Refugee group wraps up 2016

Euroa Gazette - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

RU­RAL Aus­tralians for Refugees-Euroa wrapped up 2016 with a lively, well-at­tended Wine & Cheese evening on Dec 5, at the Euroa 3rd Age Club. The group formed ex­actly 12 months ago and, in that time, have set a crack­ing pace for their ad­vo­cacy work for refugees and peo­ple seek­ing asy­lum in Aus­tralia.

RAR- Euroa rec­og­nizes the huge im­pact that a sim­ple act of wel­come can have for any­one strug­gling to reestab­lish life in a new lo­cale. Thus, the group aims to pre­sent a wel­com­ing face in the Strath­bo­gie Shire to peo­ple seek­ing refuge from con­flict and dis­crim­i­na­tion, who have al­ready faced enor­mous chal­lenges to their phys­i­cal and men­tal health and sur­vival. To this end, strong net­works have been es­tab­lished with a range of lo­cal and Mel- bourne-based ad­vo­cacy groups, such as Pri­mary Care Con­nect and Kil­don­nan in Shep­par­ton and Foun­da­tion House and the Brigi­dine Sis­ters in Mel­bourne.

There were many mem­o­rable and in­spir­ing gath­er­ings in 2016 and the Euroa com­mu­nity re­sponded to RAR ini­tia­tives with en­thu­si­asm. The high­light of the year was the Wel­come Pic­nic, which wel­comed a large group of refugees and peo­ple seek­ing asy­lum to the Euroa Ar­bore­tum in Oc­to­ber. RAR- Euroa wants to thank the Euroa and wider Strath­bo­gie Shire com­mu­nity for its sup­port, and to share some of the im­ages that, in 2017, will serve to main­tain the con­sid­er­able en­ergy gen­er­ated dur­ing the group’s first year.

Thanks, and a safe and happy fes­tive sea­son to all.

AGAINST LAW TO BAN: Protest­ing the pro­posed Life Ban Leg­is­la­tion are David Arnold (back, left), Mary Bourke, Shirley Say­well, Dr Mal Alt­son, Ber­na­dine Kelly; (front, left) Dianne Mack­rell and Jill Alt­son.

INSPIRED: Jess Hack­ett, Archie Kilby and Jenna Car­roll dis­cussing Archie’s book, Refugees – Pro­tect or Pun­ish; it’s your choice, inspired by Jess’ walk from Mel­bourne to the Fed­eral Par­lia­ment in Can­berra to protest the treat­ment of refugees and asy­lum seek­ers.

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