Operation Free a Refugee
We are seeking your support to raise $18,500 to fund the resettlement of a refugee to Canada.
This will enable the Refugee Council of Australia to work with the sponsorship agreement organisations and community groups in Canada to resettle refugees who have been held for more than seven years in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.
The Canadian government requires a payment of Aus $18,500 to cover the resettlement cost of a refugee for the first year of residency there. So far, enough money has been raised nationally to fund the resettlement of 44 refugees and 44 separated family members. Another 24 cases are in the pipeline for consideration.
We are launching our fundraising effort with a Golden Pledge Program for anyone who can make a contribution of $500 or more.
- Donations can be put into our Castlemaine RAR account [ BSB 633000, #152185070],
- Please include your name in the Reference.
- Tax deductibility? If you email () your first and last name, preferred email address, and phone number after you have made the donation we can arrange a tax donation receipt through the Refugee Council of Australia.
- The UNHCR, the Refugee Council of Australia, and MOSAIC (Multi-lingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities [Canada]) work together to make sure the selection process focuses on refugees who need help the most, which is mainly refugees detained on Nauru or in PNG who have no option for resettlement in another country.
- We will regularly forward the donations to the Refugee Council of Australia and let our supporters know how much has been raised.
If you can’t afford $500, don’t worry. We will soon be asking for support from anyone who can afford $50.
A 2019 Refugee Week event in Castlemaine Library. Laura Keogh talks about her picture story book, Australia is our Home, and Nicola Philp talks about her picture story book, A Grain of Hope to Castlemaine primary school students.
Refugee Welcome Zone Action Plan
Council adopted the Mount Alexander Refugee Welcome Zone Action Plan 2018 – 2021 at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on Tuesday 26 June 2018.
The plan identifies 17 actions, to be delivered in partnership with local service providers and community groups, to develop a welcoming, supportive and socially inclusive community.
It was developed in partnership with Rural Australians for Refugees Castlemaine and Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services.
Members of Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) Castlemaine attended the awards ceremony for the Human Rights Commission in Sydney on 8 December.
RAR Castlemaine was a nominee in the Community Category.
As nominees, they were presented with their certificates at a morning tea at the Human Rights Commission.
They were welcomed by the President of the Human Rights Commission, Professor Rosalind Croucher.
A luncheon for five hundred people at the Westin Hotel followed where the awards were announced.
Each award was presented by a different Human Rights Commissioner.
Artist, Ben Quilty, was a nominee for the Human Rights Medal for his support of Myuran Sukurmaran, who was executed in Indonesia in 2015. Neither won in their categories. ‘But it was still a great honour for RAR Castlemaine to be nominated’, said Bev, Castlemaine RAR President. The winner of the Community Category was Blind Citizens Australia. Jonathan Thurston was the winner of the Human Rights Medal for his work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities in Queensland.
Speeches were given by Professor Croucher and by George Brandis, Federal Attorney General.
During the Attorney General’s speech, a small group with arms crossed and raised held a silent protest, in solidarity with the men on Manus Island.
Photo shows RAR members Ellen, Beverley, and Wes with Ben Quilty
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