Monthly Archives: December 2016

Why I support RISE?

1. RISE is autonomously run by refugees, mainly ex-detainees

2. I’m a refugee & a person of colour

3. RISE doesn’t use images of refugees to gain funding

4. RISE is founded by an ex-detainee

5. RISE board and staff are from refugee backgrounds

6. RISE supports Indigenous sovereignty and freedom

7. RISE doesn’t compromise its values

8. RISE doesn’t support any form of detention regardless for even 1 minute or 1 day

9. RISE believes in self-determination

10. Services & projects are designed by refugees for refugees

Hisam.N , Ex-detainee and Refugee

Australian politicians want Pauline Hanson to exist – It’s not a secret

Pauline Hanson is a perfect mascot for Australian politicians in this racist state.- By Ramesh Fernandez (ex-detainee and refugee)

The 2016 federal election has brought in xenophobic and Islamophobic politicians and politics in Australia including the return of extremist groups like Pauline Hanson’s One Nation political party to the Senate. Pauline Hanson entered politics in the mid nineties on an anti-Aboriginal and anti-Asian platform. Since this time she has been given near celebrity status, with a podium to stand on to air racist anti-refugee policies that equate refugees with “terrorists”.

When I heard Pauline Hanson was re-elected, I was not surprised. Anyone who is up-to-date with the current anti-refugee and anti-Muslim propaganda in Australia and around the globe, know that there is no time like the present for people like Pauline Hanson. It is a time that has accumulated all the ‘fears’/lies Australian politicians have spread through the public over many election campaigns.

Pauline Hanson is targeting all people of colour, with particular emphasis on Indigenous peoples, Refugees, Muslims and Asians. In the lead up to the 2016 election Pauline Hanson was paid by Australia’s most watched breakfast TV news program to provide “expert” commentary on topics such as “terrorism and border security”.Basically, her xenophobic politics is nothing new and does not stop with her. Pauline Hanson wants to protect Australia from “Asians” and she refers to “Suburbs that are swamped by Asians”.

According to Pauline Hanson’s anti refugee policy she has recommended a list of “solutions” and what is remarkable here is that she is too racist to even realise that her “one nation solutions” are part of the current refugee policy. The current politicians have contributed to even more extremist, right wing racism towards refugees via immigration policies.

Her party “One nation” wants to reduce the number of Muslim refugees coming to Australia, limit family reunion, introduce temporary protection visas and re-assess refugee claims, character checks, welfare cuts and involuntary deportation. All these ‘interventions’ are part of the current refugee law, which was introduced by both Labor and Liberal governments.

Pauline Hanson wants to remove Australia as a signatory of the UN refugee convention, which Kevin Rudd tried to negotiate in 2013. In her maiden speech in 1996, regarding immigration, she clearly states that “if I can invite whom I want into my home, then I should have the right to have a say in who comes into my country”. In 2001 during the federal election John Howard shared her sentiments: “We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come”.

There is no difference between One Nation sentiments and those of Australia’s Labor and Liberal governments. After the Paris attack Pauline Hanson said “Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim, Can’t we see that these refugees may be cells that have been brought out, who have been planted (by) ISIS to become refugees, who will end up in Australia, on Australian soil”. Her comment had some backlash but a few weeks later Immigration Minister Peter Dutton linked refugees to terrorists. Dutton said “we want to make sure that we know who’s coming to this country – we’ve seen what’s happened in Istanbul and in Brussels and in Paris”. Both Hanson and Dutton have publicly said that refugees are stealing Australian jobs.

Australia is a one nation country on stolen land and it is dangerously ignorant not to acknowledge this fact. This is truly seen in the treatment & targeting of Indigenous peoples in this country both through policy and action by white Australia. An obvious second example is the fact that mostly people coming to Australia on boats to seek asylum are indefinitely tortured and sexually abused in detention centres.

Australian politicians benefit from people like Pauline Hanson; her overt racism and anti-Muslim sentiments provide a norm for their own racist sentiments. Politicians such as Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton, John Howard, Scott Morrison, Chris Bowen, Malcolm Turnbull, Kevin Rudd, Amanda Vanstone, Philip Ruddock and Julia Gillard have similar anti-refugee and anti-muslim stances. Pauline Hanson’s caricature can be mocked to make the aforementioned politicians appear ‘smarter’ or ‘more ‘trustworthy’ however they share the same ultimate white Australia dream to keep this country for white people.

We are aware that there is nothing original in Pauline Hanson. Pauline Hanson has been used to open more pathways and platforms for mainstream politicians to use xenophobia to win elections over the years. She has been chanting “Stop the Boats” for over a decade with successive Australian prime ministers joining her chorus. Racism towards refugees and asylum seekers has always been an election winner. These anti-Refugee and anti-Muslim fear mongering sentiments come in different forms from different white politicians because Australia is the foundation for racist immigration policies. Australia’s legacy is that other countries use Australia as the prime model to introduce racist anti-immigration policies.

Australian politicians want Pauline Hanson to exist; she is a perfect mascot for Australian politicians in this racist state.

Help RISE arts to reach international level

RISE (Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees) is thrilled to announce that our Arts Director has been offered a unique opportunity to receive mentorship at the International Community Arts Festival (ICAF) in the Netherlands from January – 02 April 2017. In order for our Arts Director to participate in this important event however, we need your help.

RISE is a not-for-profit organisation that relies almost entirely on public donations. At this current stage our Arts portfolio receives no funding and we rely heavily on the hard work of volunteers. This invitation to attend an international community arts festival is rare and we can only do so with your help.

We have 3 weeks to raise $2500 to cover part ofthe cost of a return air-fare to the Netherlands. Are you able to help make this happen?

Why is our Arts Portfolio important?

Our Arts portfolio has played a critical role in the lives of our members and provides vital opportunities for our members to develop their capacity and means for creative self-expression, while also addressing the social isolation and marginalisation that many in our communities experience. Through our projects, participants gain experience in various forms of the arts (e.g. through our Hip Hop program, the Forum Theatre project, Film-Making Workshops and more) and at all stages of development, from concept building, production, presentation, curating and through to promotion and publicity.

Why is our participation in the International Community Arts Festival important?

The International Community Arts Festival is a highly acclaimed event that brings together leading pioneers in community art from all around the world. Participating in this festival means our Arts Director is able to:

• Ensure RISE is actively represented in global conversations around refugees and asylum seeker
• Allow RISE to seek and develop partnerships with community arts organisations in Europe and from around the world
• Deliver Masterclass’ at the festival for practitioners on community arts practice
• Hold skill-sharing workshops with RISE members to impart experience and lessons learned

The RISE Arts Director, Tania Cañas, has been playing an instrumental role in the development of the RISE Arts portfolio. For more information about Tania, please see here.

Big or small, we would truly appreciate your contribution. Please help RISE to be part of this global conversation to challenge, develop, improve and continue to deliver community-based arts programing at RISE Refugee.

Please make a donation and leave a message as “RISE Arts” : here