Politics

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Is Asking For Support This World Refugee Day

Find out how you can support Australia's largest human rights organisation providing support to people seeking asylum

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

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Currently, Australia is stuck with a government that is toxic to asylum seekers.

Just yesterday, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was threatened with contempt of court — which can include jail time — for dragging his feet over whether to grant a protection visa to an Iranian man who first arrived here seven years ago.

Meanwhile, protesters in Brisbane have stationed themselves around a hotel in Kangaroo Point calling for the release of dozens of asylum seekers detained inside. The rally was sparked more than a week ago, after the government tried to transfer a high-profile refugee — who has been vocal about their situation — to a high security facility.

That’s not to mention the government’s offshore detention policy which has repeatedly been described as “torture“, their fight to scrap the life-saving medevac bill, and their general pattern of racist rhetoric designed to demonise the people seeking protection on our shores.

But while the government seems determined not to help these people, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has spent the last 19 years supporting, celebrating and empowering them.

The ASRC is Australia’s largest human rights organisation providing support to people seeking asylum, and throughout the pandemic they’ve kept their doors open every day to help with food, housing support and medical treatment for thousands of vulnerable people.

Some of their initiatives are there to improve people’s physical, mental and social wellbeing; others aim to unite communities and create lasting policy change by championing refugee rights.

Now they’re asking for the community’s help.

Tomorrow is World Refugee Day, but it’s also the fifth annual ASRC Telethon — the not-for-profit’s largest annual fundraising event.

The appeal will be livestreamed on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter from 7am until 10pm from the ASRC’s base in Footscray, Melbourne.

The team is also being joined by Australian celebrities, media personalities and other supporters who will be doing interviews, performances and updates in support of asylum seekers.

The long list includes Tamie Fraser, Courtney Act, Gretel Killeen, Mahlia Barnes, Angie McMahon, Benjamin Law, Craig Foster, Tom Ballard, Vanessa Amorosi and Rhys Muldoon.

Last year the ASRC raised $1.1 million, and they’re hoping that tomorrow people will again chip in what they can despite what’s been a difficult year.

“If you believe that everyone deserves the right to seek safety and freedom and that Australia really is a compassionate nation for all, then stand with us at the ASRC Telethon on World Refugee Day,” Founder and CEO Kon Karapanagiotidis said.

“These funds are so incredibly important in helping the ASRC continue to ensure a better life for people seeking asylum in Australia. There has never been a more important time to stand with refugees.”

You can find out more here.


Feature Image: Asylum Seeker Resource Centre