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MEDIA RELEASE from RAC Qld: Change is coming to Australia’s immigration regime. Brisbane campaigners

Sold out registrations and a waitlist for main sessions of the 2015 Brisbane Refugee Welfare and Advocacy Conference are evidence of a groundswell of criticism against the current and previous government’s punitive asylum seeker and refugee policies.

Hundreds of activists are expected to gather at the Queensland University of Technology’s Gardens Point campus for a day-long symposium hosted by the local branch of the Refugee Action Collective (RAC).

The opening address will be given by Kon Karapanagiotidis, Founder and CEO of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) in Melbourne. Mr Karapanagiotidis will talk about solutions and the next steps for advocates in Queensland and across the country to achieve lasting policy solutions and put an end to Australia’s human rights violations.

Migrants and people from all walks of life will join refugee rights advocates tomorrow to step up our organising and our capacity to collaborate. We are taking formal steps to ensure the widespread dissatisfaction with forced migrant policies results in lasting policy change.

The conference will bring dozens of community groups, service delivery agencies, and independent advocates from refugee, activist, and welfare networks in Brisbane, as well as members of the public.

Six workshops will feature 20 presenters who will discuss:

  • Working with Faith-based Groups,

  • Fundraising,

  • Refugee Mental Health,

  • Arts Activism and Community Education,

  • Incarceration, and

  • Women Migrants

A Volunteer Expo will run throughout the day providing opportunities for networking and volunteer recruitment.

A Closing Plenary on the subject of “How can we win?” will feature contributions from local activists and Chilout board member Alain Rondot.

The purpose of the conference is to network, coordinate, and consolidate in order to strengthen and grow the existing refugee rights network in Queensland. A primary focus will be on exploring the complex circumstances facing people who arrive in Australia seeking protection and the challenges of the movement to support them. Connecting community and ethnic groups and fostering leadership from within migrant communities are key priorities for the conference.

An overwhelming response to pre-registrations suggests people in Brisbane are ready to coordinate a movement to achieve results in 2015.

RAC QLD Conference Working Party

t: @racqld || f: @racqld || w:

RAC QLD Media contact:

Carolina Caliaba (0411580094) or

Robert Nicholas (0424 265 730)

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