During Human Rights week in December 2016, more than 500 Victorian teachers wore refugee rights t-shirts to work. This action embarrassed the Turnbull government to the point that it tried to change the focus from its brutal detention policy to falling national educational standards. This action, initiated by Teachers For Refugees, culminated in a strong rally in the Melbourne CBD with teachers, librarians and education support staff from both public and private schools taking part.
Refugees are still being detained and mistreated. The federal government’s dishonest propaganda against refugees is fueling racism, which has influenced public perception of the issue. To give refugees strength and to weaken the racist culture, Teachers For Refugees decided it was necessary to repeat their “t-shirt action” but this time with the support of colleagues in other industries.
During the first week of May (1st to 5th), Victorian Allied Health Professionals will join teachers, education support staff, academics, nurses and midwives to take action in support of refugees detained by the Australian government. The action, “Bring Them Here” will see union members wearing t-shirts to work and in the community.
The four unions involved will also stage a rally in the Melbourne CBD on Tuesday May 2 at the State Library starting at 5:30pm.
VAHPA is urging members to get involved with this campaign, contact the union to buy a t-shirt, encourage your colleagues to get involved, promote the activities on social media (#closethecamps and #bringthemhere) and try to attend the rally on May 2.
We are also keen to hear from any members who would be interested in acting as the co-ordinator at their workplace for any site-based activities. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please contact the VAHPA office.
VAHPA members can purchase a “Close the Camps” t-shirt to wear for the walk.
T-shirts cost $10. Please visit this link to purchase.