Bendigo GADRC – 2019

Our forward mission

The Planning Committee has confirmed the Four Demands of the 46th Parliament as our continuing mission.  Having reached out to the community and to candidates during the election campaign, we are committed now to take these demands – indirectly and directly – to Canberra:

  • End all forms of detention for refugee children
  • End refugee family separation
  • Get all refugees off Manus and Nauru to safe settlement
  • Ensure refugee children and their families seeking asylum are held no longer than 72 hours to enable basic identity and health checks

None of us imagines that this is going to be a simple task in the current political environment.  We anticipate working at many levels to reach out as effectively and widely as we can to individual politicians, starting with the crossbenchers.

Our plans begin with a Winter Campaign of Letter Writing to every member of Parliament.

How many can you do?

  • Please keep copies of the letters you send out and any replies received.
  • We’d also like you to keep a tally of the number of letters you write and let us know how you are going.
  • Email and put “Letters Tally” in the subject line. How soon can we hit the 1000 mark?

Tips from the letter writer:

  • Use your personal mailing address and postcode.
  • Start by referencing the Four Demands on the Grandmothers letterhead (Just print it out and get writing.)
  • Choose one key point as the focus for your letter (leaving you the other points to make in subsequent letters).

There have been increased suicide attempts by the men on Manus since the election. This indicates the despair of the asylum seekers who have waited over five years in desperate, unhealthy environments.

 UNHCR has condemned Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers. Australia’s humanitarian reputation must be restored.

 This new government should reject what began with Kevin Rudd’s reckless cruel policy.  It is time to welcome those refugees who have waited so long now for a humane response from us.

 This Government has no mandate to be cruel

 And we would add

  •  5 children remain in locked detention in Melbourne
  • 287 children are in community detention
  • 2453 refugee children are in community on Bridging Visas, many without adequate material support