Refugee advocates active in April

MRRAR executive committee member Greg Clark presents a copy of Seeking Asylum: Our Stories to Woodend Library manager Emma Keenan.

April is proving a busy month for volunteers at Macedon Ranges Rural Australians for Refugees.

It began with their highly anticipated afternoon with writer and political insider Don Watson.

The author read several excerpts from his latest work, Watsonia, and reminisced about his travels through the US and rural Australia.

His recollections of life in the Canberra bubble prompted more than a few laughs from his attentive audience.

Organisers were delighted with the funds raised from admission, all of which will be donated for the support of refugees in Australia. Plans are in train for more similar events.

Next on the agenda for MRRAR was a project conceived and implemented by executive committee member Greg Clark.

He is providing copies of Seeking Asylum: Our Stories to interested schools and libraries in the Macedon Ranges. The book comprises a collection of short refugee biographies.

“It makes pretty compelling reading,” Greg says. “These people have been recognised as refugees. They require our protection under international law. Yet that obligation is all too often ignored.”

Greg is keen to ensure that young Australians, in particular, are made aware of the physical and mental agonies faced by detainees. He reminds readers that the book can be ordered online at

The month of April concludes for MRRAR with a fundraiser cake and produce stall beginning at 9am on Saturday April 23 outside Woodend Newsagency.

Fundraiser sub-committee organiser, Mary Teichel-Grimes, is looking forward to another successful day.

“Cake stalls are a fun and festive way for the community to show its support for the victims of violence and oppression,” she says.

“If you’d like to donate, or help out in any way, or even just learn more about what we do, you can send us an email at:”