Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

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

Archives March 2018

2pm 25 March | Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees

When: 2-4pm 25th March

Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne

Organised by Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees organising group

Facebook event here

Join the Melbourne Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees
Sunday March 25 at 2pm, commencing at the State Library (music from 1.30pm).

The walk will be starting at the State Library and take a route that returns to finish at the State Library.

Confirmed speakers for the event in Melbourne include:

Abdul Aziz Adam live from Manus Island. Aziz is a refugee from Darfur in Sudan and has been imprisoned on Manus for over 4 years.
Taqi Azra – Haraza Refugee and NUW organiser
Tim Costello, Chief Advocate, World Vision Australia
Corinne Grant will be the MC
Music from 1.30pm includes Melbourne Mass Gospel Choir, Yomal, and Strange Tennants
More tba

Across Australia, people from all faith groups, community groups and organisations and unions will join the Palm Sunday actions for Refugees, bringing banners and other messages of support to express their concern about the treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum. In this election year, let’s stand together with refugees.

The Australian Government continues to punish people who sought protection in Australia:
• Thousands of people have been held on Nauru and Manus Island during the last four years, and the deliberate cruelty of the offshore detention regime has resulted in 9 deaths, with many people developing serious mental illness and untold misery and despair
• The men marooned on Manus are fearful for their safety as Australia abandons them in Papua New Guinea
• There are still 160 children held on Nauru, who with their families and other adults are being denied hope for the future
• 242 people have been offered protection by America – but around 1700 remain. No refugees from Iran, Somalia, or Sudan (countries covered by Trump’s travel ban) have been offered places to the US.
• The Australian Government has rejected the offer by New Zealand to provide protection for 150 people per year.
• There are concerns that many people will be pressured to return to unsafe places.
• Over 30,000 refugees are living on Bridging Visas in our community, with their futures in limbo. People are still held in detention here in Australia, many for long periods.
• Many families are separated by our harsh system, and most have no hope of ever being reunited with their loved ones.

Now more than ever Australians of goodwill need to stand together and call for Justice for Refugees. PLAN TO BE THERE. Share this information through your networks, and encourage others to join you on the Walk. You can help to bring about the change we so urgently need to see.


We are calling on Australia’s political leaders to abandon the current harsh and unjust policies, and to provide permanent protection for these vulnerable people.

We are also calling for truth and respect in the public discourse – Australians are shocked that some politicians show little regard for the truth while pursuing short term political advantage.

Australia IS RESPONSIBLE for these people. Instead of spending millions to prolong their despair, Australia should #BringThemHere and #LetThemStay.

Give them HOPE – not despair

To add your organisation’s endorsement, email Marie:

For more info call Marie Hapke 0409 252 673
or Chris Breen 0403 013 183

Endorsed by:
Academics for Refugees
Amnesty International Australia
Anakbayan Melbourne
Anglican Diocese of Melbourne
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Australia Asia Worker Links
Australian Association of Social Workers
Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce
Australian Education Union Victorian Branch
Australian Greens Victoria
Australian Jewish Democratic Society
Australian Nursing And Midwifery Federation (Vic Branch)
Australian Refugee Action Network
Australian Student Christian Movement
ASU Victorian Private Sector Branch
Australian Unions for Western Sahara
Ballarat Catholic Diocese Social Justice Commssion
Bayside Refugee Advocacy and Support Association
Befriend A Child In Detention
Bellarine for Refugees
Black Sash Australia
Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project
Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA)
Central Victorian Refugee Support Network
CFMEU C&G Division Vic Branch
Combined Refugee Action Group
Congregation of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan
Darebin City Council
Diaspora Action Australia
Doctors for Refugees
East Gippsland Asylum Seeker Support (EGASS)
Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria
Fair Go For Pensioners
Freedom Socialist Party
Gabriela Australia
Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children
GADRC – Ballarat
GADRC – Batman
GADRC – Bendigo
GADRC – Jaga Jaga
Hobsons Bay Refugee Network
House of Welcome
Humanist Society of Victoria Inc.
Islamic Council of Victoria
Jesuit Social Services
Jews For Refugees
Kindred Kindness
Labor for Refugees
Latrobe Valley Refuge Support Group
Librarians For Refugees
Love Makes A Way
Mater Christi College, Belgrave
McMillan for Refugees
Melbourne Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office
Melbourne City Churches In Action
Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church Inc.
Migrante Australia
Migrante Melbourne
Missionary Sisters of Service
Moreland City Council Home
Montmorency Asylum Seekers Support Group
Mornington Peninsula Human Rights Group
Mothers Offering Time Hope Refugee Support
National Tertiary Education Union
National Union of Workers
New International Book Shop
Pax Christi Victoria
People for Human Rights and Equality
Philippine Caucus for Peace
Philippines Australia Solidarity Association (PASA)
Radical Women
Refugee Action Collective (RAC)
Refugee Advocacy Network
Refugee Council of Australia
Refugee Legal
Rural Australians for Refugees – Aireys Inlet
Rural Australians for Refugees – Alpine
Rural Australians for Refugees – Apollo Bay
Rural Australians for Refugees – Ballarat
Rural Australians for Refugees – Beechworth
Rural Australians for Refugees – Benalla
Rural Australians for Refugees – Bendigo
Rural Australians for Refugees – Castlemaine
Rural Australians for Refugees – Daylesford & District
Rural Australians for Refugees – Echuca
Rural Australians for Refugees – Euroa
Rural Australians for Refugees – Grampians/Gariwerd
Rural Australians for Refugees – Hamilton and District
Rural Australians for Refugees – Healesville
Rural Australians for Refugees – Home among the Gum Trees
Rural Australians for Refugees – Latrobe Valley
Rural Australians for Refugees – Lorne
Rural Australians for Refugees – Macedon Ranges
Rural Australians for Refugees – Mansfield
Rural Australians for Refugees – Maryborough
Rural Australians for Refugees – National
Rural Australians for Refugees – Phillip Island
Rural Australians for Refugees – Queanbeyan
Rural Australians for Refugees – Queenscliff
Rural Australians for Refugees – South Gippsland
Rural Australians for Refugees – Southern Highlands
Rural Australians for Refugees – Surf Coast
Rural Australians for Refugees – Trentham
Rural Australians for Refugees – Warburton
Rural Australians for Refugees – Warrnambool
Santa Maria College, Northcote
Shamama Association of Australia
Socialist Alliance
Socialist Alternative
South West Love Makes a Way
Spring Creek Community House
St Mary’s Catholic Parish – Echuca
Swan Hill Community Issues Group
Teachers for Refugees
Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia
The Salvation Army (Australian Southern Territory)
Union of Australian Women
Uniting Church in Australia Synod of Victoria and Tasmania
Vic Trades Hall Council
Victorian Council of Churches
Victorian Afghan Associations Network
Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association
Welcome To Australia
West Welcome Wagon
World Vision
Yarra City Council
YPR – Young People for Refugees – Bendigo


Media Release (Artists Committee) 28/02 | NGV drops Wilson Security

NGV drops Wilson Security

The National Gallery of Victoria has today indicated that Wilson Security will no longer provide security services at the state institution.

 Wilson Security is well known for its serious and extensive record of human rights abuses against children, women and men held in offshore immigration detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru.

Because of this link with the detention industry, the NGV’s relationship with Wilson Security has been the subject of intense public scrutiny since its contract began on July 26 2017. In August 2017 over 1500 artists, arts industry professionals, NGV members and members of the public signed a letter urging the gallery to cancel the contract with Wilson Security. Shortly afterwards, one of the NGV’s most well-loved and valuable paintings, Picasso’s Weeping Woman, was shrouded in a veil emblazoned with Wilson’s insignia. Following, a cello performance of a song composed by journalist, filmmaker and Manus Island detainee, Behrouz Boochani, blocked the entrance to the NGV at peak period (pictured above). And in a further intervention, the gallery’s famous moat and waterwall turned blood red in reference to the ongoing violence perpetrated by Wilson Security.

Just before the opening of the NGV Triennial in December 2017, artists Candice Breitz and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer brought international attention to the issue by renaming their artworks in the exhibition Wilson Must Go.

The Artists’ Committee, an artist collective dedicated to ending the contract between the NGV and Wilson Security received a message at 12.20pm today from the National Gallery of Victoria’s Associate Director of Governance, Policy and Planning, stating that “SecureCorp has been appointed as the NGV’s long-term security services provider.”

Artist Committee member, Kylie Wilkinson, says “We are so pleased that the NGV has done the right thing. They have refused to allow Wilson Security to profit while abusing refugees and people seeking asylum. We thank the gallery for showing ethical leadership on this issue and for relaying the concerns of its communities to the state government.

“We hope that these discussions have resonated in the state offices and will have an impact on other contracts that the Victorian government is involved in.

“More and more, institutions are realising that there can be no business in abuse. Unethical companies, like Wilson Security, that abuse people and the environment, will face strong community opposition and will no longer be able to operate.”

The Artists’ Committee is yet to confirm the start date of the contract between SecureCorp and the NGV.

More information and contact
Phone: Gabrielle de Vietri 0422741940

Sustainable Living Festival


Friday 9th, Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th Feb

Birrarung Marr

If you want an easy way to get involved with the Refugee Action Collective, come and volunteer for an hour at our Sustainable Living Festival Stall! This is your chance to engage with members of the public and the collective and to really contribute to the on-the-ground work that is incredibly important. The crowd going to the weekend long festival is extremely sympathetic to the refugee movement, and it’s the one-to-one conversations that we’ll be having that motivate people into becoming actively involved in fighting for justice.

Contact Helen on 0406 728 091 for more details, specifically regarding slotting in a time for you to come in.


Friday Feb 3rd, 6pm-11:30pm

Reverence Hotel, 28 Napier Street, Footscray

A special event that invites the music community to come together and engage in conversation and action about Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.
A quality mixed bill of bands from the hardcore punk, alt-rock, grunge and garage punk scenes will take over both stages at The Rev to inspire support for Refugee Action Collective and The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
Come enjoy The Rev’s delicious tacos and beers while we screen the award-winning film Chasing Asylum, then catch sets from: Lubulwa, Face Face, Monkey Grip, The Out of Towners, Beef, SlugBucket, Tragic Carpet & Aperitivo
Concerned about asylum seekers but don’t know the best way to take meaningful action? Not sure what’s going on right now or lost in conflicting media reports and myths? The Rev is the place to be on Feb 2.
Chasing Asylum is a powerful documentary that exposes the human cost of our government’s policies. Whether you’re already active in the movement for refugees, or you want to learn about what’s happening for the first time, this comprehensive, deeply affecting documentary is a must watch.
There will be stalls set up for the Refugee Action Collective and The ASRC, so there’ll be plenty of resources at hand and friendly people to answer questions.
Speakers from RAC and the refugee community will open the night. Any profits split between RAC and the ASRC.

PAINT THE TOWN REFUGEE // Evacuate Manus and Nauru

Friday Feb 16, 5:30pm-6:30pm

State Library, Swanston Street, Melbourne

Join a RAC working bee to cover the streets of Melbourne in posters, stickers, chalk stencils, banners, leaflets and more with the ‘welcome refugees’ and ‘bring them here’ message, and advertisements for the Palm Sunday refugee rally.
We’ll approach bars and cafes and cover bollards, poles and footpaths across the CBD, just as the “Yes” campaign did.
We will have plenty of materials, but feel free to bring your own material and ideas of optimal places for our message. We’ll work in groups, so it’s a good chance to meet other refugee activists on the night.
If your can’t get into the city, or you can’t wait til the date, feel free to hold a local “paint the town refugee” in your own suburb. Post photos of your work on our Facebook page.

For more info contact Lucy 0404728104