July 19 Vigils - Evacuate the camps now!

The 19th of July marks 4 years since the Australian Government cruelly forced people seeking asylum to suffer abysmally in offshore detention centres - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! We are joining other organisations, advocacy groups and people from around Australia on July 19 to call on our Government to evacuate the camps and bring those people to Australia! 

We are asking you to join a vigil near you to send a clear message to our decision makers that WE CAN DO BETTER for refugees and people seeking asylum and that, after 4 years, the inhumane offshore detention regime must end. 

Posters and flyers with more information on the events can be downloaded from our Resources Page - please share these among your friends, family, colleagues and congregation. 


Canberra: Series of actions throughout the day: https://www.facebook.com/events/1098514646949867
1) Morning peak hour sign holding, 8-9am:
Canberra RAC will be displaying signs at key intersections around the city highlighting this anniversary of shame
- Barry Dr / Northbourne Ave, Civic
- Antill St / Northbourne Ave, Dickson
- Melrose / Hindmarsh Drs, Woden
2) Lunchtime protest, 12.30-1.30, Dept. of Immigration & Border Protection, Chan St, Belconnen
3) Evening candlelight vigil to mark 4 years of shame, 6pm, Garema Place, Civic. The event will be filmed and sent to the asylum seekers and refugees on Manus Island. https://www.communityrun.org/eve…/evacuatenow-canberra-vigil

Queanbeyan: 5:30 - 6:30 pm. Candlelight vigil in Reconcilation Park (the northern end of Queanbeyan Park). Bring candles.


Albury: 6:00 - 6:30 pm. QE2 Square. Rug up, byo candle and posters for this 30 minute vigil on Dean At Albury

Armidale NSW (Two events):
1) 12:30 pm. University of New England, Court Yard between Dixson Library and Lazenby Hall.
2) 5:15 to 6:00 pm , Central Park, 125 Dangar St, Armidale, NSW

Ballina NSW: 5:00 pm. Missingham Park Amphitheatre in Ballina. Candlelight vigil. People are encouraged to bring candles.Speakers at the vigil will include locals who are in direct contact with people on Manus. David Wright, Ballina’s Mayor, in his personal capacity will read the Pledge to Asylum-seekers.

Bega NSW: 5:00 - 6:00 pm Littleton Gardens, Bega

Belligen NSW: 5:30 pm. Lavender Bridge Park, 3 Hammond St, Bellingen. Hosted by Nambucca District RAR.

Braidwood NSW: Candlelight Vigil. Provisions, 56B Wallace St, Braidwood

Figtree NSW: Candlelight Vigil. 5:00 - 6:00 pm, Zen Garden, 35 Walang Ave, Figtree

Gosford: 5:30 - 6:30 pm. Candle light vigil at Gosford waterfront (next to Gosford pool) Central Coast NSW. Father Rod Bower speaking.

Lismore NSW: Candlelight vigil, songs by local choir, 3 speakers, one minute's silence. Candles provided. 5:30 - 6:30 pm, Lismore Transit Centre
49 Magellan St, Lismore

Moruya NSW: 4:30 - 6:00 pm. St John's Hall, 15 Page Street Moruya
Light a vigil candle to show you care
Hear personal stories from those held indefinitely
See a short presentation showing the current situation in Manus and Nauru
Write a message of solidarity and support to those detained
Sign a petition to help them.
Understand how every small action helps.
Candles and Curry available by donation.

Newcastle: 5:00 pm. City Hall, 290 King St.

Port Macquarie: 5:00 - 7:00 pm. Glasshouse Port Macquarie, 40 Clarence St
Meet at the Forecourt of the Glasshouse and later walk on to David Gillespie's MP office. Bring a coat/umbrella if raining.

Southern Highlands NSW: Corbett Plaza, 294 Bong Bong Street, Bowral, 5:00 pm.

Sydney: Vigil 6pm Hyde Park north

Tyalgum: 5:30 - 7:30 pm. BBQ Area, Coolman Street, Tyalgum
Bring your own candles.

Wollongong: 6:00 - 8:00 pm, Outside Wesley Uniting Church, Crown Street Mall.
RAC Ilawarra

Yass: 6:00 - 6:45 pm. Tootsie Out the front near the sheep. 289 Comur Street, Yass. Speakers, music, one minute's silence. Bring your own torch or candle.


About the Campaign 

This campaign is an initiative of the Social Justice Forum on behalf of the Synod and our partners.

It was founded in response to growing church and community concern about how refugees and people seeking asylum are being treated in Australia and in offshore detention.

The campaign aims to grow compassion and respect for people seeking asylum, raise awareness about their plight and help provide practical support to help those living in the NSW/ACT community.

In the midst of a global humanitarian crisis forcing millions from their homes, we’re calling on the Australian government to increase its humanitarian intake, end the inhumane and cruel offshore detention regime and establish a new regional protection framework.

As a global citizen and a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, Australia has a responsibility to do more to provide refuge and protection to those who desperately need it. We need you to take action to show our leaders and key-decision makers the groundswell of support for these people. See how you can TAKE ACTION below.

Alex from Give Hope handing over $8k worth of vouchers to staff at Settlement Services International, following the 2016 Give Hope Winter Voucher Appeal

The Social Justice Forum team marching in the Palm Sunday Rally for refugees, April 2017

Table Talk Group from the Yurora Festival 2017 taking part in our #WeCanDoBetter symbolic action

Stafford from Give Hope taking part in a public reading vigil of the Nauru Files at Sydney Town Hall

More people are on the move than ever before.

As a result of war and terror, there’s a global humanitarian crisis of 65 million forcibly displaced people.

According to UNHCR, every day, around 34,000 people are forced to flee their homes to escape violence and persecution.

In 2015 alone, more than 300,000 refugees and migrants, mostly Syrian people seeking safety from a brutal civil war, fled to Europe.

Those who seek asylum are ordinary people - forced to take great risk and show extraordinary courage to survive unimaginable terrors and leave their homeland to find safety and build a new life for themselves and their families.

These people have much to offer our community, if we allow them to “call Australia home”.

Every human being has the legal and moral right to seek safety and asylum - regardless of their origin, race, language or religion. In the face of the current humanitarian crisis, a global response is needed to protect and uphold these rights.

So, what has been Australia's response

The Give Hope campaign is one way of responding to this crisis.

We work within the Uniting Church and the wider Australian community to advocate for change - for better laws and policies to help people live and flourish, with a chance to make their own luck in our Lucky Country.

Your support is vital to this campaign.

By getting involved, you’re adding your voice to the call for change. A small commitment of time and energy can make a world of difference. 

There are lots of ways for you to take action on this issue:

Provide Practical Support:       

Each year the Give Hope team run voucher appeals to provide essential practical assistance to refugees and people seeking asylum in the community. We invite members of the church and general public to take part by purchasing a gift card or voucher for a supermarket, department store, pharmacy or even a sports store or cinema and send them to us. It is up to you how much each voucher is worth. We then hand over all the vouchers to the team at Settlement Services International who are working on the ground with refugees and people seeking asylum in the community. If you or your church want to donate vouchers to us outside one of our regular appeals, you are more than welcome. Simply send them visa post to: Give Hope Team, PO Box 7137 Silverwater NSW 2128. 

Contact your local MP:

Getting in contact with your local Federal MP is a great way to show them that their constituents are passionate about an issue and call for change. We’ve made it super easy for you to do this – simply click the link, enter your address to find your local Member and either send the pre-filled message or add a new words of your own. Remember, this is your chance to tell your elected representative that WE CAN DO BETTER for refugees and people seeking asylum – make it count!


#WeCanDoBetter symbolic action:

Taking part in this symbolic action is a powerful way for you to say: We Can Do Better for refugees and people seeking asylum! This is a great activity to get your family, friends, colleagues and church community involved in - the more people the better! Simply print out the sign (enough copies for everyone), take a picture of your group holding the signs and, on the flip-side, write a message to your local MP in the space provided. This should be a message from the heart telling your local MP why you think we can do better for refugees and people seeking asylum. Be sure to sign off with your name and then send these in the mail to your local MP's office. We'd also love you to share the picture of your group with us so please send to: socialjustice@uniting.org. You can download a copy of the sign under the 'Resources' tab below. 

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter for live campaign updates, pictures and action alerts.


For resources and more background information please go to our resources page