The Pledge to Asylum Seekers

October 1, 2014
by admin

‘Out of the Darkness’ exhibition in Geelong

Queenscliff RAR presents a new exhibition ‘OUT OF THE DARKNESS’ October 11th-19th in Geelong


11th-19th October from 10am – 5pm
Wesley Church Hall
100 Yarra Street, Geelong
Free entry

Since 2004, a group of artists from Queenscliff Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) has created a series of exhibitions that were shown both locally and throughout regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne. The exhibitions attracted many thousands of visitors, and played a significant role in bringing about community awareness and stimulating change around asylum issues.

The inspiration for these exhibitions came from witnessing the heartache and despair faced by asylum seekers who had been imprisoned in Australia’s notorious Immigration Detention prisons.  The first exhibition ,’Pillows of Tears’, told the stories of those whose voices could not be heard from behind the razor-wire.

Subsequent exhibitions , ‘Beyond Tears’ and ‘Tears from the Heart’, focused on other aspects of Australia’s refugee policies: the cruel Temporary Protection Visas with no family re-union; the forced returns to danger; the plight of those trapped in dangerous homelands; and the reasons for seeking asylum.

Now it is time for the artists to present their fourth exhibition ‘Out of the Darkness’.

The exhibition is presented as a large installation combining paintings, fibres, graphics, photography, sculpture and text.

The artists hope that this powerful and beautiful exhibition will encourage us to re-affirm our commitment to our core values, to honour the UN Refugee Convention that Australia has signed, and to confirm that we, as a humane and caring society, can shine a light in the darkness.

Download the flyer here.

September 29, 2014
by admin

What happens when asylum seekers are returned to the country they’ve fled?

Warning: this is not a typical Pledge post – I’ve worked hard to keep this site focused on humanity and empowerment, however there are times when we need to understand harsh realities as well.

Always looking to learn more about what’s going on…

So sending asylum seekers ‘back to where they came from’ – what does that really mean? SBS’s Dateline is investigating tomorrow (Tuesday 30th September at 9.30pm).

“Turned Back to Torture” investigates the human rights abuses suffered by those returned to Sri Lanka. Watch a preview clip here.

September 28, 2014
by admin

The Drownings’ Argument: Australia’s inhumanity: Offshore processing of Asylum Seekers


Book launch

THE DROWNINGS’ ARGUMENT: Australia’s inhumanity: Offshore processing of Asylum Seekers

Special Guest: Ged Kearney President of the ACTU

11.15am  Saturday 11th October
Geelong Trades Hall – Lower Hall
127 Myers Street Geelong

Download the flyer here.

Please RSVP by 19th September to Chris by email:

September 23, 2014
by admin

Operation Sovereign Borders timeline: every encounter

The Guardian is collating every known event since the government’s controversial asylum seeker policy began. You can filter the results to show only events in specific categories, such as when boats have been turned or towed back to Indonesian waters, when boats have made distress calls and not been intercepted by Australian authorities, when boats have arrived without being intercepted, and when boats have been intercepted.

I particularly like that they’ve included the source of the information as well.

See the full timeline here.

This has been added to the Pledge website for future reference as well.

September 12, 2014
by admin

New pages under ‘Facts and info’

christmas-island-immigration-detention-centre-by-dibp-images-flickr-ccI’m gradually adding more content to the Pledge website.

In particular I want to add more to the ‘Facts and info’ section so you can source factual and measured information without the hype and spin. Wherever possible I’m checking references and sources. Please feel free to direct others to it as well.

Here are some to start with:

Asylum seekers: when does silence become complicity?

Julian Burnside on doublespeak

The demonisation of immigrants and asylum seekers in popular politics

September 7, 2014
by admin

National directory of asylum seeker and refugee support services

asrc-logoThe Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has put together a National Directory of Asylum Seeker and Refugee Support Service Providers.

If you want to find out what’s going on in your area – or volunteer your time to help out – this is a great resource!

Thanks to the ASRC for putting together this wonderful resource. Find out what else the ASRC are doing on their website.