
  2. What and who was the catalyst for your group?
  3. When did your group begin?
  4. Size of your group – active / on your email list
  5. Why call your group Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR)? Or why not?
  6. Brief description of your group’s activities
  7. Who are your “Local Heroes”?
  8. Any notable events, occasions, achievements, etc.
  9. What do you regard as the most important thing that has built awareness within your local community?
  10. Some groups have amazing stories to tell about their relationships with people seeking asylum and refugees. This would be both interesting and informative and may well encourage others who read the book to join / establish local RAR groups.
  11. Suggestions for the title of “The History”.
  12. Your comments – i.e. things I’ve forgotten to ask about.

Send comments or ask for further information by contacting me at: