Hundreds of Catholic school students and Victorian of the Year join calls to #BringThemHere


Australian of the Year finalist Julian McMahon, Sister Brigid Arthur of the Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project and more than 200 Catholic school students will stand in solidarity with the men, women and children seeking asylum in Australia at Birrarung Marr on Friday (September 2).
The Circle of Silence, facilitated by the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA), is an act of solidarity for those migrants and refugees who are silenced and not listened to.
CAPSA has supported similar events in New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Victoria to mark Migrant & Refugee Sunday last week.
“The Circle of Silence is a way for the Catholic community to speak out about Australia’s inhumane immigration policies and pray for the injustice faced by vulnerable men, women and children seeking protection in Australia,” explains Julie Edwards, chair of CAPSA.
“We support the #BringThemHere campaign to immediately end offshore detention and bring the people stuck in limbo on Nauru and Manus Island to Australia. CAPSA recently called for a Royal Commission into offshore detention, and we urge political leaders from all parties to stand for and promote the human dignity of each man, women and child seeking asylum.”
The Circle will consist of several speakers including human rights advocate and barrister Julian McMahon and people of refugee backgrounds, a 30 minute period of silence, and end with a session for reflection and prayer led by Andrew Hamilton SJ.
Sister Brigid Arthur says the Circle is an opportunity for members of the community to express their support and welcoming for people seeking protection.
“The Australian Government might not appear to care about people seeking asylum, but an action like this shows that the community does.”
CAPSA is also supporting more than 100 Catholic schools across the country to take part in actions – including forums, meetings with MPs and Detention4Detention – during National Child Protection Week (September 4-10).
Julian McMahon, Sister Brigid Arthur and school students are available for comment at the event.

WHAT: More than 200 Catholic school students, Victorian of the Year Julian McMahon, Sister Brigid Arthur and people from refugee backgrounds will stand in a circle for a 30 minute period of silence in support of the men, women and children seeking asylum in Australia
WHEN: Friday, September 2 (speeches from 11.05am-11.50am, Circle of Silence from 11.55am-12.25pm)
WHERE: Birrarung Marr (see attached map for further details)
CONTACT: Kathryn Kernohan, 0409 901 248 or