COMMUNITY members have taken a stand with a dedication to ringing their church bell once for every child remaining in offshore detention until they are all brought on to Australian soil.
For two weeks now, members of Christ Church Daylesford and the Daylesford and District Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) group have worked collaboratively to raise awareness of the issue among widespread reports of children with serious health issues.
Rosalind Berry said the church would continue to ring the bell for the number of children detained on Nauru at 5pm every Friday until all children are brought to Australia.
Last Friday, the group rang the church bell 38 times for the children remaining on the island. Other RAR and church groups across the region, including in Trentham, also rang their bells.
Earlier in the year, on July 19, members of Daylesford’s RAR group held a silent vigil for the fifth anniversary of the Australian government’s decision to detain asylum seekers offshore on Manus Island and Nauru.
The vigil protested against the damage inflicted on innocent people, while remembering those who died whilst detained in the facilities.
The grassroots group, formed in 2002, calls for the compassionate treatment of asylum seekers and is comprised of a network of lawyers, church goers, human rights advocates and political activists who share a concern about the lack of empathy and humane treatment of Australia’s asylum seekers.
The Australian government has been quietly removing children from the island during the past few weeks and have stated that all will be re-located by the end of the year.