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SCRAR - Surf Coast Rural Australians for Refugees

We are a community group of people living in the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula areas of Victoria. Our first public meeting was in December 2002. As of February 2014, we have over 500 members and supporters in the Surf Coast and Bellarine areas.

 Our group has

·      Arranged public meetings, addressed by speakers with firsthand knowledge of refugee issues.

·      Produced a regular newsletter.

·      Offered friendship and support to asylum seekers and refugees.

·      Initiated petitions for refugees.

·      Challenged MPs on refugee issues.

·      Raised over $73,000 through concerts, markets and donations.

 Funds raised have been used to assist

·      Young refugees in schools and refugees on Temporary Protection Visas.

·      Asylum seekers detained in Australia and offshore.

·      Organisations directly involved in providing services for asylum seekers and refugees.

 To join Surf Coast RAR, or hear of its activities,  you can send your name & address, or  email with postcode to surfcoastrar@yahoo.com.au or to Surf Coast RAR, PO Box 518, Torquay 3228.

  The first RAR group began in country NSW in October 2001. RAR became a rapidly growing grass-roots movement with many active groups in rural areas across Australia. RAR is strictly apolitical, involving voters of all persuasions, and working solely for a more humane and welcoming policy towards asylum seekers and refugees.

All RARs accept Ten Goals, five of which are

·      The acceptance of all asylum seekers onto our shores in accordance with Australia's obligations under the UN Convention.

·      An end to offshore detention.

·      The closure of mainland detention centres in their present form.

·      The abolition of Temporary Protection Visas.

·      An increase of Australia's refugee intake to 24,000 a year.

These goals have yet to be met. Continuing political pressure is needed.

 DID YOU KNOW?

 Australia receives far fewer asylum seekers than other countries.

 No other country has had non‑reviewable mandatory detention of asylum seekers.

 ‘Boat people’ are not ‘illegal’. Up to 90% of boat arrivals have valid claims for protection.

Children are being detained in harsh conditions in offshore detention.

 60% of refugees are victims of torture or severe trauma.

 Most asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iraq have legitimate claims for asylum. In these countries, and in many others, there is no queue to jump.