‘Chalk your Support’ campaign launches, welcomes refugees – by THE AIM NETWORK

Below is a media alert announcing this Sunday’s launch of ‘Chalk your Support’, an initiative that aims to mobilise Australians from all walks of life to express their support for refugees and asylum seekers during Refugee Week (19-25 June 2016).

City of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore will officially launch Chalk your Support at a public event to be held at 12:00pm this coming Sunday, 19 June at the southern steps of Sydney’s Town Hall. In the even of bad weather, it will be held at the vestibule of the Town Hall (at front).

The launch will be followed by a public rally at 1:00pm, which will see thousands of people march along George Street from Town Hall as a show of public support for the closure the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, and the safe resettlement of detained refugees in Australia.


Event: ‘Chalk your Support’ campaign launch

Date: This Sunday, 19 June 2016

Time: 12:00pm

Location: Southern steps of Sydney Town Hall, 483 George St, Sydney


Film, interview & photo opportunities:

Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore

Wendy Bacon and Julie Macken, journalists and co-authors of new refugee report Women on Nauru at Risk

Campaign organiser Monique Corah

Refugee advocates and campaign supporters ready to chalk Sydney’s CBD to let major political parties know that “Refugees are welcome!”

The 2016 ‘Chalk your Support’ campaign will encourage Australians from all walks of life to express their support for refugees and asylum seekers during Refugee Week, June 19 – 25 2016.

The initiative will see people take to their city’s paths and walkways to chalk, photograph and share their messages of support, encouraging all major political parties to adopt a more humane and reasonable approach to solving the Manus Island and Nauru regional detention centre crisis.

At 12pm this Sunday, 19 June, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore will launch the ‘Chalk Your Support’ campaign on the pavement outside Town Hall in Sydney’s CBD.

There will be music and art made on the spot.

The launch will be followed at 1pm by a public rally of thousands along George St, which will call on the Australian Government to close the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres and safely bring the detained refugees to Australia.

chalk“People whose lives are threatened by terror, war and starvation should be able to seek a better life, and be looked after when they do,” said the Lord Mayor.

“Chalking your support on the footpath outside Town Hall is a fun thing to do that lets our political leaders know we want a society that values diversity and acceptance.

“We can’t stop making these public statements until our federal representatives recognise we want to welcome refugees instead of slamming the door on people who dare to seek a life free from terror, poverty, famine or persecution,” the Lord Mayor said.

Wendy Bacon, journalist and co-author of the new report Protection denied, abuse condoned: Women on Nauru at risk, said that the call for public support and government action comes at a critical time.

“The situation for refugees and asylum seekers is extremely dire, with women and children in particular routinely abused including sexually assaulted and doomed to spend the rest of their lives on a tiny island nation, often alongside perpetrators.

“It is clear the Australian Government is determined to keep the plight of refugees and asylum seekers beyond the reach of local and international media, and civil society, therefore making their stories as invisible as possible.

“This is unacceptable. Australians must come together to demand swift government action to welcome those seeking refuge and asylum with open arms,” she said.

Well-known artists, Australians who came to Australia as refugees, and asylum seekers who have recently settled in Australia will sketch their personal stories in chalk in front of Town Hall as part of the launch.

“These people and families have incredible stories to tell about adversity, fear and most importantly loss, and we are keen to highlight their stories to demonstrate why refugees and asylum seekers deserve our compassion and support,” said campaign organiser Monique Corah.

“We welcome attendance at the campaign launch on Sunday 19, June at Sydney Town Hall.”

Families, friends, kids and communities are invited to chalk their messages of support on a pavement or path, then photograph and share their images across social media using the hashtags #ChalkYourSupport and #RefugeesWelcome.

Famous Australians and community leaders will join us in showing their chalkings on Facebook at Chalk Your Support and Twitter.

Chalk your Support will take place in Sydney and Melbourne, with more cities expected to sign on in coming days. It is part of Refugee Week, an annual celebration of cultures which aims to create a better understanding between different communities, and encourages successful integration for refugees into Australian society. The theme for this year’s Refugee Week is Restoring Hope.

Join the conversation with #ChalkYourSupport and #RefugeesWelcome or visit the Chalk your Support Facebook Community page for more information.