About the Campaign 

Give Hope is an initiative of the Uniting Advocacy Team on behalf of Synod and our partners.

This grew from rising church, organisation and community concern about how people seeking asylum are treated by Australia - in the community and in offshore detention - and about the plight of refugees worldwide. 

Our campaign advocates for a more compassionate, respectful and humanitarian response to this issue. It aims to raise awareness and help give practical support for those living in the NSW/ACT community.

As this global humanitarian crisis forces millions from their homes, we’re urging the Australian government to provide fairer process and permanent protection, increase our humanitarian intake, help resettle offshore detainees in Australia and establish a new regional protection framework.

 

The Sydney Palm Sunday Rally, 25 March 2018

Deputy Premier John Barilaro and speakers at the 2017 TAFE Campaign Celebration, Nov 2017

Jon from Give Hope presents a Community Action Workshop at Roseville Uniting Church, Nov 2017

More people are on the move than ever before.

War, terror and poverty have created an unprecedented global humanitarian crisis of 65.6 million forcibly displaced people - 20 people every minute.

According to UNHCR, each day over 28,000 people are forced to flee their homes to escape violence and persecution. Among those forcibly displaced are 22.5 million refugees, searching for safety and seeking asylum. 

These are ordinary people - forced to take great risk and show extraordinary courage to survive unimaginable terrors,  leaving their homeland to 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 has the legal and moral right to seek safety and asylum - regardless of 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's 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.

Thank you for all your generosity during our last Voucher appeal.

Admist the the drought and bushfire emergency, we raised $2500 in vouchers for school kits, food kits, housing kits and essentials!

You can still contribute directly to the following organisations;

House of Welcome

197 the Trongate PO Box 10

Granville NSW 2142

Phone: (02) 9727 9290

Email: office@houseofwelcome.com.au

www.stfrancis.org.au/house-of-welcome

 

Asylum Seeker Centre

Beecher House

43 Bedford St

Newtown, NSW 2042

Phone: (02) 9098 9336

Email: contactus@asylumseekerscentre.org.au

www.asylumseekerscentre.org.au/support-us/

 

Jesuit Refugee Service

2 Darcy Rd, Westmead 2145

Phone: (02) 9098 9336

Email: intake@jrs.org.au

www.jrs.org.au/donate-now/

Unfortunately, this year's Palm Sunday Walk for Justice in NSW has been cancelled as a result of the rapidly spreading Covid19 virus that is placing peoples’ health and lives at risk here in Australia and around the world.

The current pandemic shows how it's even more important we care for others, and create a community that is stronger, more unified, and safer overall. 

Ways you can still show your support could be;
  1. Display a banner.
Many churches have an existing Give Hope campaign banner- Refugees are Welcome Here or We can do Better for Refugees and People Seeking Asylum. If you have a banner please display it in the lead up to Palm Sunday. If you don’t have a banner you can purchase one from the Synod website. https://nswact.uca.org.au/communications/communications-services/vinyl-banners/
 
Alternatively, you might like to create your own banner, involving all ages in the congregation. You could put some welcoming words in your church bill board. These banners or signs displayed outside your church, are one relatively easy way that churches can speak into the public square as part of their Christian social concern.

Please take a photo and send it to us ! Or post on the Uniting Social Justice Forum Facebook page;
 
  1. Support Amnesty’s Game Over Initiative

 
Amnesty has joined with ex-Socceroo and human rights campaigner Craig Foster, to create the Game Over Campaign. This campaign calls on the Australian Government to take up all available avenues for those people remaining in limbo in Papua New Guinea and Nauru to be safely resettled in countries such as the US, Canada and Switzerland.We especially encourage the government to accept the New Zealand offer to take 150 refugees each year, until all are re-settled.  
 
The Game Over campaign asks people to sign a petition or write a letter to their local MP to support this cause. Find resources here; https://gameover.org.au/toolkit/

 The final petitions can be scanned and emailed or sent back to ddavidian@uniting.org
 

 

Do you wish you could have more open conversations with family, friends and neighbors about the needs and rights of people seeking asylum?

Have you been frustrated when discussion gets stuck in the same old stereotypes and perceptions?

Would you like to see a shift in the way we speak about this issue and a more compassionate response towards refugees and people seeing asylum?

 

Uniting are partnering with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre for their #RightTrack Campaign to help change the conversation about refugees and people seeking asylum and create a more compassionate response through Community Action Workshops.

 

Workshops have been held in Uniting Church and other communities, from Sydney’s north shore and south west to the Hunter region and Wagga Wagga in far western NSW. The workshop was recently evaluated, and has been transformed into a newer and better version called Breakthrough Conversations.

 

This grassroots strategy is about teaching practical skills and strategies to help people have more positive, effective and values-based conversations about this highly politicised and sometimes divisive issue. Connecting personal narrative and values to the issue, the workshops help people avoid reinforcing opposing views and language that contribute to negative perceptions around refugees. Key messaging principles in the workshop were developed from the findings of ground-breaking, sector-commissioned “Words That Work” research by Anat Shenker-Osorio. We hope they can help achieve sustainable, long term change in community attitudes and policy affecting people seeking asylum.  

 

How to get involved

 We can come to your Church, community or workplace to deliver this practical workshop where participants will:

  • hear about the ‘Words that Work’ research findings
  • develop skills to have persuasive conversations about this issue and learn who you should have them with
  • meet like-minded people who want to make a positive difference

 

Contact the Give Hope Team to learn more or lock in a date for a workshop: socialjustice@uniting.org  or t. 02 9407 3230

Policy affecting people seeking asylum is the toughest it’s ever been. The harm caused by these policies is widespread and widely reported.

In a new phase of government we need to re-group and talk to our local MPs on this issue. They've told us more people from the community need to knock on their door if any change is to be won.

The Uniting Church has a long and proud history of defending rights of refugees and people seeking asylum. It's more important than ever to remind your local MP that "we can do better" for these people. This is a simple but very effective action you can take at this critical time - it carries more weight than many other campaigning methods.

How we can help

We can be with you as you make contact with your MP’s office, prepare for the meeting, and debrief afterwards. We have RESOURCES to help you speak confidently and powerfully to your MP about the situation for people seeking asylum - most importantly, to explain WHY the issue matters to you and WHY you wish to see change. We can provide information on particular policy areas where change is needed that you can discuss in the meeting – SEE THIS GUIDE. This will help you focus and make the most out of your conversation. 

Organising a delegation

  • In some cases you and people in your congregation will be the lead delegation to meet your MP – that's great and we can be there to help you organise and prepare.
  • In other electorates, there may already be delegations visiting the MP on this same issue - so we can connect you with them. You may want to send a congregation spokesperson to accompany this group, or seek an additional meeting if the delegation is full.
  • In each scenario you'll be fully briefed and trained (if needed) for the meeting - and given support before, during and after it. We want you to feel comfortable, confident and fully prepared.

Next steps

  • If you're interested in visiting your MP, please contact socialjustice@uniting.org  or tel. 02 9407 3230. We can then find out if there's a delegation in your electorate and help you with scheduling the meeting.
  • In the meantime, you can easily and quickly EMAIL YOUR MP on this issue. The email can be edited as you wish.

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