At a time where we can despair at the cruelty of the Turnbull Government in its treatment of refugees, the good news is you can actually help make things better.
By Kon Karapanagiotidis, Founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
You are powerful when you unleash your compassion, passion and talent to create welcome and safety for refugees. The darker it becomes the more important it becomes that our shared humanity burns even brighter as a beacon of hope.
Together we are this incredible ecosystem of justice and kindness when we participate, donate and advocate to support refugees. There is a volunteer role for everyone reading this. A good heart, a sincere desire to help refugees and being reliable are the most important things. Trust me that you will gain more from the experience of helping refugees than the help you give. You will have the incredible honour of meeting some of the most courageous, resilient and generous souls you will ever come across.
Start anywhere, whether it’s being able to volunteer on a weekly basis or do a one off event in support of refugees, signing a petition or just getting informed. Just take that first step and stand up for your values and for our wonderful Multicultural Australia.
Below are lots of hands-on practical ways, across Australia where you can help refugees.
- Become a Regular Donor to the ASRC to provide home, hope and welcome to refugees
- Get free training on how you can change attitudes to refugees in your community
- Based in Melbourne? Volunteer to help refugees at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
- Based in Brisbane and want to volunteer locally, check out BRASS Network
- Based in Adelaide and want to help refugees locally? Get involved in the Welcome Centre
- Based in Perth and want to help refugees locally? Get involved in the First Home Project and CARAD
- Based in Hobart & want to help refugees locally? Volunteer for the Southern Tasmania Migrant Resource Centre
- Join the Australian Refugee Council campaign for a “Fair Go for Families”
- Host a welcome dinner for refugees in your home through The Welcome Dinner Project
- Under 30? Join the ASRC Youth Action Project to help young people
- Are you a mum passionate about refugees? Join Mums4Refugees
- Are you a Christian seeking compassion for refugees? Join Love Makes A Way
- Walk with your family to send a message of welcome, join Walk Together
- Live in a regional or rural area of Australia? Join RAR
- Are you a Grandmother passionate about the rights of refugee children?
- Contact your local MP & demand to bring the refugees on Manus and Nauru to safety here in Australia. You can find their contact details on the APH website.
- Create employment for #refugees in Melbourne for example by using ASRC Catering and the ASRC Cleaning social enterprises
- Volunteer to teach English and provide support to Sudanese refugees
- Campaign to make sure no refugee children are in detention centres, join Chilout
- Mentor refugees to succeed in the hospitality industry by volunteering for SCARF
- Be creative by doing your own fundraiser for refugees, anything from a trivia night, BBQ, party, garage sale to a music night
- Are you a lawyer based in Sydney? Volunteer your time to help RACS
- Are you a teacher based in Melbourne that would love your students to learn about refugees? Contact ASRC Schools Program
- Sign the ASRC Petition to demand that the Turnbull Government create a fair process for people seeking asylum, or the No Business in Abuse pledge
- Mentor Young Refugees in Melbourne, get involved with CMY
- Get informed. Know the facts. Check out Refugee Council of Australia website
- Become a food sponsor to provide vital food security for refugees
- Volunteer for RISE in Melbourne to support refugees
- Live in Wollongong? Get involved with Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families (or phone 02 4224 8646)
- A migration agent or lawyer in Brisbane? Use those skills to help RAILS
- Based in Townsville in Queensland? Volunteer for the Townsville Multicultural Support Group to help refugees settle in the local community
- In Sydney? Check out OneStep walks where Aussies walk with refugees — just a one-off walk/talk to connect and create welcome
- Help create a place of welcome & support for refugees in Brisbane by volunteering for the Romero Centre
- Help refugees build a career in fashion by using your creative skills to volunteer for The Social Studio
- Volunteer with the Refugee Council of Australia in their Sydney and Melbourne offices
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