Unity the theme for Refugee Week 2021

RAR market stall at Valla Beach. Photo: supplied by RAR.

 

REFUGEE Week runs from Sunday, June 20 to Saturday, June 26 2-21.

Every year Refugee week is held during the week that includes June 20, which is World Refugee Day.

The theme this year is Unity.

Refugee Week seeks to raise awareness of issues that affect refugees.

The Bellingen and Nambucca Districts Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) is an active group in and around the Valley that works to raise awareness about issues relating to refugees and to fundraise.

“Our most recent fundraiser, which was a lunch followed by an auction, and attended by 45 people, raised more than $3,000 for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre,” shared Mr Griffin, RAR organiser.

Donations received by the RAR go to the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre (ASC), located in Newtown NSW.

Roadside Demonstrations, held by RAR to raise awareness are an important part of what RAR does.

According to Mr Griffin, “The important thing is that we are a very real and visible presence at the roadside with our placards and banners.”

RAR also holds information and merchandise stalls, the last being at the Valla Beach market on 5 June.

Mr Griffin states that, “We had lots of helpers on our stall, collected 75 signatures on our open letter to the Leader of the Opposition, sold raffle tickets for our latest fundraiser, sent 24 postcards to various political leaders, and had lots of fruitful conversations with market-goers.”

In 2013, the Rudd government declared that any asylum seeker arriving by boat to Australia would not be allowed to resettle in Australia, but would be held in offshore detention on Nauru and Manus Island.

According to the RAR, “The consequences of that decision, which continues to have bipartisan support from the major political parties, have been nothing less than calamitous for asylum seekers who had fled persecution and war in their home countries.”

In protest of the decision, RAR is holding a rally in Coffs Harbour City Square on Monday 19 July from 12-1pm.

“Our rally will be part of a national action to draw the public’s attention to the ongoing mistreatment of refugees, most who have been denied their freedom for eight years and more.”

For those community members who would like to gain more information about what RAR does their email details are [email protected].

RAR welcomes new members and enquiries.

 

By Rachel MCGREGOR-ALLEN

 

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