On July 19th this year, it will be five years since Kevin Rudd announced that “any asylum seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will have no chance of being settled in Australia as refugees”. This has resulted in the imprisonment of up to 2000 men women and children in Australia’s offshore detention camps in Manus Island in PNG and on Nauru for up to five years or more.
Hundreds of people remain in Australia’s detention regime suffering terrible physical and emotional damage including 137 children in Nauru. Australia’s current approach is intentionally designed to strip people of hope and leave them with despair. Twelve people in these offshore camps have now died as a consequence of Australia’s punitive policies.
Join the many thousands of Australians around the country who will stand up for refugees this July. In Canberra, we will be gathering at the north end of Commonwealth Bridge on Saturday, 21 July at 1pm to mark this shameful anniversary. Add your voice to this call for change and be part of the movement for compassion.