Sydney To Host Series Of Free Talks By Aussie Refugees To ‘Say Welcome’

Can we get a heck yes?
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has announced that the city will host a series of free talks by refugees who have found safe haven in Australia, with the aim of encouraging community unity on the humanitarian crisis that’s claiming the lives of thousands worldwide.
There will be a total of three, free talks by former asylum seekers from six war-torn countries – including Africa, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan – who will share likely harrowing recollections of their struggles, while NGOs like the Refugee Council of Australia are set to discuss the challenges they face in supporting the rights and welfare of displaced peoples.
The news comes as Australia prepares to play a (very) small part in helping ease the crisis in Europe by welcoming 12,000 Syrians, and as new PM Malcolm Turnbull admitted his concern for the welfare of those in detention at Nauru and Manus.
Speaking to Sky News, he said: “I have the same concerns about the situation of people on Manus and Nauru … as I think all Australians do,” before hinting that the Abbott government’s stance on the issue i.e. complete fucking ignorance *may* be reviewed in the near future. “All policies change, but when we do make changes we will do so in a considered way and they will be made by the minister, myself [and] the cabinet.”
As refreshing as a Mountain Dew on a hot day, those comments.
Clover has made clear her personal opinion on Australia’s stance on asylum seekers by supporting the talks, which will be co-hosted by community group People Just Like Us and the Refugee Council of Australia.
“Sydney’s home to many refugees and asylum seekers who fled trauma and persecution to make new beginnings here,” she said in a statement.  “Many have made important contributions to our local culture and economy.

“These talks will encourage Australians to extend a warm welcome to asylum seekers and refugees, and acknowledge the skills and energy they bring.”

Sydney has been an official refugee welcome zone since 2005, and refugees across the city have free access to pools, libraries, computers and WIFI.
The talks will be held at the Reginald Murphy Community Centre in Elizabeth Bay on:
Tuesday 29 September 6pm for 6.30pm
Refugees: Rohingya from Myanmar and Tamil from Sri Lanka
NGOs: HESTA Divestment, CrossBorder Operational Matters & Refugee Council of Australia (ROCA)

Tuesday 27 October 6pm for 6.30pm
Refugees: Hazara Afghani, Pakistani & Iraqi
NGOs: Supporting Asylum Seeker Sydney and Robin de Crespigny, author of The People Smuggler
Tuesday 24 November 6pm for 6.30pm
Refugees: Iranian and South Sudanese
NGOs: People Just Like Us and Love Makes A Way
To book your spot, hit up the website
Lead image via Getty/Luis Ascui.