(It’s weeks away from Palm Sunday, but posting this information early as an encouragement to promote the event in your congregation and community, and organise a banner if possible for your group).
Date/time: 2pm, Sunday 2nd April
Venue: State Library, corner Swanston and La Trobe Streets, Melbourne.
Congregations, groups, schools and individuals are encouraged to consider joining in with this event, to call for justice for refugees.
For those participating, consider organising a banner with a simple statement and the congregation’s name, or group’s name, and organise people to walk with the banner. Alternatively, you may prefer a simple statement on the banner (like the one above) and reach out to inter-faith people in your community to join you on the Palm Sunday March for Refugees.
For many years, Christians have been part of the Palm Sunday March for Refugees to support the call for justice for refugees. Churches have done a tremendous amount to offer practical support and advocate for refugees over the years, and many churches have made statements calling for a compassionate response to refugees and asylum seekers including:
Shelter from the storm: a Uniting Church in Australia statement on asylum seeker and refugee policy
The 2023 Palm Sunday March for Refugees will call for Justice for Refugees: Permanent visas for all, Fair Processes and Income support for people who are seeking recognition as refugees.
Thousands of refugees and people seeking asylum are still in limbo waiting for certainty about their future:
- Thousands of refugees have been waiting for up to 10 years for permanent protection – they have been on temporary TPVs and SHEV visas, bridging visas, or in community detention,
- Under the so-called ‘Fast Track System’ thousands have waited years to have their claims for refugee status determined, and many have been unfairly denied. The process is neither fast or fair. These people need a fair review.
- People on bridging visas have no income safety net. Because of their short term visas they find it difficult to find permanent work. Some have no work rights at all. They have no family reunion or travel rights.
- People who do not have permanent visas are unable to undertake tertiary study, even if they have done all of their schooling here in Australia. Young children cannot access early childhood education and people with disabilities are being denied NDIS funding.
- Nearly 200 people are still held in shocking conditions on Nauru and in PNG. All those who have been evacuated from Nauru or PNG to Australia are denied any pathway to permanent protection in Australia.
- There are still people seeking protection who remain in immigration detention
- Thousands of refugees are stranded in Indonesia because they have been blocked from seeking protection in Australia
- Thousands of refugees, including Afghan refugees are desperately waiting for Australia to lift its humanitarian intake to at least 30,000 per year.
More information about the Palm Sunday March for Refugees Contact: Marie Hapke, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0409252673.