Living in a time of video calls and social distancing, it’s easy to feel unsure about what the future holds. Earlier this year many speculated about life on the other side of COVID-19.
Nine months on, that future remains uncertain. But for some members of our community, this precariousness has lasted much longer. For many refugees, a chance at a new life in Australia can mean living in uncertainty for eight or more years without knowing if they’ll be allowed to make their home here, or forced to return to the violence they sought safety from.
Under these arrangements, Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) or Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEVs), refugees often aren’t able to see their family, apply for the same jobs as other Australians, or plan for their future.
With a federal election on the horizon, a group of Uniting Church WA members are working with refugee leaders, as well as a nonpartisan coalition of organisations like CARAD, Red Cross, ASSETS, and the Curtin University Centre for Human Rights Education to ensure that our ‘new normal’ is one where our refugee neighbours can live reunited with their families, without fear for what the future might hold.
The group is actively seeking volunteers interested in doing tasks such as administration and social media support, handing out flyers, co-ordinating community stalls, and making phone calls.
We are aiming to help connect with people in places where the majority of people seeking asylum live, especially focusing on a couple of electorates with incumbents across the political spectrum, where they’re likely to have the most impact. And to use this political moment to raise awareness about an apolitical issue, reuniting families, ensuring permanency, so that refugees and people seeking asylum can have a future beyond uncertainty too.
To get involved visit weallneedourfamilies.com