PRO-REFUGEE organisation Aireys Inlet Rural Australians for Refugees (AIRAR) continues its fight against Australia’s offshore detention centres in a bold campaign to bring the 38 remaining children on Nauru island safely to Australia by the end of November.
Having recently held a stall in Anglesea to support its national campaign, AIRAR noted the number of children in detention is on a steady decline as a result of persistent community advocacy.
AIRAR organiser Colleen van de Horst said the overwhelming response from Anglesea locals stemmed from a deep sympathy for the children and their living conditions, contributing to 120 signed postcards addressed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison from concerned citizens.
“Australians no longer want their name attached to this dreadful situation. Many of these children have known no other life, which isn’t right. All children should have a future to look forward to,” she said.
With clothing donations from community groups including the Walking group, the Arthouse and the Men’s Shed, proceeds raised from the stall will go towards providing philanthropic support to refugee projects in the Geelong region.
Over 100 organisations have shown their commitment to the campaign – which was initiated by World Vision Australia – including refugee advocacy groups, churches, charities, non-government agencies, major businesses, law firms, and academic groups from across the nation. AIRAR’s convenor Mary Bremner said work will continue until all children in detention are safely brought to Australia.
“After that our focus will turn to the other asylum seekers who remain on Nauru and Manus Island so they too can start a new life in a new country,” she said.
In August, there were 104 children on Nauru island. With this campaign in place, AIRAR is aiming to have all children off the island by Universal Children’s Day, which falls on Tuesday November 20.