Blue Mountains Posts

Justice and Compassion for Refugees

By Makayla Muscat
Posted: 3 Jul 2021
Blue Mountains’ residents gathered in Lawson on Palm Sunday to fight for justice and a fair go for refugees.

“It is a matter of human decency. We don’t want to be part of a nation that has gotten by with such cruelty towards the most vulnerable of people,” says Graeme Gardiner, minister of Springwood Uniting Church.

Gardiner and his wife, also a minister joined approximately 150 people to attend the event organised by The Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group (BMRSG). It was an alternative to venturing into Sydney on March 28 for the traditional Palm Sunday Rally for Refugees.

The protesters stood along the highway with signs criticising the Federal Government’s asylum seeker policy and need for change. “It’s hard to ignore the fact that in this past week our Prime Minister has invoked the welfare of his children as a cause for moral behaviour at the very same time that there are other children that we have totally forgotten that we are causing irreparable harm to,” Mr Gardiner says.

With the uncertainty of the pandemic, BMRSG says organising a smaller event in Lawson resulted in several local organisations supporting the event. Event Organiser, Julie Brackenreg says they were “hoping to bring together Mountains people.”

According to the BMRSG website, the organisation aims to encourage positive attitudes towards refugees in the community. Ms Brackenreg says the rally’s high visibility location was intended to be an awareness campaign.

In a statement, Federal MP Susan Templeman apologised for her absence but encouraged the community to continue sending emails to all politicians in support of the needs of refugees. “Thank you to everybody who continues in many ways to work for justice and compassion in our community,” she says.

Ms Gardiner says it is important to seek justice in our society. “We really want to support these people who just want to be able to live. Let’s have a shared humanity and let’s care for seekers of asylum and refugees,” she says.

 
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