Julian Burnside: 4 things we all CAN do to bring about more compassion for asylum seekers

Julian Burnside picAt a presentation on June 24 at St Francis Church in Melbourne organised by Vinnies Victoria, Julian Burnside QC spoke of his deep concern at the extent to which we have fallen as a nation. Through our poor treatment of refugees, we have violated their human rights; and from there we have diminished the character of our nation, which then presents an existential question to all of us: we cannot say we didn’t know.

Julian recommends four thing we all CAN do:

1. Write to people in detention – you can email Julian at burnside@vicbar.com.au and ask for contact details of people in detention centres to write to.

2. Visit MPs – get together as individuals or groups of parishioners to let MPs know that you are not satisfied with treatment of asylum seekers: prepare points to raise before you go (see our website resources for good pointers).

3. Never stop writing to the press – keep spreading the message that asylum seekers are being treated badly and that is not what Australians are about.

4. Encourage every priest to speak out on the issue on Refugee & Migrant Sunday (August 30) to say unequivocally that this treatment of asylum seekers is not acceptable.