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Australia is Failing the Rohingya People

The Australian Government has been slammed by human rights advocates for its failure to respond adequately to the crisis facing the Rohingya people. Despite a motion passing in the Senate for Australia to call for a United Nations commission of inquiry, our political leaders have yet to take leadership on this issue. 

Thousands of Rohingya have been killed in Myanmar, and a further 70 000 have fled the country. Alison Blake, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, has said that their treatment may be tantamount to genocide. They are one of the most persecuted groups in the world, yet Australia has so far resettled just 37 Rohingya people since 2013. 

At a time when Australia is vying for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, our human rights record is being increasingly cast into disrepute by its treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum. RCOA is calling on the Australian Government to act urgently to increase resettlement places and to call for a commission of inquiry into the treatment of the Rohingya people.  

Image: Christophe Archambault (AFP)

Refugee Week 2017: Get Involved!

With just three months to go, RCOA HQ is busy preparing for Refugee Week 2017, and have we got an exciting line up for you! 

As well as launches, exhibitions, concerts, dinners, festivals and much more, this year we will have the exciting addition of the Refugee Film Festival, which will be screening throughout the week in Sydney and Melbourne, and will offer you the chance to host your own screenings in your home town.  If you have an event you're hosting during Refugee Week, don't forget to register it here.  

If your organisation would like to be an official partner of Refugee Week 2017, please remember that the deadline is Monday, 27 March. To check out the benefits available, see our sponsorship page here or contact us here to sign up. 

Image: Ajak Kwai at Refugee Week 2016 Launch

Register your event
Sponsor Refugee Week

Refugee Film Festival presents: Cast From the Storm + Q&A

We are delighted to announce the next event in the Refugee Film Festival series. On Tuesday 28th March at Melbourne's ACMI, we bring you award-winning documentary Cast from the Stormfollowed by a special Q&A with the cast and producer.  

The film follows a group of teenage refugees who share their extraordinary stories through theatre. A coming of age story, this uplifting documentary shares the reality of what it means to be a teenager and a displaced person. This is the story of what comes after, and what it means to remake your home. We are honoured to have the filmmakers and cast joining us afterwards at the Q&A panel.

Tickets are selling fast already- don't miss out!
Image:  Asfar, student, hugs teacher Ruth
Watch trailer / Get tickets

Help Us Speak Up for Refugees and People Seeking Asylum

In a world of mass displacement, travel bans and a global race to the bottom on immigration policy, RCOA stands up for refugees and people seeking asylum by advocating for fair and humane outcomes. Now, more than ever, they need your help. Workplace giving is a simple, effective way to support our work by donating direct from your pay.  You can do this easily and securely through the Good2Give Workplace Giving Platform, as a regular or one-off donation. 

You can also go one step further, by asking your employer to become a workplace of support. Companies that work with Good2Give not only offer their employees a way to give cost effectively, they can maximise this goodwill by matching employee donations - doubling your support of RCOA's work at no extra cost to yourself. 
Image:  Pixabay
Find out more
Refugee Alternatives
The Refugee Council of Australia and UNSW Sydney Grand Challenges are delighted to share
highlights from the inaugural Refugee Alternatives: Improving Policy, Practice and Public Support conference, held on 22- 23 February 2017.
Victorian Multicultural Festival
Melbourne, March 25
A fun-filled day of free music, dance, food, film and other activities to celebrate Cultural Diversity Week 2017.  With an incredible range of entertainment on offer, there is something for everyone and all ages. 

Women and Finance: Creating Financial Independence
Wentworthville, NSW, March 25
Join Shakti Migrant and Refugee Women's Support Group for a workshop on how to build financial independence. 

Palm Sunday Fundraiser
Melbourne, March 31
This special fundraising event will feature singer/storyteller Ajak Kwai, Refugee Legal's David Manne and hip-hop artist Kozzi. The evening will also feature a silent auction and prize draw. 

Tuesday Mourning
Nationwide, Tuesdays
Josephite groups will wear black armbands every Tuesday till Pentecost in an effort to promote discussion about closing down Manus and Nauru and bringing people to Australia.

Hosting an event?  We'd love to hear about it! To post yours or see more events near you, see our calendar.

Volunteer with Diaspora Action Australia
DAA are looking for a Community Support Worker to support diaspora community groups that work to improve the situations in their countries of origin. They offer a minimum 6 month placement and will give a reference that can help  in finding paid employment. Please apply with your resume and a cover letter addressing the selection criteria. People from migrant and refugee backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. 

For more opportunities or to submit a job opportunity, see our employment page.


National and regional
Immigration department contradicts DFAT on US resettlement deal
US or nothing: Australia 'not negotiating' with other countries for resettlement 
Nauru detains two detention centre guards after revoking visas
Citizenship ceremony in Bendigo welcomes new Australians down under
Australia’s blanket ban on mobile phones in detention faces legal setbacks
Uncertainty over US-Australia Resettlement Deal impacts mental health in detention
Fingerprinting on Manus Island and Nauru: US-Australia Resettlement deal process begins
Young Australian refugees create beautiful murals with Street Art Project

Disease, hunger, uncertainty: The fight to survive for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh camps
Ai Wei Wei unveils giant refugee boat, his biggest installation yet
Syrians seek safety and economic respite in Iraqi refugee camps

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Copyright © 2017 Refugee Council of Australia, All rights reserved.

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