It was a beautiful spring evening down on the banks of the Myall River as a handful of people gathered for a candlelit vigil for the refugees of war-torn Syria.
Our numbers though small were comparable to the vigils held in the large cities on a per-capita basis.
The local geese were grazing peacefully as the sun set and we lit our candles.
How fortunate we are. We live in a stunningly beautiful area, in freedom and peace.
We can speak our minds and we have healthy food and shelter, clean air and water.
We came together that night in the recognition that not everyone is so fortunate.
At this moment, millions of people are fleeing from their homes in Syria. It is estimated that almost 8 million people are displaced, and are either refugees or are internally displaced.
We welcomed lasts week’s announcement that Australia will resettle an additional 12,000 refugees, but we also spoke about Nauru and Manus Island, and the cruel treatment of asylum seekers who risked their lives to seek safety in this land.
They fled persecution in a way that is not approved of, and so their fate is dark.
The situation is incredibly complex and the sheer overwhelming difficulty that is currently being experienced by so many has few solutions, but we want our leaders to give us clear factual information, without political spin.
We came together to extend our compassion and welcome to those in need, even if it is just in spirit. Kindness and knowledge are vital.
(Written By Louise Young)