Monthly Archives: November 2012

RISE Festival Presents: Short Films & Panel discussion

Short Films – Theatre – Panel Discussion on Diversity

RISE delighted to invite you to *Diversity on Stage and Screen*

*A short film and theatre presentation followed by a panel discussion about diversity on the theatre stage and film and television screens 
6.30pm, Fri 14 December 2012 at ACMI, Federation Sq, Melbourne

Tickets can be purchased from ACMI: $12 Adult, $10 Concession

  • FIGHTING FOR AIR (2011) Directed by Fatima Mawas
  • AUNTY MAGGIE AND THE WOMBA WAKGUN (2009) Directed by Leah Purcell

Performance Readings by: 

  • Tania Canas
  • Dominic Golding

Discussion Panel: 
*Christina Radburn, Producer of ‘Fighting for Air’
*Tania Canas, Theatre Maker
*Dominic Golding, Theatre Maker  & more to be announced…

For more information contact Eugenia Flynn on (03) 9639 8623 or via email

The 2012 RISE Festival acknowledges the assistance of Black Screen, an initiative of the National Film & Sound Archive

The 2012 RISE Festival is proudly supported by ANZ Trustees and the Refugee and Asylum Seeker Communities of Victoria
Join our event facebook page here

RISE Letter to the UN Human rights commissioner : Omid-Nauru Asylum seeker left in tent after 46 day Hunger Strike

Alert:Omid-Nauru Asylum seeker left in tent after 46 day Hunger Strike

Dear Ms. Navaneetham Pillay,

I am emailing on behalf of RISE (Refugees, Survivors and Ex-detainees) a not-for-profit incorporated organisation founded and overseen by refugees, asylum seekers and ex-detainees with members from over 30 immigrant communities. RISE exists to enable refugees to build new lives by providing advice, engaging in community development, enhancing opportunity and campaigning for refugee rights.

Our community is distressed at the news that an asylum seeker in Nauru called Omid is being left in a tent without proper care or treatment after going on a 46 day hunger strike and is now at an extreme stage of internal bleeding. He has not drunk any water for 4 days and we ask that urgent action be taken to save his life.

In addition to this disturbing news our community is shocked and concerned by the increased attack on rights of refugees and asylum seekers by the Australian government in the last 3 weeks and continued calls by Australian politicians on both sides of parliament for policies that cause these violations.

For example:

1. As self-harm and suicides increase in Nauru and asylum seekers in Nauru are still sleeping in tents, the Australian government shamelessly made the announcement last week that they are now opening the detention centre in Manus Island a detention centre with one of the worst track-records in Australia’s shameful history of off-shore processing. This increases the numbers of asylum seekers arriving in Australia who will be cut off from seeking asylum in Australia as well as the Australian judicial system and sent to other countries for processing.

2. Mass deportations in just 2-3 months of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka arriving by boat and detained in Christmas Island and other detention centres in Australia, not being allowed to apply for asylum and have access to any legal representation. So far over 400 Sri Lankan asylum seekers have been deported in this way. There are news reports of asylum seekers deported in this way being arrested on return to Sri Lanka.

3. The announcement last week that the Australian government would stop giving work-rights to asylum seekers and refugees released into the community and would place a bar on applying for a permanent visa for 5 years even if someone has been accepted as a refugee by the Australian government.

4. The continued use of mandatory and indefinite detention of refugees and asylum seekers who have arrived in Australia on-shore and offshore.

5. Increased investment by the Australian government into expanding onshore and offshore immigration detention networks run by private subcontractors that are below minimum prison standards in violation of the UN human rights charter and UN refugee convention- taking priority over a transparent, humane and just refugee/ humanitarian programs.

As Angela Davies has said: Immigration detention is the civil rights issue of our time ( and we ask the UN human rights commission to take decisive action and address the escalating crisis of attacks with impunity on the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees and people of colour by the governments of Australia and other industrialised countries who are also looking to follow Australia’s lead.

Lives of asylum seekers such as Omid have to be saved so they have a chance to seek the protection they are asking for at the very least.

Yours Sincerely,

RISE URGENT DEPORTATION ALERT – 50 or more Sri Lankan asylum seekers from Christmas Island and possibly Darwin will be deported by the Australian government TODAY (23.11.2012)

Please circulate this alert widely amongst your networks! 

These asylum seekers are detained in the remote island of Christmas Island and have been denied access to legal representation or any other independent support groups. This isolation makes it easier for the Australian government to refoul them ie deport them directly into the hands of their persecutors. 

The context that these asylum seekers will be sent back to is dangerous and life-threatening. Three years after the Sri Lankan government declared that the war is over, the UN Working Group on Disappearances has identified Sri Lanka as having the second largest number of disappearance cases in the world, while the UN Committee Against Torture in an open session on Sri Lanka held in November 2011, quoting human rights organisations has said that secret detention centres are in existence in Sri Lanka. The International Committee of the Red cross in their 2012 Annual report has also stated that they have been trying to trace over 15,000 people missing in Sri Lanka.


To find out what you can do, read the full alert by clicking here.

Volunteering Opportunity, 3rd Annual Music & Arts Festival

RISE is currently recruiting volunteers for the its 3rd Annual Music and Arts Festival 2012 taking place on December 15th at Federation Square, Melbourne.  Volunteers are a central part of RISE and their assistance is essential for the success of the Festival. Volunteering at RISE Music and Arts Festival is an incredible opportunity to participate in a celebration of Melbourne’s diverse communities and volunteers will also have the unique experience to work with many international artists as well with local, emerging artists.

To volunteer, you must apply via email to Eugenia Flynn at, including the details below. Please note that all volunteers must be over the age of 18. Volunteers are asked to contribute 10 hours of service during or after the event.

Required Details – All prospective volunteers must provide the following:

  • Full Name:
  • Date of Birth:
  • Do you have a current and valid Working With Children Check? (Y/N): If you do not have a current Working With Children Check, you can apply for one through RISE but must do so by at least Friday 30 November.
  • Relevant skills/past event volunteer experience:

RISE is looking for volunteers that are committed to positively representing the RISE Music and Arts Festival Team. Be respectful, friendly, thoughtful, helpful and honest with the public, the performers and fellow volunteers. The RISE Music and Arts Festival is an alcohol free event so consume NO alcohol before or during a Festival shift or while wearing a crew shirt or volunteer ID. Failure to do so will result in being asked to leave the Festival grounds.

Festival Induction session: TBA.

Facebook Event Page 

Who is making money out of human misery

Say NO to The Detention Industry and making money out of human misery. RISE is aware of a number of members from the refugee and immigrant community as well as the wider community being approached by detention service providers such as SERCO, AMES, IHMS and DIAC itself to apply for jobs with attractive salaries and benefits in offshore processing centres in Nauru and Manus Island, to “service clients” in these centres as well as immigration detention centres within Australia.

It is important to be aware that these centres cause a serious breach of the Universal declaration of Human rights and for people to make a concious choice not to become part of this. Read RISE’s submission to the inquiry into Australia’s Immigration Detention Network, management, resourcing, potential expansion, possible alternative solutions, the Government’s detention values, and the effect of detention on detainees (August 2011) here: