The Pledge to Asylum Seekers

June 10, 2015
by Pledge Admin

Refugee Week starts Sunday!

Refugee Week 2015Find out more about Refugee Week here, and check out their events calendar.

I’m working on some upgrades to the Pledge website ( and hope to have a proper calendar of events in place shortly.

In the meantime catch up with the news from Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) in their newsletter, including what’s going on in different regions.

Download RAR’s latest newsletter here.



June 3, 2015
by Pledge Admin

Rally for Refugees in Bendigo – THIS FRIDAY!

Bendigo: 5th June from 4-5.30pmRally for Refugees flyer June 2015

Rally for Refugees, hosted by the St Killian’s Parish Social Justice Group Bendigo

An important call to action to:

  • Rescue the Rohingyan asylum seekers
  • End turning back boats
  • Settle Rohingyan refugees in Australia

Come along and add your voice!

Details on the flyer. Meeting at the fountain end of Rosalind Park.

Please share widely!

February 23, 2015
by Pledge Admin

Free the Children walk – Saturday 28th Feb in Melbourne

Children posterThe beautiful Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children will be out on the streets again this Saturday (February 28th).

Why not join them? If you’re not a grandmother that’s fine, you can be one of the Friends of the Grandmothers (FROGS)!

There are still 330 asylum seeker children locked up in detention by the Australian government, including 119 on Nauru.

The Grandmothers want all refugee and asylum seeker children out of detention NOW, and to support the recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission and its President Dr Gillian Triggs in their report on The Forgotten Children.


Saturday 28th February, 1pm to 3pm. 

Meet at 12.45, on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, corner Flinders and Swanston Streets. 

Don’t forget to wear purple scarves.


MC for the day will be comedian, actor and writer Tracy Harvey, who will join with Tracey Barnard to sing the song Billy Lids (Free the Children).

Grandmas logoThey’ll walk along Swanston Street to the Mall in Bourke Street, and back to St Paul’s by 2.30 for more singing.

The walk will take 30 minutes, stopping at every traffic light, with banners, placards, and lots of leaflets to hand out.

Be prepared for hot weather, with hats and water. Anyone who does not feel they can walk might like to help at the street stall in Swanston Street, outside St Paul’s.

Download the flyer here – print it and distribute it widely!

Download more information here, or go to their website.

February 2, 2015
by Pledge Admin

Making the connection

How We Connect posterIt’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’m uncomfortable with this thought as I know things haven’t changed for asylum seekers being held in detention.

I’ll make an effort to source more useful information, events and actions for you – please feel free to assist an any way!

In particular, I’d like the Pledge to Asylum Seekers site to share as many stories as we can gather to let people know they’re not alone in their actions, and that every small action is a positive step forward, even if you can’t see it right now.

A recent article sent to me shows how easy it is to turn a blind eye, and how powerful it is to change that lack of awareness and understanding… and apathy. You can read it here.

Let me know what you think…

October 27, 2014
by Pledge Admin

1,000 Pledgers!

What's the Difference posterYes, that’s the goal by Christmas – can you help?!

We have over 330 pledgers as I write this post… if every current pledger were to introduce just TWO other people to the Pledge we could achieve this goal!

The Pledge to Asylum Seekers is about expressing compassion to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the world, who are coming to Australia by boat – the only option they have – seeking our help.

It’s time we showed what type of country we really are – compassionate, caring, helping others to get back on their feet. We did it after the Black Saturday fires, we did it after the Boxing Day tsunami, we do it in our local communities; when individual families suffer tragic setbacks we rally together and support them in their recovery.

Please share the Pledge and encourage others to sign it and pass it on.

Let’s go viral and build our community of pledgers to 1,000 by Christmas this year!

October 26, 2014
by Pledge Admin

Our Refugee Story an amazing success!

Pledger016 2014-10-26Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) – Bendigo put on a fantastic day yesterday sharing stories of refugees who have come to Australia and what they have contributed to our wonderful country. We were treated to music and dance of the Karen culture (from the Burmese border), art and photographic exhibitions, and much more.

Najaf Mazari‘s talk in the afternoon gave us some small understanding of what it might be like to be fleeing torture and possible death (we could never understand if we hadn’t experienced it ourselves), and how he has embraced Australia as his second home with his beautiful wife and daughter. Then Julian Burnside provided an alternative to our current policy that is humane, significantly more cost effective, and beneficial to rural and regional communities. He opened it up to us to work out the finer details, and I look forward to seeing what can come out of it.

The Pledge to Asylum Seekers was there too, and we have 70 new Pledgers from the day!

The response to the Pledge was so inspiring – I met people who had already signed the Pledge, beautiful friends of friends from around the state, and individuals all doing what they can to make a difference, end offshore detention, and directly support those both in onshore detention and in community detention. I’m so proud to meet these people and know there are so many others out there.

Thanks also to Arnold Dallas McPherson for funding many of the resources on the Pledge stall, and to CatholicCare Sandhurst for funding printing of the beautiful A3 ‘frameable’ version of the Pledge.

I’ll share stories as they come in, but I know from yesterday there’s movement to start new RAR groups in other regional towns, more teachers will be taking the Pledge into schools, and many are deciding on the next step they’re going to take, now they understand a little more about the issue.

Stay tuned!


October 20, 2014
by Pledge Admin

Julian Burnside: Alienation to alien nation

Picture borrowed from article linked to in this post

Julian Burnside is speaking at Bendigo RAR’s ‘Our Refugee Story’ on Saturday. His article from September last year is, unfortunately, as valid now as it was then.

One of the stories that has kept returning to my thoughts since first reading it more than 12 months ago is the very first one, where a guy who had been sleeping rough for some time shared with Tim Costello that he had not had eye contact with another human being for two weeks.

How we treat our fellow human beings is a reflection of our own individual humanity. With politicians and the media demonising asylum seekers with very specifically targeted (and inaccurate) language many of us forget that asylum seekers are trying to escape the same extremists we are so frightened of.

It’s a decent read, but well worth continuing to the end.

Read Julian Burnside’s full article in The Conversation here.


October 18, 2014
by Pledge Admin

Don’t miss ‘Our Refugee Story’ in Bendigo on 25th October

Bendigo: 25th October from 9am-4pm

FB imageOur Refugee Story, hosted by Bendigo RAR (Rural Australians for Refugees)

Discover compelling stories, talk with local advocacy groups and tune in to illuminating conversations.

Full details here, including program on second page.

Note: Your place at the talks with Najaf Mazari and Julian Burnside must be booked! Places are going so fast they’ve had to book a larger venue! Book at