February 2002 26, 2002
For Immediate Release
After having sent the first draft of The Australian People's Refugee Visa to over 40 refugee support, lobby and action groups as well as several senators and MP's of all political parties during the last few weeks, and having received feedback from several organisations and individuals, the document has started to live its life in a First Edition.
We are pleased to announce that all the feedback received so far, without exception has been integrated in this version of the document, and we wish to express our thanks and appreciation to those of you who contributed.
Endorsements have thus far been received from several bodies. Amongst them are NSW Migrant Network Services, Armidale Justice for Refugees, Boat People Tactical Media Group, Indo-China Refugee Association, Campaign Against Injustice Towards Local Indigenous Nations, Darebin Community Health (Victoria), Refugee Action Coalition and Socialist Alliance, Fair Go For Asylum Seekers Adelaide, Saint George's Church Paddington NSW and Wog Art Magazine.
Below are some of the comments received by people who endorsed the Visa using the submission form on our Web Site:
Great initiative - will present the compassionate and fair side of Australian's psyche.
I am one Australian who would be very proud to see this visa document become a reality for the Government of Australia.
I endorse the draft Discussion Paper, 'The Australian People's Refugee Visa', and look forward to the day when a people's government of Australia will issue such a document to asylum seekers, turning its promise into a reality.
This petition correctly places the idea of an 'illegal' asylum seeker as a farce, in accordance to the references given.
It is time we let Asylum seekers know what the people think. What a great initiative.
The document is available from our Web Site as a printable A5 brochure with 8 pages, printable on two double-sided A4 sheets - in PDF format. It is also available as an A4 format discussion paper. Apart from a 'protest document' it is a paper which hopefully will spawn discussion in groups, whether this be
student groups at Primary or high schools, or church or social groups.
We hope that with The Australian People's Refugee Visa we can contribute to inform Australians as well as remind Australians of another way with refugees. There is another attitude amongst Australians, an attitude, which does NOT conform to "Howard's Way". The rapid increase of Refugee Support, Action and Lobby Groups around the Nation in recent months has shown that.
The Australian People's Refugee Visa can be read, signed and endorsed on our Web Site. Visit http://www.safecom.org/people-visa.htm to do this.