Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

Free the refugees! Let them land, let them stay!

Archives August 2011

Aug 26 – Sept 24 – JUST LIKE US PROJECT

Friday 26 August 7pm
Exhibition viewing from 6pm
Special Guests Julian Burnside QC and Ann-Mari Jordens

The JUST LIKE US PROJECT is seeking to foster more welcoming attitudes and responses in our communities by sharing the stories of asylum seekers and refugees. The JUST LIKE US EXHIBITION documents stories of people who have arrived in Victoria as asylum seekers or refugees, and those in our community who have welcomed them. The project aims to build knowledge and understanding of the issues and the experiences of people from refugee backgrounds, and to challenge negative community attitudes.

The multimedia exhibition draws on film, photographs and objects sourced from people from refugee backgrounds and a number of community organizations and individuals who have welcomed refugees in many and various ways. The opening of the Exhibition on Friday 26th August, will mark the 10th anniversary of the Tampa incident, an event which has come to symbolise the deep divisions of opinion within our community about our proper response to those who seek asylum on our shores. The Exhibition is open from August 26 until September 30, 2011 at the Multicultural Hub in central Melbourne.

In addition to the Exhibition, the JUST LIKE US PROJECT includes a Schools Program aimed at upper primary and middle secondary students, a Public Forum on the Australian response to asylum seekers, and Performance Events by people from refugee backgrounds.
Who is organising this project? The JUST LIKE US WELCOME COMMUNITY PROJECT has been organised by a coalition of refugee support agencies, advocacy groups and individuals including the Multicultural Hub (Adult Migrant Education Service), Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project, Refugee Action Collective, Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office and the Refugee Advocacy Network.

These welcome stories are significant, and are gathered together in this project in the hope that they will contribute to a spirit of welcome, and a shared sense of belonging within our communities.

For further information contact Marie Hapke at

Friday 26 August 7pm
Exhibition viewing from 6pm
Special Guests Julian Burnside QC and Ann-Mari Jordens

Suitable for upper primary and secondary students
Exhibition with self-guided or facilitated sessions
Bookings essential – see

Arnold Zable, Kavisha Mazzella,
Alice Garner, Majed Shoukor,
Kate Atkinson, Robin Laurie and friends
will perform extracts and reflect on the impact
of Kan Yama Kan and Actors for Refugees.
Saturday 17 September 2 – 4.30pm

PUBLIC FORUM: Policies and Politics
It’s Time to End the Detention of Asylum Seekers
with Prof. Louise Newman and Robyn Samson.
Organised by the Refugee Advocacy Network
Wednesday 21st September 6.30 – 8.30pm

Refugees share stories of
struggle, friendship and hope.
Launch of JUST LIKE US Online Exhibition
Saturday 24 September 2 – 4.30pm

RSVP for all events 9092 1500


10 August ยท 18:00 – 19:30

Bourke Street Mall Swanston Street

Melbourne, Australia

The first boatload of asylum seekers, including 14 unaccompanied minors, is set to be deported to Malaysia, a country with an even worse human rights record than Australia. Prime Minister Gillard has stated that the Australian Federal Police will use force to deport these innocent people. This group of asylum seekers is being used as pawns in a political game.

The government needs to be reminded that seeking asylum is not illegal. No-one chooses to be a refugee. War, tyranny and torture are the situations that force people to seek asylum.

The Labor government has faced many criticism from refugee advocates, lawyers and Labor Party members about this outrageous policy. The government claims to have guarantees that the 800 refugees who will be deported to Malaysia will have access to health, education and work, unlike other refugees in Malaysia. These guarantees aren’t worth anything because refugee advocates won’t be able to trace these refugees to ensure that the guarantees are met.

The Refugee Action Collecive says that “Swapping refugees does not change anything. It just puts more lives at risk. We should process asylum seekers in Australia, in the community and not in detention centres. It’s not too late to stop the Malaysia deal. Bad deals can always be broken. All we need is enough people and organisations to speak out against the Malaysia refugee swap deal.

With Guest Speaker Adam Bandt Federal Greens MP for Melbourne