World Refugee Day Events in Melbourne

THIS Sunday 21 June in the Melbourne CBD there will be a series of Pop-Up Protests (11am – 1.45pm at various locations)  and a Finale Program protesting Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.   Join us  to call on our politicians to STOP THE CRUELTY, and to protect, not punish refugees.


The main event is at 2pm in the City Square – the Finale program of speakers, performance and music, includes Mark Seymour, Corinne Grant, Rod Quantock, Mohammad Ali Baqiri, Pamela Curr, L-FRESH, the West Papua Black Orchid String Band, Les Thomas and other musicians and performers.


Bring a placard or banner – Stand Up and show your support for Refugees.

  • Bring an old pair of shoes to add to the installation that will be created on the day:  WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN THEIR SHOES?                                                             (add your shoes anytime after 11am at the City Square)  All shoes will be donated to charity.
  • Bring flowers to place on the memorial on Princes Bridge – for all those who have died in Australian detention centres, for those who have died trying to find safety         here, for those who have died when Australia has turned them away, and for all those who languish without hope on Nauru and Manus Island. (lay your flowers anytime        after 10.30am on Princes Bridge )  


We can welcome refugees … we can resettle … we can treat asylum seekers with dignity ….we MUST stop the cruelty


10am:   Stormy Waters on the Big Screen at Federation Square – the film highlights the contradiction in our reputation for generosity and our hostility to ‘boat people’, and calls for the humane treatment of asylum seekers.  


11am:   Phil Beggs and Phil Carroll – City Square  – with songs from Stormy Waters  

12noon – 1.45pm:   Pop-Up Protests will be happening around the CBD – details will be posted at  and see attached to this email and below


1pm :  Protest rally at the Liberal Party Offices, 104 Exhibition Street ( Refugee Action Collective)


2pm – 3.30pm:    Finale Program in City Square


We believe we can – and must – do better:

It’s NOT OK to lock up innocent people – CLOSE ALL DETENTION CENTRES

It’s NOT OK to hold people – including babies and children in limbo on Nauru and Manus Island in punishing conditions – CLOSE the camps on MANUS ISLAND AND NAURU

It’s NOT OK to send people back to places of torture – STOP DEPORTING PEOPLE TO DANGER

It’s NOT OK to take short cuts with life and death decisions – PROVIDE FAIR & THOROUGH PROCESSING OF ALL REFUGEE CLAIMS

It’s NOT OK to turn people away when they seek our protection.


We can welcome refugees … we can resettle … we can treat asylum seekers with dignity ….we MUST stop the cruelty


See also below:  program of Pop-Up Protests and media alert.


Marie Hapke – on behalf of the Organising Group for World Refugee Day

Refugee Advocacy Network

Enquiries     or  0409 252 673




“The traditional WORLD REFUGEE DAY on Sunday 21/06/2015 will be remembered in a different way this year by the people of Melbourne, “ says Sister Brigid Arthur of the Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project.  “The message of the day is STOP the CRUELTY- We can do better – it will be carried through song, theatre and artistic expression by community groups and individuals through Melbourne streets.”

Hundreds of Grandmothers singing on trams trains and buses will make their way into the city. Yarn-bombing and knitting enthusiasts will decorate the streets with messages of hope. Hearts will be planted in boxes all over the city. Peter Drewe, street artist will be at work. Flowers and memorials will pop-up in gentle spaces. Students, choirs and street theatre, spoken word artists and installations and even a funeral procession carrying a coffin for our precious human rights will pop-up throughout the CBD this Sunday 21st June, from 12noon.

The day will kick off with a screening off the new film Stormy Waters on the Big Screen at Federation Square at 10am.

At 2pm the artists, activists and the public will gather in the City Square, Corner Collins and Swanston Streets, for the Grand Finale with special guest stars.

  • Mark Seymour with songs from his new album
  • Rod Quantock armed with his shiny new Order of Australia will amuse and stir
  • Mohammad Ali Baqiri – formerly a child detainee on Nauru
  • Pamela Curr – Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
  • Corinne Grant will keep us all in order

South of the River, the West Papuan Black Orchid String Orchestra, Les Thomas, L-FRESH and other performers will join for a rousing finale to the day.

Many Australians are heartbroken by our cruelty to people in need and the politics of hate souring the nation. The Refugee Advocacy Network believes that we can welcome refugees and that we can treat asylum seekers with dignity. We want a return to our fast held belief in a Fair Go for all. This Refugee Day is a time to affirm our hope for a kinder and fairer Australia.

CONTACTS:   Marie Hapke  0409252673 and Pamela Curr 0417517075