Rural Australians For Refugees

Cover image is Penny Vine, National Secretary of Rural Australia for Refugees, from Border Mail.

Over the weekend of April 6th – 8th, 340 people gathered at Catholic College Wodonga to be informed, inspired and activated.

This was a conference of common cause, that cause being our common rejection of our government’s policy of offshore processing of refugees on Nauru and Manus and our determination to change it.

Presentations ranged from well known lawyers – Gillian Triggs and Julian Burnside – to politicians – Cathy Mcgowan and Nick McKimm – to Iranian poet Saba Vasefi – to the unknown but equally committed activists who teach/sponsor/care. The activation came in the form of a Wodonga declaration, endorsing the ‘need for an Australian Charter of Human Rights’  and sending the government a clear message:  ‘not in my name’.

The absolute highlight was a phone link to Behrouz Boochani to award him the newly struck Tampa medal for his courage in providing a voice for the voiceless.

We must follow his example.

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