A coalition of Catholic organisations has launched a campaign to increase support for refugees and asylum-seekers and change Commonwealth Government policy. Source: The Southern Cross.
The 150 Days of Action for Refugees is a response to Pope Francis’ declaration of 2021 as the Year of St Joseph. The Pope has described St Joseph, who was a refugee in Egypt, “the special patron of all those forced to leave their native lands because of war, hatred, persecution and poverty”.
The national campaign calls on people to write to their local politicians urging them to:
- Provide income support and a financial safety net for all people seeking asylum in Australia
- End temporary protection visas and create a clear pathway to permanent residency
- Ensure access to family reunion for refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia.
The campaign also involves educating the public about inhumane government policies and their impact on people who have experienced trauma before coming to Australia.
At national level, the campaign is being coordinated by the Sisters of St Joseph and the Justice and Peace Office of the Sydney Archdiocese. In Adelaide, the campaign is led by Vinnies Refugee and Asylum Seeker Service (VRASS).
VRASS Special Works Committee chair Henrietta Wighton said the Adelaide group was planning to approach parishes and schools to conduct brief talks in order to promote the 150 Days of Action Campaign.
It also intends to work with the Vinnies Youth and Community Engagement Officer, Umes Acharya, to include young refugees and asylum-seekers in planning activities and learning the skills of advocacy.
“We want to encourage everyone to work towards our country becoming a generous, smart and compassionate nation. Everyone should try to do something to contribute to us becoming a humane and fair Australia.”
Taking a stand for refugees (By Jenny Brinkworth, The Southern Cross)
150 Days of Action for Refugees and Asylum-Seekers (Justice and Peace Office)