Monthly Archives: April 2014

Offshore detention costs taxpayers $3,744 per asylum seeker per day: Churches call on Joe Hockey to stop writing a blank cheque for cruelty!

Figures released today update the Taskforce’s budget submission, and show that the cost of keeping people in offshore detention centres = $3744 per day.

If Treasurer Joe Hockey is serious about slashing the budget deficit, he will reap more than $3 billion dollars in savings by persuading his Cabinet colleagues to stop sending asylum seekers to offshore detention camps.

In its pre-budget submission to the Treasurer, the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce calls for an end to the “needless waste” of offshore detention and for the Government to explore much less costly onshore solutions. The Taskforce estimated that in January, our spending on detention offshore had equated t0 1.3milion per asylum seeker per year.

Read the full press release in PDF format.

Available for interview: Father Peter Catt, Chair of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce and Dean of the Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane.

Executive Officer, Misha Coleman, 0428 399 749

Mary Meets Mohammad DVDs are now on sale

MaryMeetsMohammedMary Meets Mohammad had a successful cinema and community screening tour in 2013 and has been making a positive social impact. The film also became a 2013 Walkley Award finalist which was also very rewarding.

Standard DVDs, Blu-ray, short version DVDs and Outreach packages are now on sale directly form the Mary Meets Mohammad website. Single DVDs are $30. Please follow the link on:

Mary Meets Mohammad Outreach Packages – 4 DVDs for $99

The idea behind the Mary Meets Mohammad Outreach Packages is, if you feel inspired to help the go further, keep one DVD for yourself, and give three copies away to people who might benefit from seeing the Mary Meets Mohammad story.

Storytelling is a very effective and powerful tool for transforming negative attitudes towards asylum seekers, into positive, socially cohesive viewpoints. The film has proven this over the last year of screenings which has been very inspiring.

On sell the DVDs as a fundraiser for your organisation

If your church or organisation would like to sell the DVDs, a wholesale rate of 20% less than the $30 retail price can be arranged, for a minimum purchase of 8 DVDs. You can raise $6.00 per $30 DVD sale.

Host a Community screening with free licence fee or Host a Fundraiser Screening

A dream I have is that the film might show in every parish of every church denomination across Australia. I know as a result of the 2013 screenings that the Mary Meets Mohammad message, promoting a common humanity and instilling the values of love and compassion, is changing many minds and hearts. You may want to help inspire other churches and schools to host a screening.

You may be interested in a blog that Tasmanian Anglican Bishop John Harrower, who is in the documentary, wrote about the film.

You can view the trailer for the film.

You can visit the Facebook page.

New change this year: There is no screening licence fee for any bookings that are free entry screenings. You simply need to register your wish to host a screening online. We will receive your request and approve it before you’ll then be able to download poster files and publicity that will assist you in promoting your event.

If you would like to make a fundraiser event out of your screening, you keep 70% of the ticket sales, with Waratah Films receiving 30%. You will need to sign a screening licence agreement with Waratah Films beforehand.

You might want to host a screening for Refugee Week for the 15th to 21st June?

You can also sell DVDs at your event and raise a further 20% on every DVD sale, and hopefully encourage more community screenings.

Register you interest to host a screening here:

There is a Study Guide that accompanies the film and is mapped to school curriculum.

The Study Guide is best suited to Years 9 to 12 for screening with the full 81 minute feature film. The shorter 26 min version of the film can suit Grade 6 upwards. Hundreds of teachers have used the film with English, Geography and History curriculum. Some schools have hosted a screening for the whole school at a school assembly.

Please recommend the film to your teacher friends. The film has also been used with universities, church groups and other community organisations. You can download the Study Guide here.

New Mary Meets Mohammad community screenings

Mary Meets Mohammad community screenings are detailed here.


By | 2018-01-04T16:14:20+10:00 April 9th, 2014|Resources for Churches and Schools|

Rally and March: Stop the War on Refugees Saturday 12 April

Brisbane. There is a military aspect to the Abbott government’s attack on asylum seekers who come by boat. It is indeed a kind of war. Some of us want this war to cease. The April rally has been organised by a diverse group of organisations and individuals who agree about this. They include Amnesty International, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, the Refugee Action Collective, Labor for Refugees, The Greens, and representatives of the Hazara and Tamil communities. We have also co-operated with Rally for Peace & Nuclear Disarmament.
Come along and make it clear to both government and opposition that their oppressive policies are completely unacceptable.

Time & Place:
1pm, Saturday, 12th April, at King George Square, Brisbane.
Our MC: Well-regarded Brisbane refugee advocate, Frederika Steen.
Speakers include:
The Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt, Anglican Dean of Brisbane
Benedict Coyne, Qld convenor, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights.
Mark Isaacs, author of “The Undesirables”, an account from inside the Nauru detention camp.
Further info:
Paul, 3392 3843, paul@rac .

The day after: Palm Sunday peace rally
100 years since World War I: What have we learnt since then?
Please note that although the refugee rights event is the day before Palm Sunday, the usual Palm Sunday peace rally will take place on the Sunday as usual.

Time & place:
2pm, Sunday 13th April, at Brisbane Square, top of Queen St Mall, Brisbane.

Further info:
John Kelly, 0424 765 181.


By | 2018-01-04T16:14:21+10:00 April 9th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Thousands of South Australians to Rally in Support of Asylum Seekers and Refugees

South Australians will unite on the steps of Adelaide’s Parliament House to share their concern towards the treatment of people seeking asylum in Australia. The Palm Sunday rally is poised to be one of Adelaide’s largest collective demonstrations, with representatives from over 30 concerned organisations gathering to voice the need for a just and compassionate society.

Rally coordinator, Mark Riessen says the groups are equally concerned and disturbed by the de-humanising attitudes and behaviour which continues to harm those seeking asylum in Australia. “We believe all individuals have a right to live a life free of persecution and life-threatening situations,” Mr Riessen said. “This rally will be a peaceful demonstration but will come with a strong message – that the current treatment of asylum seekers is unacceptable and the situation needs to be rectified immediately. “Australian policies are already violating human rights with the breach of the United Nations Refugee Convention. “We believe Australia is in the best position to provide permanent protection and resettlement assistance to more refugees and people seeking asylum. “At the rally we will be advocating for a society full of hope, welcome and hospitality so asylum seekers can live dignified, meaningful and safe lives.”

Many prominent leaders, including members of parliament, will attend the rally and the voices of community members will be heard. A concerned 14 year old student will share a letter she wrote to the Prime Minister which contains quotes from people detained within immigration centres. After hearing from key spokespeople on the steps of Parliament House, a procession of people will walk peacefully along King William Street to Light Square via Currie Street where the group will pause in silence outside the immigration office. There will be an opportunity to then participate in a collective and practical response.

Event details:

The Palm Sunday Rally will begin at 2pm on Sunday April 13 at the Parliament House Steps, North Terrace, Adelaide.

After hearing from key spokespeople the rally will continue with a walk down King William street towards Light Square, finishing at the immigration office located at 55 Currie street, Adelaide. People are then invited to participate in a collective and practical response towards supporting refugees and asylum seekers.

Supporting organisations: Act for Peace , Adelaide Refugee Action Group, Adelaide University Student Representative Council , Amnesty International Australia, Anglican Diocese of Adelaide, Anglicare SA, Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, Australian Refugee Association, Baptist Care SA, Careworks SA & NT, Catholic Diocese of Adelaide, Chilout, Churches of Christ SA & NT, Flinders University Association, GetUp,Hills Circle of Friends, The Greens, Lutheran Care SA & NT, SA Council of Churches, Sisters of St Joseph, Socialist Alliance Adelaide, Socialist Alternative, Tamil Refugee Council , Tear Australia, Unitarian Church of SA, Uniting Church in South Australia, Uniting Communities, Unions SA , Welcome to Australia, World Vision Australia

By | 2018-01-04T16:14:21+10:00 April 9th, 2014|Latest News, Press Releases|

Palm Sunday Walk for Refugees – Across Australia 13th April


Come along, bring your family and friends and stand in solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees, supporting their right to live a safe, dignified and meaningful existence while their claims are being processed.


Sun 13 April 2pm, at the steps of Parliament House. Gather there then walk to Light Square via the Immigration office in Currie Street
Sat 12 April 1pm, King George Square
Sun 13 April 1pm, Gareema Place, Civic
Sun 13 April 2pm, State Library
Sun 13 April 1pm, St George’s Cathedral
Sun 13 April 1pm Hyde Park North

By | 2018-01-04T16:14:22+10:00 April 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|
Read More
Toggle Sliding Bar Area