Rural and regional Australians supporting refugees through practical help and advocacy

Yass Rural Australians for Refugees (YRAR) is part of an Australia wide network of rural and regional Australians supporting refugees through practical help and advocacy on their behalf.

YRAR recently met at Boree Log Cottage, a very suitable meeting place given the work with refugees by Monsignor Patrick Joseph Hartigan (aka poet John O’Brien) for this was the cottage where he was born and where his family lived for many years.

The Working Group meets monthly. This week the focus was on the upcoming Refugee Week Event, to be held on Sunday June 24.

Dr Tim McKenna will present a talk on his visits to Manus Island, discuss the concerns and the conditions, and offer insights into recent developments on Manus and Nauru.

Dr McKenna’s talk will be held at Boree Log Cottage at 2pm. It is open to the public and all are welcome.

YRAR has conducted fundraising over the past 12 months and are now in a position to assist a recently arrived refugee family here in Yass.

The Working Group discussed ways in which the family can be supported and will liaise closely with them over the next few months.

Given the national work undertaken by so many support and advocacy groups it is important for YRAR to liaise with the national Rural Australians for Refugees group.

It’s a strong and rapidly expanding group so several of the Working Group endeavour to attend conferences to join colleagues and share information with others in rural towns across the country.

YRAR also plans to work with local high schools who have an active social justice group.

Yass High School is doing some impressive work in this regard and YRAR have discussed how a Q&A panel, with input from the students, might work if the students are interested in learning more about the work of Rural Australians for Refugees and why we think it’s a major concern today.

With more than 60 million displaced people in our world, YRAR believes it’s an important discussion to have with students, perhaps tomorrows future leaders.

The YRAR Working Group welcomes people who would like to be part of our local network.

Rural communities are doing amazing work in this field and along with practical support, newcomers to our community benefit from being connected to people who are willing to help them.

Yass Rural Australians for Refugees meets on the second Sunday of each month at 4pm at Boree Log Cottage, 29 Demestre Street. 

The next meeting is on July 8. We have a Facebook page or you can contact us via email at yass4refugees@gmail.com