Rally for refugee rights and peace this Sunday 

Federation is proud to endorse and support the 2023 Palm Sunday rally and march, to be held this Sunday, 2 April, from 2pm at Belmore Park, Sydney.  

This year’s theme, “Permanent Visas for all Refugees – Call for Peace”, carries five main messages for action:  

  • End offshore detention 
  • End the ban on Indonesian resettlement 
  • Scrap AUKUS nuclear submarines 
  • Peace in Ukraine 
  • No war on China. 

Speakers invited to address the rally are: 

  • Dorothy Hoddinott AO, former high school principal and human rights champion 
  • Dr David Brophy, University of Sydney China academic 
  • Zaki Haidari, Afghan refugee and advocate for refugee and asylum seeker rights 
  • Nithurshi and Murugan, two young Tamil students 
  • Warren Smith, Maritime Union of Australia 
  • Bishop Vincent Long, Catholic Bishop of Parramatta. 

The Palm Sunday event for peace and refugees comes at a critical time, given current world events and the ongoing plight of millions of displaced people.  

The election of the Albanese Government in 2022 brought hope to those advocating for refugees and asylum seekers in Australia.  

The immediate release of the Biloela family from detention was celebrated; and after more than a decade of living in limbo, the commencement of policy aimed at releasing long-term detainees held in Melbourne, along with some held under Medevac rules, was welcomed.  

With the Federal Government now honouring its promise to give permanent visas to refugees granted Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEVs), they now will have the right to travel, engage in post-school education, seek family reunion, and live with security.  

Unfortunately, thousands more refugees have been left behind by the current Australian policy, with no pathway to a secure future.  

Sydney’s rally and march will challenge the Albanese Government to live up to its promises on human rights and a peaceful Asia-Pacific region.  

War displaces millions of people. Those who are seeking refuge in Australia deserve our humanity and compassion.  

Federation holds significant policy inclusive of the assertion that mandatory detention is not only an unfair and unjust way to treat refugees but is also cruel to those who legally seek our protection.  

Our country is obligated by the United Nations Convention to protect those seeking asylum, yet despite continued national and international condemnation, the detention and vilification of refugees continues.  

With the war in Ukraine continuing to cause senseless death and destruction and the AUKUS commitment leading Australia to further military build-up, the resultant rising tensions with China, escalating trade war and military rivalry, brings with it the associated danger of rising conflict. Conflict tears families apart; peace must be the priority.  

Public school and TAFE teachers see the effect that war, conflict and traumatic refugee experiences have on our students and their families. This trauma is further exacerbated by the current Government’s detention and offshore processing policies, which continue to be a barrier to genuine settlement.  

Show your support 

  • Give voice to the urgent call for peace and for the Australian Government to provide permanent protection to all refugees 
  • Advertise the Palm Sunday Rally for Peace and Refugees in schools and workplaces, click here for the flyer
  • Attend the rally 
  • Tell the Albanese Government it’s time to end detention policies. Tell them it’s time for a fair and just refugee policy that maintains the health, dignity and respect of all who seek Australia’s protection.