Monthly Archives: July 2013

RISE Media Release: 22.07.2012 “STOP THE ROT – Demand Kevin Rudd scraps his PNG deportation plan”

We at RISE (Refugees Survivors & Ex-Detainees) are dismayed and angered at the announcement by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that Australia will no longer accept asylum seekers for settlement in Australia. Rudd’s decision to settle all asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea in exchange for increased aid money to the former Australian territory is a disgusting illustration of how refugees and asylum seekers have been used to buy votes in a political race to the bottom.

Offshore processing has proven to be a human rights disaster in the past. Now Rudd wants to punish even more asylum seekers by settling them to a country struggling to maintain infrastructure, safety and support for its current population. Rudd wants to expand the offshore processing site on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island so that it can house 3000 asylum seekers. Manus barely has capacity to support the 200 people currently there – asylum seekers sleep in hot tents that frequently get flooded during high rains. Medical facilities are inadequate and the incidences of self-harm and attempted suicide have continued unabated since the Manus Island detention camp was opened in 2012.

Read more here and take an action.

at this federal election 2013 – STOP THE ROT –

“Seeking asylum is not a crime” – RISE Awareness campaign

Who we are

RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees is a not-for-profit incorporated association. RISE is the first refugee and asylum seeker welfare and advocacy organisation in Australia to be governed by refugees, asylum seekers, and ex-detainees. RISE exists to enable refugees and asylum seekers to build new lives by providing advice, engaging in community development, enhancing opportunity, and campaigning for refugee rights. RISE advocates on behalf of its members to improve refugee policies and to generate positive social change in respect to attitudes impacting on refugees.

– Federal election 2013

During this period of campaigning by politicians before the election on 7 September 2013, RISE is launching an awareness campaign urging the Australian public not to be misled by the deceitful and politically opportunistic misinformation regarding Australia’s refugee intake, fuelled by parties on all sides of politics.

For decades, Australian politicians have been stoking fear by misleading the public for political gain. Asylum seekers arriving by boat have been painted as ‘queue jumpers’ – unscrupulous illegal entrants without morals, capable of throwing even their children into the sea. The targeting of refugee boats reached a new low with the ‘Children Overboard’ misinformation campaign during the time of ex-prime minister, John Howard, successfully winning him the 2001 election. This exploitative use of refugee boats as a key wedge strategy to attract votes during the Howard era was crafted by campaign advisor Lynton Crosby. Now, both sides of parliament are continuing to legitimise this strategy and the last four elections have been contested and won on the grounds of continued exploitation of anti-asylum seeker hysteria stirred by politicians themselves.

Stop the refugee boat policies have been implemented even during the time of Malcolm Fraser.  It has re-morphed into “break the people smuggling business model”. Rather than implementing measures to assist asylum seekers’ safe passage to Australia, the major parties have instead taken hard-line strategies. This has been geared towards creating more obstacles for asylum seekers to settle in Australia, particularly those who embark on their journey to Australia by boat. Rather than demonstrating genuine concern for the safety of asylum seekers, the latest shifts in government policies are prompted by the aggressive border security program.. In this year’s lead-up to the federal election, both political parties continue to exploit populist and misinformed hysteria surrounding asylum seekers as a disingenuous means of getting ahead in the polls.

But what is the truth behind Australia’s refugee policies?

FACTS (click below)

Say no to the use of refugees as political currency in election time

RISE represents over 30 refugee and ex-detainee communities in Australia. We urge the Australian public to Stop the Rot to say NO to utilising refugees and asylum seekers as political currency in the upcoming Federal election.

For more information about our campaign please contact us directly on

RISE Team 2013

Unseen Habitation – Exhibition

Media Release 09/07/2013

Opening night 5 September

Goodtime Studio 746 Swanston St, Carlton. Directly opposite Melbourne University.

UNSEEN HABITATION a site specific exhibition, a walk through maze of installations created by 5 Australian Artists of colour from diverse migration experiences: Somalia, Eritrea /Egypt, Vietnam and Bosnia.. Each artist will explore how communities reconstruct place and home—post migration making use of various art forms, including; sculpture, installation, mixed media, and photography We ask, what happens when traditions clash with our lived urban spaces?

Unseen habitation, Project Curator, Dominic Golding says “The exhibition challenges the ideas and myths about migration, namely that of hope and building new lives.”

• Nadia Faragaab installation examines the rituals the Somali community bring with them and adapt around death and home in Melbourne.

• Iris Radovic’s sound/installation piece is a soundscape depicting the internal impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from trauma of war.

• Thuy Vy presents a set of photographs, which documents the contemporary culture of recycling and flea markets.

• Mohammad Nur’s sculpture relooks at how public housing is constructed and reconstructed.

• Maria Pena working with textiles builds an organic representation of the ‘body as being a home’.

• Dominic Golding’s IKEA ‘Curiosity Cabinet’ mixes the actual and the profane of Multi-Cult-ist Tourism.

• Hoang Tran Nguyen objects and group photo which h make up his memories of high school.

Opening night 5 September
Goodtime Studio 746 Swanston St, Carlton. Directly opposite Melbourne University.

Runs from the 6th to the 15th of September 2013

Media contacts :- Dominic Golding 0403 851 240

Presented by RISE & Sponsored by City of Melbourne 

Holding the Humanitarian sector and ourselves accountable-Diversity and inclusion on NGO boards and RISE’s model of self-empowerment

RISE (Refugees, survivors and ex-detainees) is the first refugee organisation in Australia and one of the few in the world that uses the model of self-empowerment for sustainable community development, where our organisation is not just run by members from the refugee community-it is GOVERNED by members of the refugee community and hence decisions are made by members from refugee background.

A recent online-article about diversity and inclusion on NGO boards by Fairouz El Tom ( cites statistical data that unfortunately demonstrates that this model of self-empowerment is hardly supported and encouraged in the NGO sector with 66% of NGO governing boards composed of people of European ethnicity and 72% of NGOs headquartered in the western world while 79% of their activity takes place in the Majority World.

Peak refugee organisations such as UNHCR have never had a High commissioner from refugee background. Australia itself, despite being situated in the Asia-pacific region has all tiers of government as well as NGOs still maintaining the status-quo of being a colonial out-post in the so-called “Asian Century” with minimal or quite often no non-European representation on decision making boards in refugee organisations.

With the world refugee population originating mainly from non-industrialised countries and reaching the highest number this year since the last 20 years and industrialised countries tightening their humanitarian policies while at the same time contributing to the escalation of the world’s major conflicts, it is time to ask questions and hold decision makers and policy makers from these organisations accountable. Most importantly it is time to truthfully ask what part we ourselves play in perpetuating these deep-rooted racist and neo-colonial structures and take the necessary steps to strengthen communities through the model of self-empowerment rather than oppression.